Sympathy for the Devil – Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008)

Fan favorite.  So this is the story about one of the bad guys, Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris).  His nemesis, Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) is constantly thwarting him, but it gets personal when he makes a move on Dr. Horrible’s crush (Felicia Day).  Now this is a bit different for me, because for the past two years, I have exclusively reviewed movies here.  If you want to get technical, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is considered to be a web mini-series, not a film.  That said, it’s only 42 minutes in length, and it’s my rotation of things that I watch whenever the mood strikes, so I figured I ought to have a review here and decided to put pen to paper.

1This is what happens when a small group of talent decides to team up and make something inspired.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is a musical that reaches almost Shakespearean levels of tragedy.  Your main character is a bad guy, but it’s not like he’s unlikable or even difficult to relate to.  You sympathize with Dr. Horrible so easily and what he’s going through because we’ve all been there: trying to find love, to be accepted and to not be bullied.  And who better to get that connection that Mr. Awesome himself: Neil Patrick Harris.  He’s great at selling the role, and he has that extra je ne sais quoi that comes with just being Neil Patrick Harris.  This is a series that has geek credibility for days, as it has board game goddess and jack of all trades Felicia Day, Firefly fan favorite Nathan Fillion, and one of the most simultaneously loved and hated crafters in the industry, Joss Whedon.

2You could make the argument that Joss hates his audience, and there is enough evidence out there to make a counter-argument impossible.

The story for Dr. Horrible is both simple and effective.  It’s not complicated at all, and you really get to see exactly what makes this man tick, and why he’s trying to be this villain so desperately.  In my opinion, it is all of the musical numbers that make this work as exceptionally well as it does.  They are well-crafted, catchy, and short, and there is not a single song that lasts longer than 3 minutes.  You retain each song for far longer than that, and I guarantee that you will be at the very least whistling a song or two into the next day after you walk away from this.  It’s both as funny and as sad as can be, and the very last note to the final song will positively haunt your dreams; not even exaggerating, it sends a chill up my spine just thinking about it.  I love this little story, and it is one of my favorites.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008) *****

– Critic for Hire

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