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Dr. Horrible's Deep Analysis
December 6, 2008
5:01 pm
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SchoekoladenBaer
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I must say, what an interesting topic!  I certainly wasn't expecting to see this sound of thing on the board!  While my initial analysis was more in line with the OP's reprinted-with-permission text, this thread has been much enlightening. 

That said, (I'm not going to reference every single person's post I'm referring to...waaayy too much work, I hope y'all don't mind..) firstly, I must say that I feel that Dr. Horrible's picking up of Penny and placing her on the stretcher was not in a way placing a close on his Billy-ness, but instead staying attached to it.  If her were to say goodbye to his Billy-ness, I believe he would have likely done something and simply left her where she lay and left as a goodbye (of course, the action taken admittably could be interpretted as a final favor, a final goodbye to Penny, but I digress, this is why analyzing hurts my heads in bad books). 

Now, as for his change at the end, we need to examine his reasons for being a super-villain--because he can, because of the money, the fame, and the thrill, but also the social change.  Assuming (and this is a big leap.. don't blame me, I'm new to having the ability to analyze like normal people) that his want for social change is fueled by disgustingly (my word) good people like Penny, then we can assume that when Penny dies (in no way his fault as a whole, I believe, for he made two Billy-moves [up until Penny's death, I believe Billy was the dominant personality part] first was the hesitation-I think a pure Dr. Horrible would not have hesitated no matter what, such is his scorn for Captain Hammer, and second was the \"gah shucks\" move that he in a way forced himself to do, which is very characteristic of Billy, the real person underneath the Supervillain vineer of Dr. Horrible, who is more shy and unsure, and more \"gah shucks, gee golly\".  He even tried to warn Captain Hammer about the damaged Death Ray, even though there were innocents [who he frankly could probably care less about, as the Dr. Horrible part probably (yes probably again, I'm hopping on a lot of limbs, I know) feels they are just sheep who are a part of the problem of society by perpetuating its problems (ok I might be injecting myself now...), but he still didn't know that Penny was there, so he was honestly caring for someone's well-being other than he own (a death ray blowing up near him would probably hurt about the same as being shot by one-especially if it was intended to kill the nigh-invincible Captain hammer).  Thus the only fault we can really attribute to him towards her death (other than his undertaking of this plan, which frankly wasn't an option for him, because he'd have no future without this escapade), would be the shoddy plastic construction of his death beam..long aside) he [Doctor Horrible in case you forgot] essentially loses any and all reason to be Billy, if not for the normal experience of going to the dry cleaners to see Penny x times a week (he could get a henchman), and if not for social change for the innocent (a logical leap if you recall), then what?  So in the end, when he says he feels nothing, he feels nothing on the outside, because instead of switching between his gradiose protection personality of Doctor Horrible in most cases to his original, vulnerable Billy, who only comes out for Penny, he just stays with the Doctor Horrible shell on, thus leaving him unfeeling. 

Okay, with that long spiel, I completely forgot anything and everything else I was going to analyze and say.  A hearty thanks to all of the above posters for their contributions of ideas.  It was quite enlightening.

January 14, 2009
8:45 am
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December 11, 2008
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I love reading how people just take something and blow it out of proporation trying to understand it.  I do it too but it's funnier to see other people do it. Those are some interesting theories everyone has. XD

I am The Green Dragon I leave no trail behind. I go about my evil deeds without stressing my mind. No one has ever caught up to me as they say. Then again people fear me more and more each day.
August 18, 2009
2:48 pm
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jonnybegoode
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I posted something similar on the imdb forums to the post who analyzed Horrible/Billy as a struggle of two people. We can see through the entire film a conflict for dominance but also a sort of cooperation.

Horrible convinces Billy to go along with his schemes because the power, fame (and social change) he can accomplish will win Penny over.

Billy stops Horrible from doing some of the more heinous deeds by appealing to vanity and cold efficiency. For instance not battling Johnny Snow in a park with kids -- the good Doctor has better things to do. He stops Horrible from killing because \"it's not elegant or creative\".

Horrible, meanwhile, introduces temptation to Billy at every turn. When Billy laments that \"there's no happy ending; so they say; not for me anyway\". Horrible takes the opportunity to tempt him; they can \"take a chance to build a brand new day\" (by killing Hammer).

Penny can be seen as Billy's conscience. She grounds him, gives him purpose and reminds him of the good in the world and in himself.

Penny's death can be seen as the death of Billy's conscience and his Jekyl then takes over.

December 8, 2010
4:37 pm
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laura.andrews2010
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Xanza781 said:

The way I like to look at it is that Billy and Dr. Horrible were two different personas in one man's mind. In the beginning, there really isn't any difference, it's just Billy wearing a costume, still full of idealism and hope. He wants to join the Evil League of Evil, but almost doesn't comprehend what they really do. 

I completely agree that Billy and Dr. Horrible are two different people in this movie.  Dr. Horrible is clearly not the stereotypical super villain. When we see the beginning scene open up with Dr. Horrible practicing his laugh this shows the viewer that it doesn’t come easy for him because it is not who he is. He is creating an illusion that being evil will one day change the world for the better. Billy has created Dr. Horrible out of his anger towards the society. 

 

Once Dr. Horribles receives the second message from Bad Horse is when he begins transform. After Captain Hammer flaunts his sex life with Penny in front of Billy’s faces is when he has had enough. His original plan is to kill Captain Hammer but it ends in the tragic death of Penny. 

