Review: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (Part 3)
 
Written by Matt, on 20-07-2008 10:58

drhorrible5.jpg What the fuck was that?

I might as well get it out of the way. If you want to read a positive review from a mind controlled kool-aid drinker, go to whedonesque. You won't get that here.

Anyone who tells you that the last act of Dr. Horrible was "brilliant" or "amazing" or anything like that is either a) Someone who doesn't know how a story is supposed to be structured or b) Likes anything at all times that Joss writes, therefore should never be able to write an objective piece.

Act III completely and totally ruins the first two acts, which were fun and light-hearted, and turns them into complete and utter mush. (More after the bump)

SPOILERS BELOW ---

Whereas the first two acts were all about the funny, the third act feels like a desperate attempt to make the characters matter in a dramatic way, and you can't pull that off realistically when the first two acts have nothing to do with that. It's reaching for something that isn't there. The music and the story pulls that off in this act with the blunt force trauma of a death ray. 

When Whedon doesn't have any clever ideas, he apparently pulls his old method of killing someone to finish off a story. He did that with Wash and Book in Serenity. He used Tara's death in Buffy as a transition for Willow. He does it constantly. In those aforementioned instances, I can even understand it....but in a light-hearted fare like Dr. Horrible, killing Penny makes absolutely no sense, makes no impact on a smart audience and KILLS the momentum of the story. It literally brings it to a screeching hault and made me (at my most reactionary) roll my eyes in disgust.

The music in the episode becomes serious, as Whedon and company try to turn the happy, peppy musical into a ill-fated drama like they flipped a coin to see which way they should go before filming it.

There is not a redeeming moment in the third act, as after Dr. Horrible sees the death of Penny, he becomes REALLY horrible, instead of FUNNY horrible. My opposition will say, "It's an origins story, don't you see that?" Yes, I see that and I say that's fucking retarded. It would be different if we got any really dramatic moments in the first two acts to give us any thought that this was an origins story that may or may not have a dramatic ending.....but we don't. Re-watch the friggin' show. There is nothing to suggest that we should be getting a tone in the third act that we inevitably get. Simply put, it's shock value for the sake of shock value, and it lands flat because we aren't invested in the characters like that. They are a funny escape from reality bunch, and we simply don't care in that way about them before the drama starts to have drama in the first place.

In closing, this is without a doubt the laziest writing I have ever seen out of a Mutant Enemy production, and a huge disappointment. I'm so offended as a fan of Joss that I won't be buying the DVD and I recommend you don't either. Dr. Horrible is appropriately named....it ended up being quite horrible.

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Users' Comments (4) RSS feed comment
Posted by Waterland, on 19-09-2008 10:45, IP 12.179.79.134, Registered
1. OMG! You killed Kenny!
Obviously I appreciate Joss Whedon's considerable talent, or I would not have visited this site. However, as he admits in the Firefly Official Companion (Volume I), he likes to kill principles and/or long term characters suddenly and without warning. If you are a Whedon fan, you are always waiting for the "you bastard!" moment--as in, oh my God, you kiled Buffy's Mom/Wash/Shephard Book/insert character here, you bastard! The problem with knowing Whedon's modus operandi is that the "unexpected" death starts to become expected, thus losing the power of emotional impact.
 
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Posted by crunchcrunch, on 10-08-2008 19:35, IP 71.246.193.111, Registered
2. "smart audience"
Did you not watch the beginning song of act 2? 
A "smart audience" would have picked up the developing feeling Dr. Horrible's getting, being disgusted with society. He feels as if he's better than them from the start. One gets a sense that the only thing keeping him human is Penny. She dies, he has nothing to live for, etc., he can now fuck with humanity as he pleases.
 
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Posted by spooky_sam1101, on 20-07-2008 21:29, IP 24.34.140.137, Registered
3. Whedon loves to hate love
I don't think there was shock value to Penny being killed,it's what whedon does he kills anyone someone loves or really likes. Look at Fred and Wesley, Whedon's all about loveing someone and never being able to be with them.
 
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Posted by Aeryn, on 20-07-2008 18:59, IP 70.173.44.252, Registered
4. Yea, gotta agree
Three fell flat for me. With Joss I figured it was Penny that was dead when the gun exploded. Who else could it have been? I watched all three for the first time last night, been avoiding it cause of all the hype. I found 1 to be really good. 2 was hilarious, 3 just wasn't up there for me like the others. During the credits, I was like damn I didn't know he had those brothers. LOL
 
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