The Politics of Dr Horrible\'s Sing-Along Blog

A look back into what one cult classic musical can tell us about radicalization, entitlement, and frozen yoghurt.
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Pop Culture Detective's video:
Ad-break music by Zoë Blade and used with permission.


  1. Sarah Z

    Sarah Z

    Mês atrás

    I need some Respect Women Froyo. Captions will be up either late tonight or tomorrow!

    • K'hari Jordan

      K'hari Jordan

      28 dias atrás

    • John Dee

      John Dee

      Mês atrás

      I... Dang it I really love your videos and I just think you're great

    • Thessalin


      Mês atrás

      Hey, nice makeup!

    • Alex Smith

      Alex Smith

      Mês atrás

      Why did I do that? Cause you have a sense of humor. :)

  2. Cragillahan


    2 dias atrás

    One thing you didn't touch on when discussing the minimalisation of Penny's death; although you did say it was at an event to honour her work, she was furthermore sidelined by the fact that it was pretty much a Captain Hammer event, hell they were even about to unveil a statue of him. All in all though, 10/10 video! I've always loved Dr Horrible and this analysis can help me enjoy it more thoroughly :)

  3. Ted Sava

    Ted Sava

    4 dias atrás

    "captain hammer will save us" _broke me_

  4. MongolPSR


    5 dias atrás

    I feel like we watched 2 different films.

  5. Doc Acher

    Doc Acher

    5 dias atrás

    Megamind was 👌👌👌

  6. Shahruz Ghaemi

    Shahruz Ghaemi

    8 dias atrás

    Good good anime tropes? Whoah Nellie hold on

  7. Dave Katzin

    Dave Katzin

    9 dias atrás

    You mentioned Black Widow's "monster" speech from Age of Ultron and I feel like that one gets a rough shake. I mean, it's not his best work, true, but I think the issue with that one lies in the gap between intent and execution. My read on it was that she was trying to tell Banner that she is a monster like him because the Red Room (sidebar, I'm not going to pretend to be Black Widow expert but I am utterly fascinated by the fact that it looks like a ballet academy. Is every fight scene she's in just a high stakes dance-off for her?!) trained her to be a killer and infertility was a by-product. I mean, yeah that mental association is hella problematic, but in the context of the scene, I think her intent was to reassure Bruce that they wouldn't have to worry about possibly conceiving a child born with gamma radiation. It kind of makes me regret that She-Hulk doesn't exist in the MCU because it would render the whole point moot because she is the gold standard of proving that living with gamma radiation and being a Hulk in the Marvel Universe doesn't inherently make you an uncontrollable giant rage monster. I mean, why rampage and ruin your clothes every time you lose your temper when you can have a snarky fourth wall-breaking workplace sitcom instead?

  8. David Howe

    David Howe

    10 dias atrás

    I recommend you just avoid the phrase toxic masculinity since there is so much baggage around it. I appreciated your disclaimer though and really enjoyed the analysis all around!

  9. David Howe

    David Howe

    10 dias atrás

    Lol yeah Dr. Horrible seems like a bit of an incel hero now that I think about it!

  10. Ryuk Is god

    Ryuk Is god

    12 dias atrás

    “I think there a type of person who will see a shitty nerd character and identify with them no matter what.” Does Warren from Buffy have stans I wonder...

  11. Lanae Ancell

    Lanae Ancell

    12 dias atrás

    Kenny Hammerstein

  12. A.R.


    12 dias atrás

    I'd argue that it's not *totally* contradictory w/r/t how it treats their approaches to vulnerability, but rather portrays them (in an incredibly abbreviated way, as with most of the series) as a kind of duality: Billy self-identifies as Billy, *not* as Dr. Horrible. When he puts on his persona it's to quell his insecurities, to put himself in the 'right' mindset (thus setting himself up for failure, as he shows that he's not really villain material without it), and ultimately to 'put on his suit of armor' and hide what makes him vulnerable. Captain Hammer identifies as Captain Hammer: as far as he's concerned, his insecurities and vulnerabilities are so far behind him that he can't see them anymore (if he ever could) - he needs no suit of armor because he *is* his suit of armor, he has no higher aspirations beyond being Captain Hammer to the fullest. In the end, both fall from their 'grace' in the same way but opposite directions: the person they identify themselves as being is stripped away from them, as all of Billy's fears come to pass and he's forced to become the villain persona which he deliberately designed to be someone who he is not and discovers that he cannot feel truly fulfilled as, while Captain Hammer's literal and metaphorical invincibility is shattered and leaves him with no clear identity in its wake.

  13. AgentNein


    13 dias atrás

    I’m sorry I had to pause the video almost exactly halfway through to go grab froyo.

  14. Wiebke G

    Wiebke G

    14 dias atrás

    I'm a tiny girl who enjoys chopping wood. So they can' get me with that line. But tbh it's great fun so let out energy while cutting wood.

