Continuing with my Whedonverse Thursday theme, I am going to do a character profile of another wonderful character from the Whedonverse: Dr. Horrible, himself!
When the writer's strike happened in 2008 there was a lot put on hold - it was depressing to a certain degree and we'll forever feel the repercussions of the writer's strike - whenever I go to watch the 4th season of Lost, I think about that strike! All the seasons were shorter and TV was soooo boring! Of course, the writer's strike did have one wonderfully positive outcome: freelance projects, mainly - Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog from the wonderfully amusing mind of Joss Whedon (and his brother and co. who came up with the catchy, awesome songs).
The main character, Dr. Horrible, is played perfectly by Neil Patrick Harris, who as we all know, has no problem blogging his everyday occurrences :). I know part of my love for this character is due to NPH (whom I love to no end), but there is more to the character than simply a wonderful actor.
Dr. Horrible, while horrible, is actually a sensitive guy with big goals. However bad he wants to be - he just can't quite meet the standard of Bad Horse. He wants to rule the world, but honestly, he just wants the pretty girl in the laundromat to give him the time of day. He's just so relate able - which is hilarious because he's a super villian that wants to be in the Evil League of Evil. But you know, we've all had lofty goals we desperately want to reach - and sometimes, on your way, you liquidate the gold you stole from the bank - it happens.
Dr. Horrible has layers (like an onion or parfait) - he's not just evil. I love to learn more about the villains of a piece, especially if they aren't just shallow. I love that you root for him - evil deed or buying yogurt. You identify completely with him and want him to succeed in his quest. I love the bad guy as the hero - it always makes you question your moral compass just a little bit.
Really, it's his love for Penny that is his redeeming quality - how can a character that is so horrible love so greatly? But it totally and completely works - he loves Penny, but he desperately needs to prove himself.
He is such a delightfully flawed character; it is almost like he decided to be evil before he decided who he wanted to really be. He almost doesn't have a choice and to a certain extent doesn't want one. I love that he's this timid, shy guy in real life - his super villain alter-ego is really his shield - he can hide his real self behind it. And when you are hiding your real self, you start to lose that self more and more. I don't think he even knows who "Billy" really is anymore. At the end of the story, he completely gives Billy up and invests completely in Dr. Horrible - I think that's what he was missing all along; why his plans didn't work, why he couldn't break down that barrier - he was still holding on to that real part of himself. He had to let go of the best parts of himself to meet his goal - simply because he never saw himself for who he truly was.
A lesson from Dr. Horrible. Who knew?
Joss Whedon. That's who. Damn, he's a freakin' genius.