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lilacsigil said on July 21st, 2008 at 12:32 am

Exactly. The sheer stupidity of the ending changed it from “That was fun” to “Wow, that was a slap in the face.” I was all the more disappointed because I should have expected it.

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I hated the end to, but I realized it was the correct ending. I had made the mistake that so many did. DHSAB isn’t a musical.

It’s an opera. And as Bugs Bunny says at the end of What’s Opera, Doc? “Well, what did you expect in an opera? A happy ending?”

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Bryce: As Terry Pratchett has explained, there are two types of opera. There are the ones where people sing “Beer! Beer! Beer! I like beer! Lots of beer!” and there are the ones where people sing “Woe is me, for existence has become joyless! Death shall be a sweet release!”

Now, expanding upon that, the first type have happy endings and the second type have tragic endings. If this is an opera, it’s a confused mishmash.

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Eric TF Bat said on July 21st, 2008 at 12:36 am

Oh, what a relief. I thought the whole world was going mad. Yes, it was good, and yes, some of the songs were OK, but seriously: it needed work. The everyone-singing-over-everyone-else bit worked for the big heading-off-to-bead-the-bad-guy song in Once More With Feeling, and I guess Joss figured it worked because of the structure, when “despite” would be a better word. To be honest, it mainly worked because of (a) Sweet, (b) Giles, and (c) “I think this line’s mostly filler”. So: catchy tunes? No. Except maybe Freeze Ray, but that could be because Hulu kept fracking up on me so it’s the scene I saw three times before the rest loaded, so it stuck more. The rest was fine, but there was too much potential lost. I’ve seen the superhero crowd scenes in Astro City and the throw-away shout-outs in PS-238 and Wild Cards; with the exception of Bad Horse (brilliant!) it was all a bit BTDT.

Still, I hope it works out for him. It was a good idea. Beats So You Think You Can Survive The Coming Apocalypse and all those other TV shows.

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i loved the ending for the same reason that bryce just said

all in all, i dug it.

it made me laugh and it made me sad and that = win for me

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lilacsigil said on July 21st, 2008 at 12:40 am

Bryce – but, if it’s an opera, the character in question should get a great big solo about their motives, life history, true love and imminent death, not just wandering off and saying “it’s okay”. That was feeble.

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I hated the ending too. It is perfectly fine to make a foundational story about the birth of a villain, but I got whiplash from the complete change in tone for Act III. It started all light, funny and sing-along campy and then Whedon decides to throw his patented sucker punch in Act III. Lame.

Ugh, and the slavish devotion to Whedon is beginning to bug. Apparently, even if you thought it was musically and tonally inconsistent, you have to link to it on your blog and praise it as the best thing EVAH.

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Is it just me, or did Evil Thomas Jefferson look like Lord Shilling?

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I think the ending was exactly right. I think his power-walk to the Evil League boardroom was dynamite. Bad horse’s cowboys’ triple rhymes were consistently sharp, and the “Brand New Day” theme was, while not as strong as Freeze Ray, a great act-2 break and consequently effective when called back for said power-walk.

Anyway, I disagree with you all the time, and seldom regret it, so allow me to just nod and accept your opinion for what it is.

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I keep singing Brand New Day all over the place. Well, not singing, since I don’t know the lyrics, but definitely humming it like mad. It’s earwormed. Ditto Freeze Ray. I also keep humming Penny’s “things happen” song at random times.

And I did like the three-part bit at the end of Act I, actually.

I hated, hated, hated the twist. I didn’t like what happened with Captain Hammer — the stuff with him seemed too cheesy at that point. Bad cheesy instead of funny cheesy. (Oh, and I hated the penis line. It just seemed that one step too crass.)

But the power-walk, followed by that brief blip of Dr. H in front of his blog at the end, not wearing his Evil Gear but instead just looking like a lost soul? Wow.

I have to say that I liked the costuming, too. The Mad Scientist gear– white for our protagonist, red at the end. Black for Captain Hammer, the antagonist. The fans with their logo shirts.

I did think the other two principals had nice enough singing voices.

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May I point out that the “sucker punch” ending failed, because Dr. Horrible earned no sympathy at all? The character chose to be evil becuase he’s a jealous git, sets out to deliberately murder someone, and then we’re supposed to feel bad for him because he felt bad because the wrong person died? Boo freakin’ hoo. Try NOT MURDERING PEOPLE next time, bro.