  15. Remix Dragon

    Remix Dragon

    16 dias atrás

    What I hear in the beginning is he did some good shit in his work and bad shit In his work.

  16. Step Back History

    Step Back History

    17 dias atrás

    I have also experienced long comment threads about how I'm not a breadtuber. Great video btw!

  17. Shiymi


    18 dias atrás

    I got really excited when you mentioned Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, even if briefly. Though it's name and advertising gives a wrong impression, it's a great and occasionally heavy-hitting show that should be talked about more often.

  18. Evelyn Starshine

    Evelyn Starshine

    18 dias atrás

    I always thought we were supposed to see Hammer and Horrible as both as bad as each other but in different ways. But now I'm older and know more about Whedon, it seems were meant to be pro-horrible?

  19. Sam Snapp

    Sam Snapp

    18 dias atrás

    Love that Welcome to Night Vale poster

  20. Pussy Apostle

    Pussy Apostle

    18 dias atrás

    Didnt think id like you. But i do. Good job

  21. Sam Snapp

    Sam Snapp

    18 dias atrás

    This is very insightful thank you

  22. mb&sb5ever 123

    mb&sb5ever 123

    18 dias atrás

    Dr horrible=Max Thundermen if his plans had gone the way he wanted it to Re-watch the movie and imagine the characters as those from the thunderman's

  23. Sam


    18 dias atrás

    It is worth noting that Kylo Ren is a well acted sniviling little weenie. Nobody identified with Anikin who had many of the same traits as his grandson but who was not portrayed effectively in the prequels.

  24. jackskellingtonsora


    19 dias atrás

    I do still think, though, that Fight Club fails as satire. If it was even attempting to be satire.

  25. jackskellingtonsora


    19 dias atrás

    Damn, you're so right. This is very much so the incel vs Chad. It's just modern incel radicalization only ten years too early.

  26. jujucatjuca


    19 dias atrás


  27. EmilyEquine


    20 dias atrás

    oof Dr. Horrible could have been better in certain spots but I love it sm

  28. Sarah Kate

    Sarah Kate

    21 dia atrás

    This made me feel justified in having the soundtrack still on my ipod

  29. JoanieDoeShadow


    21 dia atrás

    Megamind is awesome!

  30. Vladamir Kalashnikov

    Vladamir Kalashnikov

    22 dias atrás

    I do not think Penny's choice to date captain hammer is a lack of agency. She picks the choice that is logical to her: a choice that Horrible is too socially inept to deal with. Hammer's blunt antagonism to Horrible's PERSONAL life, at the time he is told he has to kill somebody, is what drives him past a point he would never do. This is not a story about Penny... She had no idea that Hammer was evil. Horrible is too socially weak to explain to her the truth: he is also delusional, and sings about giving her australia. I believe a portion of the movie is about deception and innocence: The three fans start as being super captian hammer fans, but switch to dr horrible once he becomes popular. After key events, people are easily swayed. It is shown that Penny's petition did very little, but Hammer got her plan through easily. While Horrible may not have a plan that is remotely good, he sees corruption and a need to change the world via dismantling the power structure and taking the reigns, although this has gone to unreasonable levels. Dr Horrible is the rejected boy who rebels... but without Hammer, that would be all. Hammer is defined by his antagonism: he sees no interest in penny. He does not normally seem interested in politics. He has not a care in the world beyond his ego and sadistically crushing Horrible. This is what I believe to be the core of the story: Horrible's internal morality finally being crushed due to Hammer's direct antagonism. It is quite possible that Penny could have convinced Horrible to change his career path, but this is not her responsibility to. Horrible is desperate for her, but doesn't know the first thing about these feelings: he even vents about it via his blog and friend. But sometimes, life doesn't work out. Sometimes, love doesn't work out. Sometimes, it's neither party's fault, and life just sucks. Welcome to a Horrible story of caring too much.

  31. Simon Strange

    Simon Strange

    22 dias atrás

    I've just recently stumbled across your videos, and I'm very impressed with how well written (and by extension how well reasoned) everything is. It's interesting that you seem to shoot in your bedroom - giving things a very laid-back "I just recorded this for fun" visual vibe, even though you clearly put a lot of care and effort into your content.

