Friday, August 28, 2009

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog


Yesterday I wrote that I'm a three sigma nerd. The more I think about it, I might have been at one time, but my advanced age is holding me back. A perfect example of this is me raving about Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog now instead of last summer when it was released or last Christmas when it was released on DVD.

During the writer's strike, Joss Whedon wrote this musical story of a superhero and aspiring super-villain in a love triangle with a girl who crusades for the homeless. It was written with the intention of being an internet musical. A big part of the writer's strike was about how writers would be compensated for stuff that was available on the internet, and Whedon has shown that his fan base can go just as nuts for something available on the web as something broadcast on TV or shown on movie screens.

If you just want to watch it, it's free on Hulu. If you find some of the tunes get stuck in your head, you can buy the soundtrack on iTunes or get the video there so you can watch it without commercial interruption.

But for the true nerd, getting the DVD is the only option. Whedon understands his fan base, and the DVD is filled with great extra features, including Commentary! The Musical, where the stars of the show, including Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion, sing songs about the process of making the musical, as do writers Joss, Jed and Zack Whedon and lyricist Maurissa Tancharoen, who played the pivotal role of Groupie No. 1.

As good as the songs are from musical itself, there are some great tunes in Commentary! Among my favorites is the trio by Nate, Neil and Jed, who might have had some friction during the shoot, but they bonded over playing the phone app game Ninja Ropes Extreme, and their truce is memorialized in the hauntingly beautiful ballad Ninja Ropes.

Seriously. Hauntingly beautiful.

Joss gets a song in which he bites the hand that feeds him, a philosophical musing about the nature of art commentary itself called Heart(Broken). He makes a good point that Homer didn't have to write The Making of The Odyssey or release the deleted scenes on extra scrolls the year after his epic went big.

And what about the back story of Groupie No. 3? Steve Berg gets a solo that ends the commentary musical, appropriately entitled Steve's Song.

I am not so much of a nerd that I don't realize this blog post is done by a struggling math teacher asking his readers to put more money in the pocket of a millionaire, but Joss Whedon is a special millionaire in my book, and I don't mean special needs. He created something really good with Dr. Horrible, and I know many of my readers are part of the semi-obsessive fan base Whedon has, deserves and (at least sometimes) enjoys.

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