Pick of the Week – September 28-October 4, 2015

When you spend most of your time in certain circles, you tend to get a warped view of what constitutes general knowledge.  For example, if you’re a big football fan and spend a lot of time talking with other fans, you just assume that everybody knows the name of the quarterbacks of every NFL team. 

The same holds true for me.  I assumed that everybody knew about this week’s Pick, but, as I’ve discovered from a few conversations with people who don’t share my interests, that is absolutely not the case.

What prompted said conversations was the recent premiere of Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris on NBC.  The series is basically a variety show with Harris hosting as well as performing in stunts, skits, dance numbers, and so on.  He is working VERY hard to entertain us. 

Many people still think of Harris has Doogie Howser, MD., though, and don’t realize that he has numerous theater credits and is a fantastic singer.  I didn’t know it myself until I watched this week’s Pick (Yes, I’m finally getting there): Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.  This very-mini-series (All three episodes add up to less than 45 minutes) tells the story of frustrated would-be supervillain, Dr. Horrible (Played by Harris), who is struggling with his inability to gain entry into the Evil League of Evil.  He is equally unable to talk to Penny (Played by Felicia Day), the woman he sees at his local laundromat and wants desperately to ask out.

Dr. Horrible came about as a result of the Writer’s Guild of America strike that started in late 2007 and ended in early 2008.  While the strike was in progress, Joss Whedon decided that he wanted to do something outside of the usual production avenues.  He, together with his brother, Jed Whedon, and Jed’s wife, Marissa Tancharoen (Both the current showrunners of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), wrote the script and the songs for the project, which Joss Whedon then directed.  It was released online in 2008 to rave reviews and great success.

The mini-series is very entertaining with great dialogue and catchy songs.  The cast also includes Nathan Fillion, who is glorious as superhero Captain Hammer, and Simon Helberg as Dr. Horrible’s sidekick, Moist.  Despite all of this, there are many people who have no idea that Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog exists. 

That needs to change.  Starting with you.  Go watch it!

- Alan Decker

@CmdrAJD on Twitter