  32. Nara Villalba Dias

    Nara Villalba Dias

    22 dias atrás

    I loved the video. But the one thing I need to say is: PLEASE MAKE A CRAZY EX VIDEO ESSAY. We need that. The show is so underrated

  33. Perrin Calzada

    Perrin Calzada

    22 dias atrás

    This channel is giving me major ContraPoints vibes and I’m in love

  34. RecoveringFormalist


    22 dias atrás

    You know after watching this, I finally get Avengers Age of Ultron. Joss Whedon had Bruce Banner (the nerdy guy in the group) get the most desireable female in the franchise at the time because that's his MO. Guess it wasn't THAT random

  35. jackson


    22 dias atrás

    It would be super cool to see a video from you on the tank girl comic

  36. Rowan Atkinson

    Rowan Atkinson

    23 dias atrás

    I will forever respect any video that gives props to Crazy-Ex Girlfriend

  37. Allison Dummel

    Allison Dummel

    23 dias atrás

    Ok I'm only like a minute in but RESPECT WOMEN JUICE I'm dyin

  38. Luke Wilson

    Luke Wilson

    23 dias atrás

    Can we appreciate the fact that MST3K season 11 gave us an epic musical number between a mad scientist Felicia Day and her douchey one-off boyfriend Neil Patrick Harris? It’s everything I ever wanted out of the sequel we never got.

  39. Luke Wilson

    Luke Wilson

    23 dias atrás

    I’m curious what my thoughts on Dr. Horrible would be if I watched it for the first time today rather than in 2011, when I was a far less woke, weird amalgamation of feminist & quasi-incel. I’m sure I’d be far more uncomfortable watching this with virgin eyes as a 27 year old rather than a socially isolated 19 year old college kid desperate to find comfort in a character like Billy.

  40. SyeraMiktayee


    23 dias atrás

    I love your thoughtful and nuanced examinations of media, and it's nice to see some of Joss Whedon's work given a critical look. He's done a lot of really good things over the years, but he's definitely done a lot of questionable things and left a lot of really mixed messages.

  41. see you space cowboy

    see you space cowboy

    23 dias atrás

    1:54 "and was friends with the author" ...and john green wonders why teenage girls are uncomfortable with him and his shitty "i'm gonna write a self insert who gets to fuck the hot girl i didn't get to in high school" books lol

  42. David Kuechle

    David Kuechle

    23 dias atrás

    I have always had similar mixed feelings about Dr. Horrible, all my friends were super into it when it came out, and when I watched it I was... disappointed due to a lot of the problematic tropes you named. One thing that wasn't mentioned was how Dr. Horrible was a product of the writer's strike, basically something thrown together by some colleagues who were bored and released for free, and so it's less well thought out than, say, Buffy. This might explain Joss lapsing into tropes that he is critical of when he has more time to work on something.

  43. Duane Villines

    Duane Villines

    24 dias atrás

    IIRC, and this was a looooong time ago, but I remember I thought that the whole thing ended before it got interesting. like, I legit was less interested in the Penny drama than in the fact there is a villain who is just an evil horse. wanted more of Bad Horse. much more. also that Billy sucked and Penny didn't deserve to suffer for his hubris and jackassery. I was already aware at that point that Nice Guys are as utterly toxic as macho men.

  44. happyninja42


    24 dias atrás

    I think they were trying to point out the negative tropes from all sides. The Captain Hammer's of the world, the Doctor Horrible's, and how Penny is portrayed. I think one point that might hint to this, is how the Three Fans, so quickly jump ship to being Dr. Horrible fans. I think that was meant to say "yeah, some people are just going to like things, no matter how terrible and shitty they are. They were held hostage by this guy, threatened with death, and they still think he's just oh so kawaii!" I think that is kind of a send up to the very type of fan of Dr. Horrible, that you are criticizing in the first part. Pointing out how empathizing with Billy isn't really a good idea, since he's an asshole. I think the point was to show how both of them, Hammer and Horrible, were so wrapped up in their own perception of what they should be, that they didn't see the damage it was causing around them. Intentional and otherwise. When I saw this, I remember being sad that Penny died, but I don't recall it being framed in the "oh no! she won't get to date Billy!" frame. It was more "oh no, this girl who just wanted to help the homeless, got caught up in the ego-war of two men who were far too dangerous for anyone's good. " That there was no happy ending at all, for anyone involved. That living your life in either mindset is probably going to lead to nothing but disappointment and tragedy. Whether you act like Hammer, or you act like Horrible. Good video by the way, I enjoyed your take on things.

  45. Terry H.

    Terry H.

    24 dias atrás

    "Anarchy! That I run!" A short but cute joke.

  46. Tosin A

    Tosin A

    24 dias atrás

    I read Dr Horrible Bad as “diarrhoea bad” so...take that as you will lmao

  47. smileyeagle1021


    24 dias atrás

    One minor nitpick, Black Widow wasn't implied to be a monster because she was infertile, it was implied that she was made infertile in an attempt to make her a monster. It is a small difference, and it still shines a very negative light onto society's views on women (namely that a lot of people view a woman's worth through her ability to reproduce), but in terms of the character herself, it shows a strength of character that she refused to break no matter what horrible things were done to her (there are many better ways this could have been portrayed, but I can at least give credit that the intent most likely wasn't to demonize the character).

  48. Hog and Dice

    Hog and Dice

    24 dias atrás

    Nah, yeah, this earned a sub.

