Dr. Horrible on DVD: Putting your Commentary to Music   1 comment

Continuing my tradition of being slow on the uptake and among the last to review things, I figured that it wouldn’t be terrible to do a review of the DVD of Dr. Horrible.  For once I thought I was actually on the ball, but when I told a friend that I’d just ordered the DVD I was informed that he’d been reading reviews of it for a while now.  Those reviews, he said, announced that the disc was a bit cheap and non-commercial and that most of the money had gone to the box.

I have to tell you: I really didn’t notice it that it was a cheap DVD.  I didn’t at all.  If I hadn’t been told, I don’t think I would be even commenting on it right now.

One of the difficulties with Dr. Horrible’s transition to DVD, though, was sound quality.  A lot of the stuff that sounded wonderful on a computer speaker sounded less glamorous when given the full support of the speakers on my TV set.  The only other comment that I would make regarding Dr. Horrible’s switch to DVD regards the act breaks.  I really wish that rather than just saying “Act Two” and “Act Three” at the act breaks, it had actually gone through the full credit sequence each time like it does when you watch it online.  A part of that is because the nerd in my likes completeness.  The presentation nerd in me, though, wants it for a different reason: the act openers are when you familiarize yourself with Dr. Horrible’s theme music.  You’re given those three moments when you view the musical online to really get to feel that theme music and catch a glimpse of the sort of mood that Dr. Horrible wishes he could evoke in others.

Having viewed it thusly online, when that music begins playing near the end of Act Three at the homeless shelter, the viewer can really get the feeling that This Is His Moment.  The theme music playing then really establishes it as a moment of glory for him that has the potential to shape the rest of his life.  With the shortened act intros, I’m not so convinced that the new viewer will so readily get that feeling.  It’s a small nit for me to pick at, but there it is.

Now the biggest draw for this new DVD is, of course, the special features.  As the musical itself is available easily enough to online viewers (at least the online viewers in the States) the commentary and making of features and seeing the winners for the ELE Application Video contests really amount to the cost of the DVD that you’re holding.

The most advertised DVD feature, I think, would be the addition of “Commentary: The Musical!”  Now, setting things to musical that should not be set to musical is a long running gag, and whenever something new comes out that would be horrible to set to music you can bet that someone, somewhere has jokingly announced the musical version of it, sometimes even going so far as to rapidly improvise the first few bars of the song.

Every once in a while, someone follows through on such a concept, if only to drive home just what a bad idea it is.  “Commentary: The Musical!” is a bad idea, and the execution was similarly bad, which is where a great deal of the humor lies.  Its saving grace is that you have folks like Joss Whedon working on it, and Joss knows how to make a musical (to date, Spike’s “Let Me Rest In Peace” song from “Once More, With Feeling” is one of my favorite songs in TV show history.)  The musical follows all of the stereotypical Broadway tropes that you’d expect, and consists mostly of filler.

All in all, I would claim that “Commentary: The Musical!” is at least as good a special feature, if not better in many respects, than the full episode of Everybody Loves Hypnotoad that was included on the Bender’s Big Score DVD (yes, I’ve watched both of them.  Yes, I’m a nerd.)

All in all, Commentary: The Musical! is tolerable, but only because they also provide actual, non-musical commentary for you to listen to.  Call me old fashioned, but if you’re gonna do a special musical number for your commentary, you should also have a non-musical version as well.

Oh, and kudos to the ELE applicants.  Good quality work (my favorite was the second one, the orphan who controlled air.)  And the Dishonorable mention list was hilarious to watch, just at the sheer magnitude of villainous names.


One response to “Dr. Horrible on DVD: Putting your Commentary to Music

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  1. Hehe we all like completeness and we are all nerds. ;P

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