Musings of a fandom geek

Sometimes, you’ve just got to say “The laws of time and space? Who gives a smeg?”

“Listen close to everybody’s heart, and hear that breaking sound.”

Posted by Michael Warren on July 17, 2008

You know, it’s funny. I thought nothing could beat Act One for humour, power, and acting.

I should have known I’d be wrong.

Act Two of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is here, and it’s better than Act One.

Spoilers within…

So, Penny and Captain Hammer have started dating – and it’s not making Dr. Horrible particularly happy. Although in his civilian guise, he’s actually getting closer to the girl of his dreams now, Hammer is still there – and he’s getting closer to the girl of Dr. Horrible’s dreams too. Much too closer. After the FreezeRay fails rather badly – “Captain Hammer… threw a car at my head” – the only option left for Horrible to get into the Evil League of Evil is to kill someone. And, after an encounter between the supervillain and his nemesis at the laundromat, Horrible suddenly realises that, despite his qualms, there is someone he’d be quite pleased to kill – Captain Hammer…

If you thought the first act was strong, the second one will blow you away. The songs are even more powerful, the acting is even better, and the dialogue continues to sparkle – “Billy, you’re driving a spork into your leg”, “Oh, goodness, look at my wrist – I gotta go!”, “And these [my fists] are not the Hammer… the Hammer is my penis”.

There’s a clever bit of foreshadowing just prior to the revelation that Hammer knows who Billy is – in the first blog post of the act, Horrible tells his viewers that Penny is the girl of his dreams; then, in the next one, he notes that Hammer is a reader of his blog. Therefore, Hammer already knows that Horrible has a thing for Penny – and it all fits together nicely.

For me, this is very much Felicia Day‘s act – two wonderful and yet different performances here: the enthusiastic crusader for those who need help and girl in love in the opening number, and the caring friend in her solo number in the middle. The songs have different styles, and yet she captures them both brilliantly. In general, it’s interesting that there’s a wider variety of musical style here than in the first act – by the end, I think we may cover all the major genres. All three main songs are well-written, well-sung, and capture the mood.

Of course, Neil Patrick Harris is still magnificent, showing a Dr. Horrible beginning to descend into true evil, yet still desperate to maintain a connection with Penny. It’s funny how he only manages to speak to her, and establish a relationship with her, after he may already have lost her. You feel desperately sorry for him – even when he realises he can kill Captain Hammer…

Nathan Fillion does feel underused, though.

It’s a good job I never gave Act One a score – because I’m not too sure how you give a grade better than 10/10…

A***, then – and desperate for Saturday to come around.

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