  49. Leandro Araújo

    Leandro Araújo

    25 dias atrás

    oh wow I felt all of that when I watched it too, I'm so glad you put into words. I also listened to the songs a bunch of times cuz regardless of anything they're pretty good, and what always gets me is how Billy doesn't even seem to particularly even like anything about Penny at all. When he supposedly sings about his feelings for her in "My Freeze Ray", the way he describes them is that she makes him feel "like a fool" and "kinda sick" which.... isn't very cool??? Like, that doesn't sound like someone in love, that sounds like someone who holds a grudge against someone else. It's almost like he actually is trying to convince himself he's in love with her to justify trying to win her over because getting the girl would be manly.

  50. 2whole whalesharks

    2whole whalesharks

    26 dias atrás

    Saw the respect women juice and immediately knew I was gonna like this

  51. Disthron


    26 dias atrás

    You know, I thought we were encouraged to empathise with Penny. Also, she probably would have been better off not being with ether of them. I didn't think Billy was that grate. 14:18 Isn't all the things you just listed the show... showing why Billy didn't deserve to be with Penny? People say, show don't tell, the show demonstrates not only that Billy was an asshole but also that what he thought he wanted was wrong. I have to say, when I was watching it for the first time I was hoping Billy would be a failure and get over himself. This would kind of be explored latter in MegaMind... kind of.

  52. petrikovler


    26 dias atrás

    'brand new day' slaps but in all seriousness it's nice to see a good analysis of this series in 2019.. it definitely needed one

  53. Yuan T

    Yuan T

    26 dias atrás

    This kind of thinking wasn't okay in the ancient Dinosaur days of 2008, either.

  54. Shera Laufey

    Shera Laufey

    26 dias atrás

    See, Dr horrible to me was a call out of our hero and villain worship. It's so bad that we forget about the real heros in our bid to love the popular ones.

  55. Gripen1974


    27 dias atrás

    I didn't see Hammer and Penny as real ppl but the masculine and feminine part of Billy. To win his masculinity he need to emasculate/defeat Hammer and kill Penny, and the story did show that it wasn't worth it. Now i really want to see a interpretation of where he embrace his female side and Ignore or simply ignore hammer and the evil organization. Of course is my views of the show coloured by the culture i have grown up in.

  56. Mike Stanley

    Mike Stanley

    27 dias atrás

    Great video! The biggest area of disagreement I have with you is that I think that the show is about the danger of masking one's vulnerability beneath a facade, rather than about vulnerability itself. Captain Hammer suffers when he tries to hide his vulnerability beneath a facade of hyper-masculity. Dr Horrible suffers when he tries to hide his vulnerability beneath a facade of villainy. This also runs counter to the idea that Hammer is the only person framed as being in the wrong in terms of how they treated Penny. Both Hammer and Horrible treat Penny badly in order to maintain their facades, and both are punished for it - Dr Horrible by emotional devastation and Captain Hammer by humiliation. Furthermore, Captain Hammer's vulnerability isn't what's played for laughs, it's the contrast with his hyper-masculine persona. The message isn't "vulnerability should be laughed at" but rather "those who try to hide their vulnerability behind an exaggeratedly masculine facade will inevitably look the fool". I think that Billy's vendetta against Captain Hammer is more complex than you give it credit for. It isn't merely motivated by a bruised ego: Hammer didn't merely "steal Billy's girl" and entitlement to Penny isn't Horrible's only motivation. Rather, Hammer explains that his intentions pursuing Penny were largely vindictive against Dr Horrible, and the song Brand New Day explains that Hammer and Horrible have a much more violent history than is shown on-screen. Hammer already recognises Doctor Horrible when they meet during the heist. Finally, I think that your view that the story is punishing Penny for choosing not to date Billy is somewhat narrow. There is supposed to be a contrast between the connection developing between Billy and Penny in the second episode, and Hammer's more superficial relationship with Penny. The latter is motivated by Hammer's desire to sleep with Penny, his vendetta against Dr Horrible, Penny's desire to get her homeless shelter, and, yes, Penny's naive insistence that there is some substance beneath Captain Hammer's pursuit of her. She herself is shown to be questioning her own motivation for being with Hammer in So They Say: "This is perfect for me... so they say. I guess he's pretty okay." She isn't convinced that she's making the right choice - so, is the story punishing her for not being with the protagonist, or for betraying her own principles by dating Hammer purely for what he can do for her, rather than because of a real connection?