Next up, a pity party for Jack the Ripper.

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I was actually really surprised by the ending, in a good way. It was a dramatic tonal shift, but it was also the first time I’ve ever seen a “sympathetic super-villian” concept handled in a way that was actually, y’know, villainous. Is he a good guy? NO, of course not. I expected to see that in the end he was a good guy after all, and I like the way that Whedon avoided that trope.

Of course, it also helps that I’ve been in a tremendously bitter mood lately, so having everything destroyed actually made me feel better.

Also of note:

“Sometimes people also have a third, deeper layer, that’s the same as the top.”–Really crappy line
“What?”–Acknowledging that it’s a crappy line doesn’t make it good
“Like pie.”–Makes it good

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Bah: I don’t think he had really shown his dislike for Hammer to Penny at that point, so her “What?” serves the dual purpose of registering surprise at Billy not completely supporting her happiness. Though it may have already been clear at that point had she been paying attention. Someone who bought Act II on iTunes (or with an awesome memory) could confirm either way.

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Joe Helfrich said on July 21st, 2008 at 2:25 am

I didn’t like the ending, but I have a feeling that it was setting something else up. I’ll be interested to hear what the plans are for the DVD, and any further Dr Horrible stories. I think stuff is being anounced at ComicCon, no?

Also, I’m trying to decide if the last half second of morose Billy replacing Dr Horrible redeem things. I don’t think so, but I wonder if making that a longer shot might have changed the reaction.

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For what it’s worth, I really liked “Slipping”. Also, the various trios (Bad Horse’s cowboys and the fan girls) were used well.

Captain Hammer works better the second or third time around. It helps to realize that he does get good accomplished and inspires people, even if he is a self-center SOB with no empathy or respect for human life.

In my mind, the story works best as an allegory of the dangers of workaholism; Dr. Horrible was so focused on joining the Evil League of Evil that he essentially neglected everything else (including his motivation), and ended up with the natural outcome of choosing that path. (I also like seeing it as a deconstruction of the idea of the “Nice Guy”)

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Milkman Dan said on July 21st, 2008 at 2:39 am

Come on folks. Joss Whedon has done this sort of thing before. It’s not even remotely new or surprising (unless you mean it in the sense of “I’m surprised Whedon is still using that plot device”). I can only imagine that the people surprised by Act III have never seen anything ever written by Joss Whedon.

The last few seconds were much more interesting and leave some room for speculation. You know what I’m talking about.

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I was braced for an unhappy ending. It’s Joss Whedon. He kills unhappy endings. That’s what he does. That’s all he does. And he absolutely will not stop. Ever.

That said I do boggle when people say they were slapped/stunned/shocked by the twist, and the sudden change in tone. It wasn’t sudden. “On The Rise” and “Brand New Day” were both warning indicators that the tone was darkening.

And the whole Slipping song thing was brilliantly multilayered. The Doctor is singing/sneering that Hammer’s disguise is slipping. And that society is slipping. But he himself is slipping.

Billy balked at the idea of killing or doing battle with anyone where kids could get hurt. He was wrestling with the moral dilemma — Bad Horse’s ultimatum was “kill someone or we kill you”. And Hammer pushed him one time too many, so he figured why not take out two birds with one stone? But his heart wasn’t really in it. Billy isn’t really a killer, and he wanted to be stopped. The lyrics of “Slipping” indicate the tug-of-war inside his head between Billy and Dr. Horrible.

And honestly, if Hammer had paid enough attention to notice the death ray was malfunctioning after it got knocked to the ground, Penny might never have died, so both men carry the blame for her death, though Billy takes it more to heart, because he loved her — and Hammer was only sleeping with her to hurt Horrible.

So in the end, the good bad guy and the bad good guy both ended up on the wrong end of their aspirations. Hammer wanted to be worshipped more, but it’s unlikely after the crying girlyman bit that he will be. Horrible wanted to ascend to truly scary supervillain status — but not at the cost he got it.

And it was really touching that Billy still remained in the corner of his mind, grieving for the loss of Penny and the human decency he’d had before this whole misadventure.

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Indi, this isn’t particularly masterly in any way. Dr. Horrible is doing what he accuses others of doing, fairly obviously? He gets what he thought he wanted at the cost of what he really wanted? Well blow me down! Nobody could have missed that, considering Whedon literally puts most of this in his actual dialogue.

