Well, I was originally going to wait until all three episodes came out of Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog before commenting, but thanks to James you’ll get my inexpert opinion early. Right now, in fact.
First, as James points out, it’s not the best thing Joss Whedon has done. It’s not Hush, it’s not Objects In Space, it’s not Once More With Feeling. But we have all of them already, so frankly who cares? Dr Horrible is still a joyous little slice of Internetdom, and if you haven’t gone to see it yet, or if you have but failed because of their server issues, then go there now. And if they have server issues again, keep on going until you see it.
Now for the bad things.
- Act I is clearly the first part of a single episode. On TV we’d see it all at once; on the Internet, with the bits coming out separately, it doesn’t quite seem to pace right. This will no doubt work better with Act II, because it’ll have the cliff-hanger, and Act III will slot it all together. So that’s, you know, coming along.
- The server going down, which probably wasn’t their fault but their ISP’s. But really, even though this is really just a bunch of creative people having fun and producing good product, someone should have thought about that. The ISP, probably.
- Sometimes, the budget (almost nothing) shows. Rarely, because the people working on it are top-notch, but there are a few times where things aren’t perfect. Most people probably won’t notice, but I’m obsessive about that, and spending far too much of my time thinking about where to shave money from film budgets for the web myself.
- Speaking of budget: no one other than Joss Whedon could have done this. (Or almost no one.) The number of highly talented people happy to jump on board without getting paid is what made this; sure, it’d still be fun if it was just Joss and his family, but it wouldn’t look professional. Getting Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day made it work. Getting Shawna Trpcic to costume design. Getting Lisa Lassek to edit.
- It’s not going to change the industry. A look at comparative searches for Dr Horrible compared to Dollhouse, or even for Joss Whedon himself, shows it’s barely registering. Although it will be talked about a lot inside the industry, and although I’m confident that it will actually turn a profit, this itself isn’t going to change much. It’s part of a wider movement, though, so let’s keep paying attention, even if you think LonelyGirl is annoying. Which it is.
But these are gripes, they aren’t complaints. I watched it twice, and I was smiling inside. And outside. And in Sainsbury’s, when I went shopping. Watch it. Then watch it again. Then go to bed, have a dull day at work, go to bed (again), and wake up to Act II. Watch that a lot, watch the first one again a few times, sleep a bit, and it’ll be time for Act III. Seriously, what else do you have to do with your time?