  57. Garr D

    Garr D

    27 dias atrás

    You smart :)

  58. Matthew Gerrish

    Matthew Gerrish

    27 dias atrás

    Great analysis. I especially liked your take on Penny as a character. She's not full on two dimensional, but required more depth in relation to her importance to the narrative. Joss and co seemed to believe that making Penny as sweet and innocent impossible equals feminism. It's disappointing coming from the mind behind Buffy. There's a chance the problems inherent in the story stem from a lack of oversight. Joss funded this series out of pocket. While studios may not effect how progressive or feminist a work is (many times they hurt more than help), they force writers to pay closer attention to their work and produce more drafts. Dr. Horrible could have benefited from at least one more draft. It's also possible Joss's ego got in the way, which seems to be more of an issue in his low budget work. A lot of these projects cut corners, which is necessary with less funds, he just does it lazier ways than others. There's an art to cutting corners, and the creative ways low budget filmmakers do this is what separates good filmmakers from bad. Compare Joss's work to pretty much any prominent indie filmmaker's. He also has an editorial responsibility that many other low budget filmmakers don't have. With his status, anything he produces will be seen by many. He should critically evaluate his writing with that in mind even if he's making the project just for "fun" especially if he wants to be seen progressive. I should add I really liked Dr. Horrible. I just also agree with the criticisms of it as I could have really loved it instead.

  59. jj


    27 dias atrás

    I'm really glad I have no nostalgic ties to that man's work. I feel like I'm free from some weird thing that keeps other people from seeing how horrible his writing really is.

  60. Chelsea Cuzzocrea

    Chelsea Cuzzocrea

    27 dias atrás

    I really wish someone would analyze Supernatural's Charlie, her death, and the treatment of women and non-masculine (ie, Cyrus Styne, Sully the imaginary spirit friend) types on that show

  61. Domsday13


    27 dias atrás

    How about a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend video? I'm interested in your perspective

  62. Sandra Gates

    Sandra Gates

    27 dias atrás


  63. Megalomaniac 64

    Megalomaniac 64

    27 dias atrás

    It seems your issue with penny is that shes treated as a plot device in both interpretations and shes also a woman.



    27 dias atrás

    I saw Charlie

  65. PogieJoe


    28 dias atrás

    I love the complexity with which you address your video topics! I love it!

  66. goldfishoevil


    28 dias atrás

    i agree with everything you said about feeling unsure of how to take whedon's work at this point, and i really enjoyed the entire analysis... but the megamind mention was just icing on the cake 💙

  67. Author Alys Marchand

    Author Alys Marchand

    28 dias atrás

    I'd like to give the view of a woman who was a tech worker in Silicon Valley when this first came out. At that time, women in tech were still a strange thing, and the few of us who actually worked directly with programming and such would often be quizzed, as if men didn't believe it unless we were able to answer questions about it. And even then, we were still treated like airheads, like prizes, and it was VERY common to be hit on at work. Point blank, I made 60% of what my equally qualified teammates were making. To their credit, when they found out, they went to bat for me. Nothing changed, but I did have male teammates who tried. I wasn't even going to go to bat for myself. As literally the ONLY woman in the tech department of hundreds of men, I didn't want to make waves. When I dated a coworker, everyone knew, and when we broke up, he knew that word of that getting out would look bad on me, though he accepted fault (he cheated), and to spare me from what would have been inevitable fall-out, he helped conceal the break-up. No, it wasn't to save face. I would have been blamed for not being woman enough to keep him from straying. Such was the world at that time. When I started dating another nerd guy, that guy and my ex ended up on decent terms because of the ex making sure I didn't take the heat. (Nerd guy and I were friends for a couple years before we dated, he's a total 180 of the other guy, being so incredibly UNentitled that seconds before we actually had sex the first time, he stopped to ask if I was sure because he wanted to make sure I was okay with everything, years before "affirmative consent" was a thing, and we're married now :).) When Dr. Horrible came out, this musical was seen as a GOOD thing. The guy obsessing over the girl ruined himself by seeing her as an object. This was so fucking empowering that I'm not even sure how to put it in words. In 2019, when there's an actual push for women in tech, and we're less objectified, it's easier to read other things into it. There's no way at all that Penny dying was seen as a punishment for not going with Billy. She was an innocent woman objectified as a prize that two assholes wanted mostly because the other wanted her or had her. Billy was guilty of thinking she should have just know because he's fucking Billy and that should be enough. Hammer was guilty of bedding her without caring about her, just because he knew it would upset Billy. There was no sense of sorrow for either of those guys, but a lot of sorrow and empathy for Penny (anyone else notice how BBT also has a Penny who is objectified?--we could argue that this is a woman's value). The guys were dicks, and were seen as such. Hammer at the end wasn't seen as emasculated. It was a play on "cry me a river." Boo hoo, like we're going to pity him. We were already saying it's okay for a man to cry, though, like today, a lot were still afraid to. In fact, a man who cried was more likely to be seen as strong. But the way that scene played out, it was the "cry me a river" view. For a lot of guys I knew, and some I worked with, this musical was the first time they saw obsession with women as a prize leading to any sort of destruction and loss and as a bad thing. No, there was no sense of it being wrong because it's just plain wrong for her sake as a human, but at the time, the sense of wrongness for seeing a woman as a prize was new and challenging. Think about that, and then think about how much progress has been made in eleven years. Today, it's easy to look at what we have and see how far we have to go. But for someone who was on the ground in Silicon Valley working in tech, so much has changed that it can be hard to see in equality sometimes because I'm used to so, so much more that what there is today is more than I ever could have imagined. For my daughter's sake, I see how much farther there is. But just think about this when thinking about what the musical may have meant and how it was actually viewed at the time.

