Dr. Horrible & The Buffy Horror Picture Show
Once more, with feeling... Having missed all panel discussions Friday at Dragon*Con (including the intriguingly titled "Lake Monsters I Have Known," "Becoming a Goddess" and "Lights! Camera! Cthulhu!"), I decided to take a break from the awesome people watching and jump wholeheartedly into the Whedon Universe. First I joined hundreds of people for a live version of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Despite the fact that Nathan Fillion was at the fest, amateur actors filled the roles of Dr. Horrible, Captain Hammer and the whole Sing-Along gang, while the original video played on a screen beside the stage. The crowd indeed sang along and even chimed in with lines like "Because the status is not quo," "I hold a PhD in horribleness," and of course, "The hammer is my penis."
I somehow hadn't yet watched the 43-minute video, and I have to say, it
may be the best thing to come out of the recent writers' strike.
Created by Joss Whedon with the help of his family members, Dr. Horrible stars Neil Patrick Harris as an evil genius who's doing all he
can to get into the Evil League of Evil. Fillion plays the dashing-but-shallow superhero Captain Hammer who continually thwarts his plans. It's
a one-off musical comedy from the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel,
Firefly and the upcoming Dollhouse—in
other words, an instant cult classic. As a costume at Dragon*Con, Dr.
Horrible was only topped by the Joker, Captain Jack Sparrow and
half-naked Spartans. But that's not counting all the Captain Hammer t-shirts.
The encore was a performance of The Buffy Horror Picture Show, another reenactment of a Joss Whedon creation, this time the Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode "Once More With Feeling," complete with inside jokes, propless sight gags and the requisite booing of Michelle Trachtenberg. I found myself alternately watching the screen and the antics on stage, even though I'd seen the episode before. The poster-board commentary of "Willow can't sing" and "Shut up, Dawn!" were funny, but what really made the event were the hundreds of people in the audience singing along with Sunnydale. This was the Whedon Universe, and for the first time during the crazy Dragon*Con day, I didn't feel like an outsider.