Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An Ode to Villainy and Joss Whedon

I have, in the past, made mention of Joss Whedon and his show Firefly. Firefly was probably the greatest television show to be canceled after only eleven episodes. Whedon also did Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, which I have a certain respect for and which were far greater commercial successes. What all of these shows have in common is Whedon’s ability to take B movie concepts and turn them into something special. With Buffy and Angel it was through satire; these were cheesy horror shows that spoofed cheesy horror shows, themselves included. Firefly was a sci-fi western that spoofed both science fiction and westerns aplenty, but managed to be so much more. It is a show that one cannot watch without getting attached and, upon getting to the end and realizing there is no more, finding oneself shaking ones fists at the universe demanding more. There is a reason why, despite the fact that the show failed, a movie version was made; the fans would not give up on it.

Whedon has established himself as one of the great outside the box thinkers in Hollywood, a talent on display in a short film, made for the internet, titled Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Dr. Horrible is a musical send up to cheesy science fiction villains. The main character, Dr. Horrible, played to perfection by Neil Patrick Harris, is a lovable but hapless science geek, who yearns to become a great villain. He is in the process of trying to invent a freeze ray to aid him in his villainy and win the heart of the girl of his dreams. Standing in the way of this noble dream is Dr. Horrible’s tendency toward mishaps and his arch-nemesis, Captain Hammer, played by Nathan Fillion of Firefly fame.

Those familiar with my sense of humor will understand why I feel such a strong kinship with Dr. Horrible. I have a thing for high villainy and world domination. Add in some heartwarming melodies and it makes me want to rub my hands together in a Montgomery Burns sort of way. Excellent!

Act I of Dr. Horrible has already been posted and acts II and III will be coming up in the next few days. The film will be available to watch for free until July 20.

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