It’s all shoved in your face with the subtlety of a charging moose. It’s the worst kind of telling-not-showing.

Now, given that it’s mostly a light comedy, this would be fine – you don’t typically watch a light comedy for deep character analysis – but the ending is Whedon wanting to have his cake and eat it too. “Look, it’s serious art,” he’s all but yelling. Fine; then it gets judged as such, and on any scale of work that isn’t just a lighthearted romp, Dr. Horrible fails.

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lilacsigil said on July 21st, 2008 at 3:07 am

(unless you mean it in the sense of “I’m surprised Whedon is still using that plot device”)

Yes, that’s what I meant! Surprised and disappointed.

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I did dislike the ending, in the “again, Whedon?” sense. I expected some sort of tragedy but that was a bit much.

But I think the whole of it still works. The themes may be obvious, but it’s sort of an old structure. Reminded me of PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, albeit a lesser version.

And Fillion was utterly terrific, I have to say. I may be gay for him.

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I highly enjoyed it. Especially “Freeze Ray.” That sucker gets stuck in your head.

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Whedon should team up with M. Night, so they can have a “what twist!” and “unhappy” film. They’re both so predictable that they might actually surprise someone once they cross their respective streams.

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I normally hate Whedon’s work, the first few seasons of Buffy, were great, then it slid hard, same with Angel, tho the end battle implied was neat. Never liked Serenity/Firefly ( space and cowboy theme not cool in my books)
Anyways, I liked Dr. H, tho as I said with Buffy, Strong Start, weak by end. NPH, IMHO, saved the whole project, he was great, and a great fun cast of evil baddies.

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C. Wolfert said on July 21st, 2008 at 5:22 am

I think the fact Captain Hammer was a cliche jack-ass might have been a result of the story being told by, and from the perspective of, the villain. Because YOU’RE never wrong, everyone else always is, and in any story you tell, you’ll look better.

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Well, I really dislikes Whedon these days and have done so since the latter part of Buffy season 6… so I am definitely not a fangirl. And I really loathe musicals of any sort, it is not my kind of music. At all. And Nathan Fillion? *shivers* Maybe it is because I saw him in Bufy first, but… no.

That being said I loved this little thing to bits. I don’t care if the tunes were catchy, because I wouldn’t hum them anyway. For me they were just a vehicle for the story. Which wasn’t all that great. But dr Horrible himself? Yes!

No, the man is not sympathetic at all. But I don’t need people to be sympathetic in my shows. I need them to be interesting. Which he was. And I loved the ending.

Sure this is a piece of fluff I will forget in the coming weeks, but for now it really amused me. Not good, not at all, but the ending did it for me.

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I’d add “Brand New Day” and the Bad Horse missives to the list of things that are good; NPH absolutely nails that solo, it’s catchy, and it sets up Part III interestingly. And singing cowboys are always funny. :) Oh, and I’d add two specific lines: “I meant Ghandi,” and “The hammer is my penis” (although that’s solely down to Nathan Fillion’s delivery.)

Still not sure how I feel about the ending; I’m trying to decide how much of my distaste for it is just a general distaste for unhappy endings to comedies, and how much of it is because I felt it was kind of trite, too. (And how much of it was that I inadvertently came up with an ending of my own that I wound up preferring…my twist ending was that Penny was actually a super-villainess, the whole “homeless shelter” was a trap for Captain Hammer, and she’s planning to kill him to get into the ELE.)

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My initial reaction to act III was also a huge WTF?! and a “well, that ruined it!”

But then I thought about it some more, and it started to make sense. Yes, because it’s Whedon, and that’s what he does. But also, because it’s the story of a villain. Not an anti-hero, not a hero in disguise. A villain.

Now, that’s not to say I wouldn’t have totally loved a story about the semi-villian being redeemed by love and realising “what’s truly important” or whatever, abandoning his villainy and living happily ever after. But let’s not pretend that that doesn’t have the exact same level of OMG, LOOK AT THE MESSAGE OF THIS ART that the actual Dr. Horrible has.

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Not a Whedon fanboy, and admittedly, I do have the (apparently rare among certain groups) ability to just watch something and enjoy or hate it without all the deconstructing.