  68. Ury Ferreira

    Ury Ferreira

    28 dias atrás

    tbh it just sucks how I can't really enjoy a good chunk of the media I consumed when I was a teen because all of the sexism and racism that I didn't notice at the time... I only trust, partially, female creators lately to be safe.

  69. Taylor Bennett

    Taylor Bennett

    28 dias atrás

    Why did you do that omg

  70. Shannon Williams

    Shannon Williams

    28 dias atrás

    I don't think it's a punishment thing. Penny has her own desires and dreams. The show makes it clear that Dr. Horrible is not the good guy. I think your analysis is accurate, but I thought that was on purpose. That's why Penny's character is so tragic. She is never in the spotlight. She is objectified by the men around her and her sexual choices are villified by Dr. Horrible. She is killed because of the men around her. Her choices ultimately do not matter. Her agency is second to everything else.

  71. Taylor McNiff

    Taylor McNiff

    28 dias atrás

    god ... the joss whedon experience of contradiction

  72. Absolutely Average

    Absolutely Average

    28 dias atrás

    Roseanne was an important show, Roseanne the person sucks. Harry Potter was an important book, JK Rowling sucks. Death of the author is important

  73. Shadow


    28 dias atrás

    so what you're saying is that josh whedon was an incel before it was cool.

  74. MirrorUniverse Zot

    MirrorUniverse Zot

    28 dias atrás

    You keep saying that Billy's actions lead to Penny's death, but Hammer's attack fritzed the death ray, Hammer was too dumb to notice, Billy noticed and tried to warn him, and then Hammer ignored him and pulled the trigger. It really seems like Hammer's actions lead to Penny's death. You could argue that this is a cop-out on the part of the storytelling, and use it as a mark against a subversive reading... but the fact remains. Billy/Horrible didn't kill Penny. Hammer did.

  75. Siana Gearz

    Siana Gearz

    28 dias atrás

    I sometimes think the word 'problematic' is... for a lack of better word, problematic.

  76. Julian Fantasia

    Julian Fantasia

    28 dias atrás

    Sweet mug

  77. Ephram Oliver

    Ephram Oliver

    28 dias atrás

    I feel like this is a Scott Pilgrim scenario. The movie has sexist elements (I mean, come on, it's mimicking Mario with the damsel in distress narrative), but ultimately, it's a comedy full of exaggerations and it's not like the film doesn't address the fact that Scott is a bad person. Same with Dr. Horrible except a little better because he's never portrayed as a villain and doesn't get the girl in the end. Let me know what you think. I'm an aspiring writer myself and while I feel confident in my ability to not be sexist (and to be honest, there are certain things I understand more about women), if I were to write a significant female role into one of my stories, I would probably consult with a female friend to make sure that nothing I was putting down on the page could be construed as sexist. I think that's the issue with the cinema landscape. It's populated with mostly men who don't really question how they tell their stories. On one hand, that makes their work more interesting to analyze, but it also alienates a large portion of the audience, and that's something they should reconcile with. Their voices aren't all that matters. Great video, Sarah! Keep it up! - Ephram

  78. holly morgan

    holly morgan

    28 dias atrás

    00:46 and hitting on actresses and fans which in my opinion is an abuse of power. i still love joss and his work. his list of transgressions might be long and downright creepy but he will also always be my problematic fav.

