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"And that's way beyond chaos, mate."
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July 19 2008

Review of Act III of Dr. Horrible. It's from Television Without Pity. Also, this one from Jim Treacher at Blowing Smoke the Movie. And Wizbang, TV Squad and as well. Also, Time magazine

[ edited by speechlady on 2008-07-21 18:32 ]

It was a story about how a man becomes a monster. There was no other way it could happen.

And I thank them for not taking the "My Fair Lady" approach. (Originally, Eliza never returned and it ended with Prof. Higgin's song alone, but despite all that she had said about her future with the other guy, they rewrote the ending to make her come back without sense and people ate it up... they dumbed it down. I'm glad they didn't do that with Dr. H.)
I'm watching it right now, and Nathan's song is cracking me up. I'm going to have it stuck in my head for days. And how people love him, even though he "hates the homeless" ness.

It all just proves that everything is not fun and games, and that even silly (not insignificant kind of silly, but goofy silly) can still be dramatic and impactful.

Can we get a commentary track for all of these acts?

And can I get the Dr. Horrible opening theme as a ringtone? Anyone? Anyone?
Am I the only one who thinks, Joss & co should team up with Seth & co fot a new Dr H segment of Robot Chicken.

***crickets chirping pretty loudly*** it must be warm out.

I guess it's just me then.
I just bought me an iPod nano...just so I could take Dr. Horrible to work and show the masses the genius of sad am I...
simply amazing.

joss and co. had the talent and grace to make me feel like they were giving me everything they had in acts i and ii, only to make both feel like pale foreshadowing with the third.

don't worry, captain hammer will save us.
I remember hearing Joss say he wanted to do sequels, and I thought "how could that work without just becoming the dreaded reset-fiction?" Well then. That answers the question.

I have to say, I'm not terribly in love with the ending. I had been hoping that Penny would see Dr. Horrible as an evil villain, just as DrH kept hoping, and then been totally unimpressed by it. Although, admittedly, they both accomplish the end of making him successful as a villain, but not getting what he really wants (he just wants to be loved!).

I hope a hypothetical sequel doesn't dwell too much on the "villain succeeds but at a cost" angle. A sequel shouldn't be an epilogue, and we already have Mark Waid's Empire. And Dr. Horrible can't become a real, non-low-rent supervillain!

[ edited by rufustfyrfly on 2008-07-19 17:41 ]

[ edited by rufustfyrfly on 2008-07-19 17:42 ]
The ending was typical Jossian approach to character pain. Captain Hammer's reaction to his first ever sensation of pain, while funny, really shows how he is not of heroic character because someone who is invulnerable and super strong needs no bravery to save the day.

Loved the cameos by Drew Goddard, Doug Petrie, David Fury and Marti Noxon. Is the Dave Tratchenberg with a producer credit of any relation to Michelle?

Also, Bad Horse is currently vying for the place of "my favourite supervillain evarrrr" against Luthor.
And I thank them for not taking the "My Fair Lady" approach. (Originally, Eliza never returned and it ended with Prof. Higgin's song alone, but despite all that she had said about her future with the other guy, they rewrote the ending to make her come back without sense and people ate it up... they dumbed it down. I'm glad they didn't do that with Dr. H.)

TheGamut | July 19, 15:13 CET

So you are happy that they were true to the source material?

(scratches head and looks quizzical for which I am sure there is a combination of punctuation marks...)
CaffeinatedSquint, can you please e-mail me? My address is
Rufustyfly, I myself do believe Penny saw Billy as Dr. Horrible - if only for an instant - which was instantly lost in shock; not conveyed in her final words. As I posted somewhere above, she appears to whisper "Billy, buddy" as he is about to blast Dr. Hammer with his Death Ray, just before the Freeze Ray fails.

[ edited by napua on 2008-07-19 18:39 ]
What's this "through the chest" fetish Joss? My goodness. Tara, Wash and now . There are other vital areas, you know. Just sayin'.

[ edited by quantumac on 2008-07-19 21:29 ]

[ edited by quantumac on 2008-07-19 21:31 ]
Quantumac, it's because home is in your chest.
What's this "through the chest" fetish Joss?

Not to mention Giles (not ultimately fatal, but still!).

But nevermind the main character chest wound deaths--how about the hundreds and hundreds of staked vampires?
CaffeinatedSquint: Can we get a commentary track for all of these acts?