I thought it was a pretty good waste of half an hour, catchy, interesting little video. Hmm, I *am* a bit of an NPH fanboy, though, so maybe I’m skewed that way.

But it IS light entertainment isn’t it? Does Whedon ever say it’s meant to be something important that Changes The World, or that this is an example of a masterwork in dramar? As light entertainment, I thought it hit the marks very well, but I wasn’t carefully watching it for Whedon-isms or shout-outs to Firefly, or what-have-you, so I’m a lousy “critic” (can you hear the finger quotes?). In the end, it entertained me, and I would watch more.

It’ll sell t-shirts, and that’s the main thing.

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“Slipping” annoyed me because, as well as NPH performs it, it’s pure Sondheim pastiche musically. (And to a lesser degree, lyrically.)

Actually, that’s being too kind. It’s pretty much lifted in its entirety from one of Sondheim’s own musical tropes (q.v. “The Last Midnight” from Into the Woods–the slipping loss of innocence, anyone?) and not in a good way.

I, too, kept expecting Penny to secretly also be a villain (she was pretty quick with that “The Thoroughbred of Sin?” line), as that would’ve allowed Dr. Horrible and her to live “happily” ever after, which though somewhat cliche and possibly a weaker ending, would’ve at least shared a tone with the previous acts.

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ladypeyton said on July 21st, 2008 at 9:32 am

I enjoyed it thoroughly and hope to see more webisodes and similar web events in the future. I got exactly what I expected, the origin story of a super villain. I liked the actors, the music on a pop level, and the hum of excitement I got when a new chapter was released.

That said, I think I spent more time watching The Watchmen trailer over and over this weekend than I did on the entirety of Dr Horrible.

I *will* buy the DVD, though.

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Whedon does a lot of things I don’t particularly like or agree with – for instance he killed Wash in the Firefly movie and that made me cry.

But from the very start you can see the setup with Dr. Horrible being forced to choose between Penny and his villainous occupation, so the set up is all there. The only question the next two episodes try to answer is which calling Dr. Horrible will choose. Whedon could have gone a different route and had Horrible give up his evil trade at the end – I was hoping this would give Bad Horse more screen time with whatever fallout that would trigger – but simply having a second showdown between Hammer and Horrible wasn’t going to cut it.

I honestly don’t know how you could have ended that show without being accused of using a “cliche”. What were the options? Horrible kills Penny, but wins. Horrible kills Hammer, loses Penny, and wins. Horrible fails to kill anybody and runs away again, with Penny loving/abandoning him. Horrible kills himself. Horrible gets caught. Horrible kills everybody. Random techno glitch causes wackiness to ensue.

I mean, which of those would you have preferred? It’s all well and good to claim “That ending sucked”, but I don’t see a great many outs that wouldn’t require another few episodes to turn into less of a groaner.

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From the villain point of view, this is the only way the story could have ended. Dr. Horrible gets to join the Evil League of Evil, his nemesis is discredited and depowered, and he’s gotten rid of all those pesky feelings that were standing in the way of him becoming a really great villain.

As for songs, most were just okay. Brand New Day stands out, and I’ve been trying to fit all kinds of conversation into the Bad Horse rhyme scheme — that one sticks in my head like glue.

Totally agree on NPH. That was a powerhouse performance for such a tiny project. Why doesn’t he get more real work as an actor?

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I didn’t watch it because I knew this was going to happen. Joss Whedon likes slapping his viewers in the face with their own expectations, and sometimes he seems to be under the impression that that’s enough to turn his sitcom-like writing into grand tragedy. It’s not, but he’s got enough adoring fans who’ll swallow anything he shoves down their throats that he’s not likely to learn better any time soon.

I think he could produce superb comedies if he was willing to let go of this compulsion to make his characters suffer for inadequate reasons. He reminds me of Woody Allen — anyone see Melinda and Melinda? It was supposed to be an exploration of the relative merits of the comedic versus the tragic view of life, but all it ended up proving was that Woody Allen can’t write tragedies for shit. But Allen seems to be convinced that tragedy is Where It’s At, so he wastes his talent on crap like Match Point.

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HL Hooper said on July 21st, 2008 at 10:30 am

I’m not sure it’s very convincing to defend the ending by pointing out that it was the best possible way to resolve the story. I mean, the same people wrote the whole thing.

