Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dr. Horrible: Act Two

Sorry I didn't post on this earlier. My friend Sue's been over for a few days, and we watched Act Two this morning, but then I haven't had a chance to post.

I think I liked the first 15 minutes more than the second, but then again, if this were one episode (and 42 minutes would equal one television episode) then I'd be thinking of it as one whole and not three parts of a whole. Usually the middle part is the exposition, with the opening and ending being the biggest parts.

Maybe it's Nathan Fillion. I think he's a god, and he's only in the beginning of this part (hilariously, but not speaking) and then at the end, where he's a RIOT. I think Harris is inspired as well, but I'm not sold on Felicia Day yet. The songs are great, but she whispers through every song and I just don't feel anything for her.

Perhaps it's because, if you really want to break it down and look at it analytically, the show is turning on its head the idea of good and evil: Captain Hammer fancies himself as good, but he's a wanker. Dr. Horrible believes he's evil, but he has a soft spot for Patty, kids in a park, and pretty much anyone in peril. Hammer stands tall, never removes his uniform (not even his giant black gloves), and is full of ego. Horrible is vulnerable, has facial ticks (watch whenever he has a pang of regret for something -- usually Patty related -- and he closes his eyes tight, very quickly), and is uncomfortable with who he is.

Enter Patty. She volunteers at a homeless shelter, and therefore is a good person. So I can't really latch onto her very much, because I have no reason to like her, other than the fact I'm expected to like her.

All of this is to say that the second act didn't work as much for me as the first, simply because it was more about Patty than anything else. But still, it had its awesome moments:

-the musical counterpoint between Horrible and Patty at the beginning (Joss loves to have two people singing different things at the same time, like Giles and Tara in OMWF)

-Hammer wiping his shoulder after the homeless person touches it

-The conversation between Horrible and Patty at the laundromat

-Patty: He's a really good-looking guy and I thought he was kinda cheesy at first...
Horrible: Trust your instincts.

-"I need to be a little more careful about what I say on this blog..."

-Moist attempting in vain to open a jar (anyone else thinking they'd have loved to have seen him as part of the Troika?)

-Horrible: I want to be an achiever... like Bad Horse.
Patty: The thoroughbred of sin?!
Horrible: I meant... Gandhi.

-"Oh! Goodness! Look at my wrist, gotta go!"

-Hammer: Wait, I don't go to the gym... I just NATURALLY look like this!

-Hammer threatening Horrible in metaphor

And the best one: "The hammer is my penis."


Anonymous said...

First, it's "Penny", not "Patty". Also, HOW DARE YOU!!! Felicia Day is, imo, great in this role; she plays it timid and, okay, none-too-bright. If that bothers you, fine, though I'm happy to say it works perfectly for me.

Sidenote: I've had a soft spot for redheads since seeing The Little Mermaid as a kid.

Like Nikki, I've got mad love for the opening duet -- I like it even better than Amber Benson and Tony Head's. Unlike Nikki (again) I don't think Act 2 lost focus dwelling on Penny. Horrible appropriately remains the centre of attention as he deals with Penny dating Cheesy and Bad Horse's order to kill someone.

This installment is darker than the first, which is to be expected -- 1st act to introduce characters and conflict, 2nd to ratchet up tension, scriptwriting 101 -- and I liked it better, if only for the last number. "It's a brand new daaayayayyy...."

Cedar said...

Yes, I too liked Act 2 better than Act 1--not sure why, though, other than the number of times I laughed aloud (even in public as I listened to it on my iPod while walking my dog). I think (and this is just tentative early thoughts on the matter) that the very thing I'm enjoying about Dr. Horrible is its blatant play with (lack of) subtext. Just when you think there might be subtext (albeit obvious), Captain H. returns to announce "The hammer is my penis." LOL.

Nikki Stafford said...

Oh, Not That JJ... you'll always be the Captain Hammer to my Dr. Horrible.