  79. romeinprogress


    28 dias atrás

    Dang, I've been too generous too Doctor Horrible over the years. I need to rewatch this with a more critical eye. It hadn't occurred to me that this was actually a love story, that Billy was in any way a victim of anything but his own anger and ego. I never considered he was supposed to be a Xander (fuck Xander by the way, Xander is definitely supposed to be "likable" and he's a piece of shit). I can't even imagine a happy ending for Billy and Penny, considering he seemed to have nothing in common with her and thought her entire life was dumb. His nice guy act would quickly drop and she'd be disappointed again at discovering how shallow and manipulative men are and she'd move on with her life. I always thought it was a story about how Billy created all of his own problems and hurt other people through his lack of willingness to self-examine. I felt that it was clear he never actually cared about Penny. He dismisses her from the start, mocks things she likes, and thinks her attempts to contribute something positive to the world are childish, that she's only treating the "symptoms", while his counter-plan to treat the real "disease" is.... world domination, something he expects Penny to happily join in on, all of which is the real childish fantasy. He's angry at the world but can't articulate the problems beyond his own tiny personal issues, and thinks the only solution is absolute control over others. There's no other solution, only the most extreme. As for Captain Hammer, the way I read that was that when he gets hurt, he doesn't display actual vulnerability - he performs it insincerely. He immediately demands someone else tend to him (specifically demanding a woman) and make him feel better, and he throws a tantrum, a tantrum that apparently continues in the therapist's office. He doesn't gain any understanding of his own flaws or the consequences of his actions, does not become actually vulnerable. This to me mirrors exactly the experience I have of men who are rarely challenged getting humiliated publicly - they immediately play blameless victim who is "due" sympathy. Nor do I think Billy at the end is truly vulnerable either - he feels very sorry for himself, and possibly regrets that Penny died, but he shows no indication he understands how he contributed to the death, neither does he show any interest to realize he had been egging himself on to do bigger and bigger evil stunts, and it is THIS which allowed the situation to occur. Instead, he throws himself into the evil, changes his costume, joins the league, and embraces the destructive, harmful path fully. Penny isn't a character, she's not a full person, she's just a thing for the men to direct their conflict at. Does it mock this trope, or just acknowledge and use it? Personally, I have taken the generous take: how could we see her as a person when the narrator, who is telling the story to an audience (literally at times), is incapable of doing so himself? There's this moment near the end when Penny is trying to sneak away, realizing that Hammer is an asshole and Billy is also a sociopath and she's disgusted and just trying to leave, and this little moment is I think the one instance that shows Penny from an outside view, from an angle that is not through Billy's eyes. And then she dies, a casualty of the pissing contest between two men who used her, and she barely appeared in it at all. Because the story is Billy's story, I think it's essential she was never fleshed out. The men around her don't listen when she speaks. I need to watch it again. I never really considered it in context of Whedon's other works, which definitely adds some questions and angles to interpretation. But he wasn't the only writer, so maybe I can give some (possibly unearned) credit to the script because of that.

  80. hannah gaudesen

    hannah gaudesen

    28 dias atrás

    11:42 I'm sorry but i respectfully disagree. I AM VERY MUCH SAD BECAUSE SHE DIED WITH GOALS UNFULFILLED AND FOR ALL THE POTENTIAL SHE HAD IN LIFE!!!!!! I love Penny she is amazing and she's just such a good person! And i'm sooo sad that she died such a meaningsless death thinking that Captain Hammer and Billy were amazing people and also it's just sad! She just did so much good in life! I just wanted to make it clear that I was definitely sad for the loss of Penny as a character more than I was for Billy's feelings about her! (but I mean, that might just be me being a giant lesbian who loves Penny and Felicia Day) - also this is an amazing video and the above was definitely the only thing I disagreed with!

  81. 21st


    28 dias atrás

    The thing about the black hole was started by the media because they were SOLELY crediting the woman for having found it when in reality her specific algorithm wasn't used exclusively but she instead was a part of the team that discovered the black hole. That was a case of people having to (again) correct the MSM from erroneously reporting on a situation in order to try and prop one person up (in this case a female scientist) in lieu of downplaying everyone else when it was a team effort 100% the whole way, but they wanted to act like it was just her. The outrage was less about downplaying her because she was a woman, and more about holding MSM accountable for fabricating the story in a way that did not tell the full picture so they could push a certain narrative forward instead. You *literally* didn't pay attention to the real reason behind the pushback on that one from the vast majority.

  82. Killian Smith

    Killian Smith

    28 dias atrás

    Interesting comforter.

  83. Anna Jakubiec

    Anna Jakubiec

    28 dias atrás

    While I still think the songs are bangers, I have a hard time reading Dr. Horrible as a subversive cautionary tale, or at least not in a way that makes me more sympathetic to it 11 years down the line --- mainly for the reasons you outlined, that it doesn't really show how Billy's entitlement leads to the consequences in (what I find to be) a meaningful way. That said, I always really enjoy the nuances of your arguments and appreciation for complexity. I hadn't thought about the more genuinely subversive elements of the story, and I think your main takeaway is golden. So thank you! Can't wait to check out Trials & Trebuchets.

  84. Erik Schlegel

    Erik Schlegel

    28 dias atrás

    I would agree with most of your conclusion accept the following points. Disclaimer: I saw this once in 2011 and going off my recollection of the series. The message on masculinity is not contradictory to me. Capt. Hammer has never had to deal with vulnerability, so when he handles it so poorly we are mocking his lack of emotional maturity. Hammer is exposed as a fraud and his 'masculinity' is fraudulent as well. He is a paper tiger or a glass hammer. No one in this story is masculine. It is about two emotionally stunted males feigning what they consider masculine while never embracing the crucible of being emotionally vulnerable to the people in their lives and they both pay for it.Yes Billy sucks. Although, he is the main character and you empathize with him, that doesn't mean you agree with him. Empathy is not acceptance ( Richard III and House of Cards). He is an Incel. It sucks that he can't get the girl but it doesn't validate his actions. He can't be with penny not due to his lack of jock-ness but because he has terrible concepts about relationships and about the world at large. His awkwardness seems to be nice guy trope in the beginning but is a sign of mental illness during the stalking song. If he 'won' her over then this would be an appropriate critique but he ends the story as a lonely shell. Lastly, its three 14 minute episodes, for a total of 42 minutes. Not a lot of time for growth.