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Yeah mark me down for: enjoyed it until end Act III and said, “Really? Again?” And that’s just it, between Joss Whedon and Brian K. Vaughn you can just go into their stuff anymore with “Well, I wonder which of these characters I like is going to eat it.” And it has stopped serving the story b/c it’s no longer shocking.

It becomes a mockery of itself. Hey, we get it, death is random, fickle, and you rarely get to deliver maudlin speeches that encapsulate your accomplishments in life before you flicker out sans pooping yourself.

Now that’s established, why not tell a different story? Ultimately as a story teller your first responsibility is to your story. And with the tonal shift and complete 180 this didn’t serve the story, it changed it. With all the subtlety of a charging moose to reiterate MGK’s pitch-perfect description. I’d like to point out that Dr. H had a freeze ray handy with which to pull a Mr. Freeze on the character in question. I’m just saying, it would have been more “in tune” with the rest of the story. “In tune”. See what I did there?

Unfortunately, for all the good parts (and there were more than a few) this will prevent me from enjoying it as a whole, recommending it and buying it. So, at least it saved me some money, I guess.

–Marty

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I’m not sure it’s very convincing to defend the ending by pointing out that it was the best possible way to resolve the story. I mean, the same people wrote the whole thing.

That would work if you were just tearing down the entire show, rather than singling out the ending as bad. Did you not like the Superhero motif? The romance sub-plot? The anti-hero protagonist? If the ending is a logical result of the story, and you liked the general story, what alternate ending would have satisfied you? If the entire story was a dud for you, why is the ending suddenly such a hang-up?

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I’d like to point out that Dr. H had a freeze ray handy with which to pull a Mr. Freeze on the character in question. I’m just saying, it would have been more “in tune” with the rest of the story.

That’s kinda what I was waiting for. But, aside from the fact that the ray was somewhat defective – it didn’t last particularly long on Cap’n Penis – it would have left the plot somewhat unresolved. Horrible still had to kill somebody. And pulling the Han-Solo-In-Carbonate thing doesn’t really bring resolution to a three-episdoe series. This ending gave the story resolution in a way that simply “saving” the girl and flying off into the sunset would not.

Joss Whedon, much like Jesus, does in fact kill people for a reason. Even if its not the reason you like.

“In tune”. See what I did there?

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l311/unknown_exception/gaf/fry-see-what-you-did-there.jpg

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Damn I hadn’t even heard of this one. Either I’m getting less nerdy (unpossible given the number of times I’ve watched the watchmen trailer…) or Whedon is getting less relevant. I’m so bored with his shtick thatI’ll probably just look on youtube for someone to extract the fun singing bits without having to bother to watch the whole thing.

What I could not watch it all? But… but…

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Thomas Wilde said on July 21st, 2008 at 11:54 am

Now, given that it’s mostly a light comedy, this would be fine – you don’t typically watch a light comedy for deep character analysis – but the ending is Whedon wanting to have his cake and eat it too. “Look, it’s serious art,” he’s all but yelling.

Wow, I didn’t get that out of it at all, especially with the room full of ridiculous-looking supervillains.

I get a lot of the antipathy towards the ending, because Whedon is rapidly falling into an appalling habit of destroying everything good in the lives of any character he writes; one can only assume that Simon and Kaylee bucked the odds because there isn’t going to be a sequel to Serenity. As Marty says above, it’s almost to the point where

That said, if you couldn’t see that ending or something like it coming, I’m not sure what to tell you. Act Two is pretty much one long series of hints that this is not going to end well at all, with Hammer being revealed as actively malevolent and Billy being pushed to the limit. A comedy doesn’t necessarily have to have a happy ending, especially one where there’s no real “hero.”

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Thomas Wilde said on July 21st, 2008 at 11:54 am

Almost to the point where it’s to be expected, that is.

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Could it be that the reason I liked it was that I didn’t know it was Whedon, and therefore didn’t have to worry about a massive steaming clot of metacommentary filling my brain?

-mdk – still getting a t-shirt. looks like I gotta design it myself though.

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I’d have been more satisfied with a heel turn by Penny, myself.

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Oh, and say what you will, but Dr. H’s dark red Howie coat in Act III was choice.

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If there ever is a follow-up to this I wouldn’t be surprised if Horrible tried some sort of Frankenstein approach to the dead girlfriend problem.

In which case, well, the name “Bad Penny” is just there, isn’t it?