Joss says there'll be two commentary tracks on the DVD, one of them musical. You'll just have to be pateent. :)

ETA: Hee, I don't know what pateent means but hopefully it's similar to patient. ;)

[ edited by cabri on 2008-07-19 23:24 ]
I love most of Joss' creations, pain and all, but sometimes I just want to give the guy a puppy.
Or kittens, he loves rolling in kittens.
Yeah, this was expectedly made of awesome... but the cliché remains I'm afraid. It's not nearly as brutal here as it usually is seeing as we had less than an hour to get to know the "lucky victim", but the fact remains that Joss just gets off on killing.

The man is a monster, clearly. ;)

Grr. Argh.
What the hell was the frezze ray going to do to him? - really!
Cap.Hammer's from canada he's used to to the ("F@#$ing cold")...
"It's not death ray or an ice beam..."

It stops time, not makes things cold.
Joss says there'll be two commentary tracks on the DVD, one of them musical

Ah, he did, cabri? Cool. I was just thinking that apart from the musical commentary, I'd also like a regular commentary track on this with probably some more insight. Still looking forward to the musical one as well, though. I have no idea how that'll work out, in practice. Will it feature songs we'll end up loving, or will it be more of a gimmick? Guess we'll have to wait and see. Being 'pateent' is hard ;)
Don't see this review anywhere--the first review I've read that was mostly unfavorable. TCPalm . I guess you can't please everyone.

[ edited by spikeangellover on 2008-07-20 02:34 ]
It would've been scary if Dr. Horrible got no bad reviews. And for a bad review, that one's even sort-of positive ;)
GHV, I'm still waiting to see if at some point people have midnight showings of Dr. Horrible where they sing-along to the commentary track.

Meanwhile, in case people haven't seen them, and just for the record, taken from iTunes these are the loglines for each act, in order.

Dr. Horrible blogs about his plans to take over the world, his dislike for Captain Hammer, his latest brainchild the Freeze Ray, and his adoration of Penny from the laundromat.

Dr. Horrible is disheartened by the budding romance between his dream girl and his arch nemesis, while the Evil League of Evil urges him to take his efforts to the next level.

News of Captain Hammer's newfound social concern has the whole town talking, but Dr. Horrible has other plans for him.

GVH, the parallel between Dr. Horrible and the Nerds -- with the exception of Warren, who was moving from ordinary guy spinelessness to sociopathy, the nerds had no idea what being "supervillains" entailed.

Deleted rest of very long post as I mistakenly posted here instead of thread I'd intended to post in. Oops and apologies.

[ edited by Shapenew on 2008-07-20 04:04 ]
I mean, without Penny's death, I think the great majority of viewers would have been all in favor of seeing Captain Hammer curled up in the fetal position, wailing on his therapist's rug. Do we want that enough for what it took to get him there?
I got the impression that the Captain's wailing had a lot more to do with him losing than Penny.

RanvenU -

Am I the only one who thinks, Joss & co should team up with Seth & co fot a new Dr H segment of Robot Chicken.
My first reaction was, "no, I want the actors". But then it occurred to me - why not both? Dr. Horrible will probably never have a big special effects budget, so use Robot Chicken style animation for those parts. I think it's a great idea!
Bix, or maybe people will sing to both, with one half of the audience doing the commentary and the other half the actual story :)

Shapenew, I agree that for Jonathan and Andrew, the situation was different. I'm a bit too tired (heading off for sleep soon, it's 5:30 in the morning here ;)) to make a coherent case right now, but I do feel that there's a difference between how Andrew and Jonathan got caught up in everything and the things they did, and what Billy/Dr. Horrible went through here, but I can't quite put my finger on it right now. I still feel that the perfect Buffyverse parallel is Faith.

Also: you're replying to something I said on that other Act III thread, heh :). This one isn't so large at only 27 comments ;)

Witchlover: I'm not sure about that. I'd have to rewatch the scene, but I think there was actual grief at Penny's death there. He was still a tool, but he did redeem himself somewhat during Act III.
Even after watching Joss for years--- and KNOWING that someone will die.. I was still shocked.
Damn and wow
I've been the reading the Television Without Pity forum thread on Dr Horrible (17 pages starting with Act I). It's kind of heartbreaking reading all the bubbly sweet innocent comments as the message timestamps count up to Act III's release. The line "lambs to the slaughter" kept running through my mind.

After Act III, somebody quipped rather nicely that Joss has a PhD in Horribleness.
Bix, or maybe people will sing to both, with one half of the audience doing the commentary and the other half the actual story

I have a horrific headache, and I realize that for the next few weeks various forms of the word 'horrible' are going to find it's way into anything I say, internally or out loud. And I can't believe I didn't see what happened to Penny coming.

