The big-screen villain everybody is talking about this weekend is Heath Ledger’s twisted, sadistic psychopath, The Joker. (As well they should be. Posthumous Oscar talk is not unwarranted in this blog’s opinion.) However, when you’re done marvelling at the performances in The Dark Knight and you need to lighten the mood before you go to bed to face your clown-themed nightmares, give a villain with a smaller screen prescence a chance.
As part of our “stuff I wish was on TV” feature, this sort of takes the marble slab cake.
Visit www.drhorrible.com and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon’s three-part web novella, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. All you really need to know, you learn in the three webisodes on the site. The project was financed by Whedon, who came up with the idea with his brothers (Zach and Jed) and wrote the series during the writer’s strike, essentially creating his own studio.
Boobtube favourite Neil Patrick Harris plays the eponymous Dr. Horrible, an aspiring super villain with dreams of entering the Evil League of Evil. We already love him on How I Met Your Mother, where he takes the one-note character of Barney, the suited-up man whore and sings that one note in a way that deserves a standing ovation. Speaking of singing. . . he does here. Cuz this is a musical.
Once upon a time on the late lamented (before it started sucking) fametracker, when Harris was doing Broadway, some snarky poster commented that the most Neil Patrick Harris could hope for, as far as reviews went, was “deliciously Doogient.” Not sure what musical that was for, but he definitely deserves rave reviews for his performance in this goofy little project. Harris is openly gay, but here, as with Barney, he makes you believe he longs for the girl of his dreams, pining for a damsel who will help him change his ways. In both roles, he does a pretty excellent job of being the “bad” guy with a heart of, well, not gold. Brass, maybe.
We at Boobtube are also fans of Nathan Fillion. Big fans. He really needs a show we can get behind that a network won’t cancel. Here, he’s Captain Hammer (Corporate Tool, as Dr. Horrible brands him), a hammy, egotistical, hair-blowing-in-the-breeze superhero who saves the day and gets the girl. And then as sex with her, as he is fond of reminding the audience.
Felicia Day (who had a small role in the final season of Whedon’s Buffy as potential slayer Vi) stars as Penny, the sweet girl at the laundromat. Dr. Horrible has a crush on her. She’s a volunteer at Caring Hands homeless shelter and sees the good in everyone. Even the high on himself Captain Hammer and the nervous wreck Billy, Dr. Horrible’s alter ego.
We aren’t going to tell you more than that, but you really need to go see this now, because tonight is the last night it’s available for free from hulu. You can download the series from iTunes or, if you’re late to the game, wait for the promised feature-packed DVD.