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Whedon made a bog-standard melodrama in keeping with all the standard conventions of melodrama that people are enjoying because it’s sort of novel in execution (he has a VBLOG!) and Neil Patrick Harris is in it. I don’t know what’s the big to-do. The ending isn’t a “plea for gravitas” any more than any of a million preceding TRAGIC!! endings to overacted farces.

I mean if you don’t like melodrama then fair enough but if you’re criticizing the ending because it fails its genre then really you’re just mistaking the genre.

I’ll even go so far as to say that the usual criticism of Whedon’s serial character killing doesn’t even apply here because it’s so emphatically not the standard “plotplotplotplotplotplotplot WASH DIES LOL plotplotplotplotplot” method he usually employs. (And I say this as someone who can’t stand Whedon’s goddamn obsessive serial character killing.)

Also,

The problem is that Captain Hammer is a one-note “stupid dickhead in position of authority” trope, which just gets in the way of Dr. Horrible’s complexity; surely Dr. Horrible must be in the right if he opposes Captain Hammer, and that ruins a lot of the character’s ambiguity.

??

Hammer’s dickheadedness is exactly what creates the ambiguity. If it weren’t for him there wouldn’t be ambiguity at all, Horrible would just be another would-be scumbag. Hammer’s dickheadedness is the show’s argument for the attractiveness of saying fuck it, I’ll be a scumbag, and then Penny’s coup de grace resolves that ambiguity by saying this right here, this is why you’re not supposed to be a scumbag.

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Evan: How about Penny Dreadful for her supervillain name?

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Actually, the classical *definition* of a comedy is that it has a happy ending. It’s not like tragedies can’t have funny bits, or that comedies couldn’t have terrible things — consider Much Ado About Nothing, which has that horrible humiliation, rejection, and ‘death’ of Hero. Whether it was classed as a comedy or a tragedy depended on whether order was restored at the end and love (or at least marriage) won out.

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The classical definition hasn’t applied for a while (otherwise we couldn’t say DR. STRANGELOVE is a comedy.)

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That said, I was expecting a comedy/comedic ending from this one up until after Captain Hammer ran out of the room. There’s not massive foreshadowing, or lots of the usual Whedon-y drama, in this one. I outright thought this WAS a comedy and was going to end with Penny telling both guys to piss off.

Then I was all, “Oh, fuck, I forgot this was a WHEDON show. D’oh.”

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Joss is like a bad parent. HE creates beautiful children then mistreats them.

He needs to be stopped.

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I’m surprised at all the hate on the ending. It’s the classic villain creation story, just done differently. Totally fits; didn’t see it as a grab for gravitas. Maybe I’m being more forgiving because I never watched Buffy (and so wasn’t over-Joss-ed?), or because I really didn’t expect more than some filler fluff, given the casual nature of the presentation.

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I dug it, and am really surprised at the outright hate some people are directing towards the ending. A comedy can’t also be sad?

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DOCTOR STEEL HAS BEEN DOING IT BIGGER, BETTER AND STRONGER SINCE 1999!
Real Super Villainy doesn’t rely on Whedon tropes or dick moves.
REAL MAD SCIENCE COMES FROM WITHIN!
http://worlddominationtoys.com/drsteel/toyland.html

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Oh, I’m so sick of people acting like Doctor Steel is the first ever singing Mad Scientist. Frederick Fronk-en-steen might disagree. Steel and Horrible have nothing in common save lab coats and songs. Get over it.

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Someone pointed out that — oh my god — they killed Penny (those bastards). While that’s not art, I don’t think anyone could mistake this for art. This was made for money on the scale of El Mariachi. We knew someone was going to die. My one regret is that it was the helpless female victim, and all the sociological baggage that entails.

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Maybe I’m being more forgiving because I never watched Buffy (and so wasn’t over-Joss-ed?), or because I really didn’t expect more than some filler fluff, given the casual nature of the presentation.

Buffy didn’t start really axing people until after it got canceled the first time. Then it got blood-bathy when actors started leaving the show. And, to be fair, when characters can be raised from the dead or turned into the undead, its really not such a big deal to put a hole in someone’s head.

I think what really got people riled up was the whole Serenity movie in which Whedon arbitrarily blew away some of the most popular characters. I’m still not sure whether I’m more pissed about Wash or Book, if only because Book had this epic untouched backstory that never got touched, but Wash played with dinosaurs and was awesome.

