There’s a plethora of on demand video
out there these days. So much so that sometimes it can be hard to wade
through it all and find something worth watching. Watch This Now is
your guide to instant video on Netflix, Hulu and elsewhere,
highlighting the very best stuff that you can watch right now.
is Music Week at Watch This Now. We’ll be bringing you the best
musicals, music docs, performance films and music biopics available
When I saw that a number of episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer were on Hulu, I wanted to bring you Once More With Feeling, the musical episode, as part of Watch This Now’s Music Week. But they only have through the end of season three, so one of my favorite modern musicals (no shit, really) will have to appear on a future edition.
Instead we have Joss Whedon’s direct to the internet musical short film, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Starring Neil Patrick Harris as the titular blog-having supervillain, the 43 minute musical is actually pretty delightful. It’s set in a just left of our reality world where Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion, the modern era’s answer to Bruce Campbell when it comes to fan casting) is a crusading superhero in Los Angeles who always seems to thwart Dr. Horrible’s attempts to get into the Evil League of Evil. Because the setting is a little lighter than Buffy or Angel the trademark Whedonesque dialogue that keeps many non-believers out of those shows feels more natural. There’s also less of it, and goofy word play seems more allowable in song, I guess.
Things between Horrible and Hammer come to a head when they both begin vying for the attentions of the same woman, Penny (Felicia Day). As you expect from Joss Whedon, things get surprisingly serious at times, but they’re also often very funny. They’re also very subversive, as Captain Hammer isn’t everything you might expect from a superhero.
I like the songs in Once More With Feeling a lot more, but that may come from the seasons and seasons of baggage that they carry. At any rate, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is a pretty great little musical, and I for one wouldn’t mind seeing Joss setting his sights on more things like this in the future. There’s something adorably low rent about the film that works perfectly with Joss’ style.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey