Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

Yesterday afternoon, I was forced strongly encouraged to watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (wiki). I’d never watched it before yesterday, and I never really had the inclination to. I didn’t read reviews about it; I didn’t eagerly await the DVD release; I didn’t memorize all the songs from it. In fact, I started out watching it not even knowing how long it was. It wasn’t that I had anything against it, but I just didn’t care one way or the other.

Now, I like Neil Patrick Harris (who plays the title character, Dr. Horrible) just fine, though I’ve never watched any other show/film he’s been in, either. I really like Felicia Day (who plays Dr. Horrible’s love interest, Penny)—I’m a huge fan of The Guild, actually. And you could say I’m a fan of some of Joss Whedon‘s other work, most notably Angel (wiki). Dr. Horrible(As for the guy who plays Captain Hammer: I could take ‘im or leave ‘im because [1] his character is a total asshat and [2] I’ve never seen any of his other work.) Knowing all this, my brother and sister were sort of incredulous that I hadn’t seen Dr. Horrible, and my sister was possibly more incredulous that I hadn’t taken any action to rectify said problem. Like I said, it wasn’t like I was actively avoiding the show, it was just that I had better things to do with my time.

Well, no more. My brother sat me down and had me watch all three acts at once. The first act was okay; I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, and the songs are kinda catchy. By the second act, though, I was getting bored. I mean, I paused at the part where Penny starts singing in the laundromat about being lonely. It’s a decent song, I guess, but honestly. (Though I’ll admit it has one great line: “Even in the darkness, every color can be found.”)

I finished out the third act because—why the hell not? I knew if I didn’t finish, even if it was just out of boredom/”eh”-quality, my sister would be on my case until I did. So, in the third act, Captain Hammer is giving a bullshit speech (singing it, actually) about being a hero and Dr. Horrible comes in and freezes him with his freeze ray with the intention of killing him. But the tables are turned and Captain Hammer gets the death ray gun and turns it on Dr. Horrible. Dr. Horrible tries to warn him that the gun has been damaged, but he shoots it and the gun explodes. Captain Hammer runs off like a jackass and then Dr. Horrible discovers that Penny was fatally wounded by the flying shrapnel from the exploding gun. There’s a montage of Dr. Horrible doing horrible things, and then the credits roll.

WHAT THE HELL? Captain Hammer is an ass, Penny dies, and Dr. Horrible just goes on with his life of evil AND THAT’S IT? And not only does she die, her last words are, “Don’t worry, Captain Hammer will save us.” SERIOUSLY? I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR A FUCKING TRAGEDY, PEOPLE. Dr. Horrible is supposed to be a comedy—at least, that’s all I’d heard about it. And neither my brother nor my sister felt like it was necessary to WARN me about the ending? Seriously? I yelled at them for it and my sister said, “I didn’t want to give away the end.” And I said, “Telling me, ‘the end is sad’ isn’t going to give it away! Jesus; I wasn’t in the mood for a tragedy. You could’ve at least warned me it was going to be sad.” UGH. UUUUUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHH.

That is all.

As a side note: Dr. Horrible outright fails the Bechdel Test. Just thought I should mention that, especially since Whedon is known for writing strong female characters (most notably Buffy) and has been honored because of his commitment to equality for women… or something.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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