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The ending, with the song going and then going to nothing, was also a trick used in Buffy: in the episode about Anya where she figures out she can be alone, there’s a flashback to the musical episode where she sings then the ending cuts off to show a dramatic, depressing moment. It was a nice touch in that episode because it earned it, but he’s repeating himself now.

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I’m afraid you haters are wrong about this one! If Whedon’s comedy-turned-suddenly-tragic pisses you off it only fills me with more pleasure. Ah yesss. But seriously, did you really want a “change of heart” ending? What, really?
Maybe a more interesting critique of would be to suggest non-tragic yet non-corny endings to the story: maybe it can be done and Whedon should really try harder! But there really is no need to drag O. Henry’s rotting corpse into the affair.

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Non tragic, but non corny.

Bearing in mind that I’ve read the wikipedia article rather than seeing this so I’m mainly playing for fun here.

How about this Penny girl works out that the superhero is a douche and kicks him to the kurb and she also gives this Dr. Horrible guy an earful for being a supervillian. From the sounds of things she was the only character interested in increasing the sum total of human happiness so I can’t imagine she’d have much sympathy for either character.

Then she could have gone off to do some good in the world leaving the ending ambiguous as to whether Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer were going to take things on board or just carrying on as they had done. For added irony suggest that Captain Hammer was more likely to reform into a genuine hero worthy of the public’s acclaim, making Dr. Horrible even more jealous that the “Jock” was going to win.

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Actually, while I enjoyed the show well enough, I’d argue that when you start with characters and a plot that are as cliched as these, trying to arrive at an original ending would be about as difficult as it is in tic-tac-toe.

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grenadeh said on July 10th, 2015 at 5:45 am

I’ll preface my 7 years later comment by telling you beforehand: I purposely sought out whatever morons I could within my drunken level of caring, who were brazen enough to talk shit about DHSAB.

You say freeze ray (literally the first song, within the first 80 seconds of the play) is the best. That’s hilarious, because you say the rest of the songs aren’t catchy. Literally every song in the play is constructed in the same simplistic alternate rhyme scheme, and though freeze ray is acknowledgedly a good song, the rest of the songs are completely catchy and WONDERFUL.

Your viewers commented that the ending ruined the play. Are you all COMPLETELY retarded? Are you not familiar with anti-heroes? Penny had to die. The story had absolutely no message or point if shedidn’t die.

This is Dr. Horribles Sing-A-Long Blog. Not “Pennys sing a long blog”, not Cpt. Hammers sing along blog. Dr. Horrible. The protagonist. The anti hero. The main character.

Please dear lord tell me you are not stupid enough to be railing against a story that worked out 100% the way it was supposed to.

Hammer’s dickheadedness is a legit excuse for Dr Horrible being a scumbag? Are you mentally fucking retarded? Have you ever even read a story, much less written one?

Dr. Horrible was Dr. Horrible before Captain Hammer pissed him off. He was a failure of a villain (anti-hero) who in fact spent all his time failing at villainry and being thwarted over and over again by Captain Hammer. When he did have free time, he was too shy and anti-social to even talk to Penny. This is all 100% fucking explicitly evident from the play. So NO, Captain Hammer does not in apropos legitimize his douchebaggery – which doesn’t exist – nor does Horrible SUDDENLY decide that he’s going to be a scumbag.

Literally the entire play his lines seep with explicit expose intended to show you -accurately – how Dr. Horrible is in fact the legitimate protagonist of the story. Have you SERIOUSLY not heard of anti-heros before? It’s a 100+ year old literary construct. Joss Whedon did not come up with it.

And to the rest of your dumbass readers:

According to modern views, Comedy (from the Greek: κωμῳδία, kōmōidía) refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or to amuse by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, television, film and stand-up comedy

There’s nothing that dictates comedy can’t have a tragic ending. Or that tragedy can’t be comedy. There’s also nothing that says DHSAB is a comedy.

I mean, wow. I knew I would find something intensely stupid and written by someone who utterly lacks any ability to understand literature, but give me a break. This is one of the best plays in all of modern time – certainly better than Our Town or any of the crap we were forced to read in school, not to mention easily one of the top 5 musicals in history. Yet here you are, shitting on it for no reason save your own incompetence.

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