 

The transformation between good and evil is shown by the change of color in Dr. Horribles lab coat. Up until now it has been plain white but when he is accepted into the Evil League of Evil his lab coat is red. White usually resembles innocence while the color red resembles anger, blood and frustration. 

 

Dr. Horrible’s acceptance into the league is a dramatic change because even though he is considered evil he is still battling with the inner Billy. This is expressed in the last scene. When we see Billy’s face saying the word “feel” it tells the viewer that he has given up everything to become evil, including Penny. Billy is still wants to change the world for the better but now has to hide this soft side even more than he had to before. 

March 3, 2011
6:18 pm
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Tino Byrd
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Ingenius said:

Hi,

I found this on http://brilliantstuff.wordpress.com, apparently created as a fan site for Dr. Horrible mini-series. With the right permission of the original autor, I copy here the analysis:

"Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. Brilliant stuff. The little brother of "The Dark Knight", this summer.

This is one of those jewels that comes up from time to time, totally unexpected. It blows you away, it has already exploded and its wave is gonna get you, like the maidens, no matter where you are.

Joss Whedon's idea has been so skillfully settled down that it takes a serious effort to critizice any aspect of it. First off, if you know nothing about Dr. Horrible, let's say it's a musical. We're going to discuss the insights of the story, the real depth of the characters, the TRUTH of it all. Muaha, muahaha... errr... enough.

This takes back the old concept of Darth Vader's root of all evil in an interesting twist of archetypes. Dr. Horrible is the villain, WANTS to be the villain and puts all his energy into it. Captain Hammer, his acknowledged nemesis, is the hero. The two of them know their role and stick to it... yet the story unfolds itself differently.

We find a deep soul in Dr. Horrible. This is a love story and a tragedy, Dr. Horrible is our Cyrano de Bergerac, he will prove to be caring, light hearted, intelligent and clumsy in the inside of his cloak of evilness. He's got the talent of a winner but he can't even manage to talk to the girl of his dreams.

He's also bitter in his views, this is what makes a real person out of the character, what approaches him to that Vader's concept we've mentioned. He's a tragic character, and in the end, the story gravitates around the point that he states in the very beginning: "The world is a mess and I just need to rule it". And that's his reason for being evil, in which evilness is his way of fighting the world, protecting himself from the pain of living into the mess. In a certain way, he is fighting for the sake of a better world, he does good by being bad.

First song in the second act brings all the matter to the surface. It's the tragedy unveiled, bitterness at its fullest:

"Because the dark is everywhere and Penny doesn’t seem to care that soon the dark in me is all that will remain"

He fights the dark even when trying to embody it, he's the evil character because of the circumstances, because there's no choice. The world has made Dr. Horrible, he's just played along until it was too late to get back from darkness.

Tragedy lies in the fact that the doctor gets trapped under the weight of living, the weight of the world. And this is no joke, because the worst case scenario of fighting your darkness is believing that darkness is all there is.

Captain Hammer is there to provide a counterpoint to Dr. Horrible, the tragedy of the doctor's life embodied as the pretended hero. This just helps to frame Neil Patrick Harris' character by remarking how differently the two characters are treated: all the creative genius on the doctor's behalf is utterly ignored and the arrogance of the Captain is stressed and rewarded.

Now, Penny might be confused as a romantic figure to complete the story, but she is not. According to the very description of the doctor, she is "the girl of his dreams". What we see in that character is the twin soul of the doctor, although the path they have chosen differ substantially from each other. 

She sees the world as the mess that it is, she sees the darkness. But she has chosen to discredit the belief that there is just darkness in exchange for her efforts, she fights the world by denying the virtual impossibility of changing it, ignoring the voices that scream that you're going to achieve nothing, because there is nothing to achieve.

Victory of darkness takes place when you're fooled to believe that there is no change for the better, just surviving. This is the real tragedy behind the brilliant Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. "

Ing.


October 16, 2011
1:39 am
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mist13
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I'm not going in cronological order here, so bear with me. I haven't really thought this out either, hell, I bought the acts on itunes last night.

Im "My eyes", Billy delirberately says "I can't believe my eyes, how the world's filled with filth and lies". His disposition towards evil is only that it's hurting the world. He wants to pervent evil by being evil. He's forcing the split in his personas, deliberatly creating a dr. horrible. As a person of multiple personalities, and I'm pretty sure everyone has that (I'm not making a joke), I know that you only split persoonas for one reason, to eliminate them. You can't have too personas in one. He wanted to cut out his own evil, by endulging in it. 

His tie to Penny was Billy's rock, the reason his good persona stayed alive. Her death was unexpected when Billy started splitting personalities, which I believe happened when penny talked to him for the first time. Billy saw his progress, and wanted to be better, to earn his reward. He wasn't selfish, he was just doing the right thing. 

Cpt. Hammer somewhat serves as a nega-dr. horrible. The dr. is nearly always in pain, from pretty much everything, yet, as the end shows, cpt Halmmer just experienced pain for the first time. What I'd like to know, is why is he in pain?  we assume it's because of the death ray exploding, but the cpt. has experienced physical pain before, though he didn't actually feel it. Why is he feeling pain now? I believe that he saw Penny before the dr did, and felt the pain of loss. He didn't really care for penny, he was shallow and all, but the thought of losing to the dr broke him to shreds.

That's my 2 cents. thanks for bearing with me.

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