Look, I didn’t even know this existed until Andrea/adaptation commissioned this from me. I’d seen Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog way back in… 2009? I think Mark Reads Twilight was still going on at the time. I’d never seen anything by Joss Whedon, and I liked what I saw. It was silly, it was a musical AND I LOVE MUSICALS, and then it had a sad ending and I really love sad endings.
Since then, I’ve seen it more times than I can count, but always online. I’d never bothered to purchase a DVD version of it because of reasons. Actually, I guess I don’t purchase many DVDs at all these days, but that’s not the point. Obviously, this is how I missed out on the musical commentary track, but even then, none of you ever seemed to mention it. It wasn’t a spoilery, off-limits topic, and yet NO ONE EVER TOLD ME THIS EXISTED.
OH GOD. OH GOD.
Honestly, I fully expected this to be a commentary track. I’ve read many of the comments in this community that alude to or contain full transcripts of the commentary for most of Joss’s shows, and I’ve enjoyed what I read. So I thought, “Hey, I bet this will just be really interesting and fun, and it’ll be a fun commission.”
IT’S A FULL MUSICAL. OH MY GOD. And it even sounds like a commentary track, as if they’re all in the same room, spontaneously singing. Well, to an extent, that is. See… okay, I hope this isn’t blasphemous, but these songs almost sound better than those in Dr. Horrible itself. WHICH IS NOT SAYING THAT DR. HORRIBLE IS BAD. IT ISN’T. But they’re fucking great. I don’t even know if I can pick a favorite! “Strike” brilliantly summarizes the Writer’s Strike in 2008, and “Ten Dollar Solo” is just TOO PERFECT FOR WORDS. And then there’s that moment where Nathan Fillion is sing-bragging about being better than Neil, and then he appears on screen, and then it’s during the part where he’s choking Neil Patrick Harris. It could not be timed better.
Musically, “Ninja Ropes” is probably my favorite composition, and I love the stereotypes Maurissa cycles through in “Nobody’s Asian in the Movies.” But I might choose “Heart (Broken)” as the most clever song, where Joss sings (Joss sings!!!!!) about how all this behind-the-scenes mumbo jumbo has dissected and ruined his art, which is highly ironic considering he is giving a behind-the-scenes on the behind-the-scenes commentary. My brain just broke. (“You’d be ignored at Comic-Con!” OH GOD, I LOVE IT.)
I’m excited to give these songs a listen again because they’re really good, and I wish there was a musical theater show aside from Glee or Blackpool that I could review for Mark Watches because I LOVE MUSICALS SO, SO, SO MUCH. Perhaps I’ll put up a review on Christmas Day for Les Miserables, though I warn you it might just be 2,000 words worth of sobbing because I cannot begin to explain the feelings I have for Les Miserables.