A project created to keep from being bored during the Writer’s Strike of 2008 that ended up being one of the best things Joss Whedon has ever done, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog is a three-part Internet miniseries chronicling the dastardly (and musical!) exploits of Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris), a likable fiend yearning for supervillain status as he battles his archenemy, Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) and pines after his laundromat crush, Penny (Felicia Day). Despite it being the most outrageous (and self-conscious) premise Whedon has ever conjured (it manages to out-meta Buffy the Vampire Slayer with just the title alone), Dr. Horrible is a clever and often hilarious send-up of the superhero genre — and, most surprisingly of all, is tragic without being apologetic, making it perhaps Whedon’s most mature work to date (believe it or not). The songs are fun and catchy, too, with Harris nicely underplaying his role as a would-be bad guy who might be a little too romantic and, well, nice for this gig (not to mention rather incompetent in his villainous scheming); if Whedon has approached The Avengers with the same kind of wit, affection and sense of economy, then we’re in for one of the best comic book movies ever made.
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