A sing along commentary for the audience to sing while watching the blog is a cool idea,(a la Rocky Horror Picture Show, except of course, it being sung), but not both singing of the commentary and the other half of the audience singing along with the songs. It'd be horribly chaotic. (See. Did it again.)
PS Poor Billy, buddy. :(
witchlover, I meant that we wanted to see Captain Hammer taken down a peg, which is why I thought he was crying (that, and getting physically hurt). I didn't think he was crying over Penny either, except that failing to save her made him even look even less heroic (not sure he ever got that he killed her).
Have we had this review yet from IGN?:
@newcj: Please check your source material. Shaw's Pygmalion (the source for My Fair Lady) did NOT end with Eliza and Prof. Higgins together.
I've added Mrs.BigPileofDust's two links and zillah's links to the entry. If you know of anymore just post them as a comment and they'll get added to the entry. It does save considerable space on the front page.
I thought I heard Captain Hammer whimpering to his therapist something along the lines of "And then it hit my groin". If that is accurate, then he is still fixated on feeling pain for the first time.
Nah, Saje posted what he heard in that couch-scene on the Gigantic-Mutant-Whedonesque-Thread[tm] and it seems that as I mentioned above, Captain Hammer is truly grieving for Penny. Other than that I feel that he was already changing somewhat in Act III (still being a tool about it, but changing nontheless).
I'm with Witchlover and Shapenew here. Can't see that Cpt. Hammer showed any change or sense of remorse. I heard him whining to his therapist about feeling pain, not about feeling "loss". Guy like that really wouldn't do wuss well.
Quoting Saje from the other thread, talking about what he hears in the couch-scene

can't make out first line ("I mean it" ETA: "I feel it", "i'm grieving" ??)

"... in my [or maybe "the"] heart" ETA: Nope, pretty sure it's "my"

"... it went in her and she died"

Seems to be like he's actually grieving the loss and not just about feeling pain. He's certainly still a tool, but he's much more 'human' now than he was before. I see that as change.

ETA: typo
ETA-the-sequel: wait, that's wrong. I didn't add a typo, I removed one :p

[ edited by GVH on 2008-07-20 14:44 ]

[ edited by GVH on 2008-07-20 14:45 ]
While I found it generally enjoyable and very funny in all the right parts, I must confess...

I also found it very predictable.

NPH did a fantastic job on the final number!

But yeah...totally predictable Joss.

I personally assumed this was going to happen, and thoroughly enjoyed acts 1 and 2, and went in to 3 prepared for it and enjoying the ride until then.

But I'm sure it was a total shock for non-Joss initiated! I bet they though he would be saved from his evil ways by the love of his life. Or go evil and she leaves him. Which did sort of happen. But not in the way that a non-Joss initiated would have expected.

Just my two cents.
a total shock for non-Joss initiated

I wouldn't say whedonesque if filled with many "non-Joss initiated", Irishrose ;). To a lot of us, it certainly did come as a shock. I for one, contemplated the possibility, but thought the tone of Acts I & II were wrong for it (and most of the reviews went on about the funny and not the drama, etc.), so I 'fell for it again' as did many others here. And even the people who did see it coming, were still hit by the very emotional last few minutes regardless. Not everyone, sure, but a lot of us, judging from the reaction in The Other Thread :). So I guess what I'm saying is: you can leave the 'for non-Joss initiated' part off there ;)
I fell for it too. I guess we're hopeless romantics that way.

Expecting the worse and hoping for the best.

Boy he's great.
I don't get the need for shock, surprise and unpredictability. Because that's over with after the first time. What matters to me is execution and the impact of the story. That's why I've rewatched Joss' creations and own the DVDs, etc etc etc.

That's what Joss always does, and what always kills me is not necessarily the deaths themselves, but the reactions and aftermath of the deaths. And in one thread or another someone else said it but I'm agreeing.

What really crushed me and what made it different than anything he did before (as the overall story) was how it destroyed both the hero and the villain, and the utter lack of uplifting hope at the end.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2008-07-20 17:10 ]
I think that might have been me, pat (and if not, then it was me, echoing others' previously stated opinions ;)), but yes: the aftermath, the reactions to the death is the key. Here the death of Penny in itself is just a short moment, but the way it changes Billy into a true villain and makes him numb and changed, is what hits home.

But that doesn't negate the fact that the death itself can be - and was for most - shocking in itself, obviously :)
Review of all acts by the online version of German magazine Der Spiegel
The text is full of errors (they got the names of Felicia and Maurissa wrong, say that Dr. Horrible was released on YouTube and imply that Captain Hammer is one of Bad Horse' henchmen, to name a few), but apart from that, they seem to like it.

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