  85. tired


    28 dias atrás

    omfg kylo is trash but we love him anyway. it's true

  86. Seawiiplay


    28 dias atrás

    Respect women juice is delicious 😋

  87. Stephen Atwood

    Stephen Atwood

    28 dias atrás

    Captain Hammer and Billy's Dr. Hammer are two faces of the same coin.I always too Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was a cautionary tale to NOT be like either Billy or Captain Hammer.

  88. Keiya


    28 dias atrás

    I mostly agree with your mixed-bag, but there's one aspect that I think you glossed over in discussing Captain Hammer. He had *never felt pain*. Literally, he says "I think this is what pain feels like!" when the death ray explodes. When everything has fallen in his favor to the point that if he stubs his toe it's the wall that breaks, is it any surprise he has a bit of a skewed sense of the world? Granted, this is reading a *lot* into what's going on during Everything You Ever, but I almost see the overall story as a sort of trading places - Dr. Horrible shedding his humanity and becoming the mask, and Hammer finding his. Still pretty much sidelines Penny though.

  89. Troy Reyes

    Troy Reyes

    28 dias atrás

    20:56 I remember all the goth kids from South Park being uniroically loved by the goth kids in my high school, even though those characters were a condemnation of goth culture.

  90. MycenaeanGal


    28 dias atrás

    I think the problem is as you say, it’s too subtle. If the viewer is naive they could wind up identifying with and relating to billy. o/ hi I did that back in the day. I was naive. As aTRaNS wOMaN, I’ve sorta a unique take on this. Back in the day mapping onto billy was easy. One of my takeaways was that removal of vulnerability does hurt everyone but i also believed this is how the world works and thats how it had to be. I started seeing that in arguments with my parents and things where i was willing to do things that made everyone myself included feel bad. (I grew up in an emotionally abusive and dysfunctional household). Now having a much more intimate experience with feminity, misogyny, dating men, and being a feminist, it’s easier to see how he sucks and I can understand those other two readings. I think it requires some of that foreknowledge though, which is a major failing.

  91. Mikołaj Czerbak

    Mikołaj Czerbak

    28 dias atrás

    I recently decided to revisit this series after quite a few years and from a soundtrack I'd keep on my phone, it went to "oh boy..." In minutes. As always, great essay and congratulations on official, definitely not debated on forums joining to BreadTube by pouring liquid on your face in a non seductive manner

  92. surrexi


    28 dias atrás

    This video does a great job of encapsulating The Problem With Joss Whedon - he is not 100% wonderful but he is also not 100% terrible, and while the truth resists simplicity, internet discourse tends toward hot takes, and hot takes resist nuance. The place I've come to in my wrestling with Joss' body of work is that although I acknowledge and appreciate the times when he was groundbreaking, I often find myself frustrated, particularly with his more recent work, by his inability to let go of certain tropes/themes/ideas. Also after seeing his Wonder Woman script I would like to ban him from writing any female superheroes ever again, but that's a different rant. I would love it if he could drag his feminism out of the 90s and into 2019, but I don't hold out much hope for it to happen. He did manage to make a truly excellent adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, though. So there is that.

  93. John Shepard

    John Shepard

    29 dias atrás

    you look wonderful with that make-up on -- dab on the haters.

  94. Hawyer Cruz

    Hawyer Cruz

    29 dias atrás

    20:25 It's been happening for a long, long time. People who somehow praise Tony Montana "because he raised into power with nothing but his balls" seem to have only watched half the film. And guess who likes Tony Montana? Walter White. They even included THAT specific scene in Breaking Bad. It was like "Guys... guys... don't you fucking see it?! Really?"

  95. Natasha Pavlitsevits

    Natasha Pavlitsevits

    29 dias atrás

    Great analysis!

  96. Jim Karagkounis

    Jim Karagkounis

    29 dias atrás


  97. Arkalidor


    29 dias atrás

    Ugh... This is not about sexism, this is about egoism. The genders in this story are only relevant insofar as they specify a context that we, the audience, can easily indentify and relate to. But it's not important. The important bit is the part where one person gets so caught up in their imaginary world, trying to get everything to go their dream way, that they fail to see the obvious contradictions between their various goals and end up screwing everything up for themselves. This is a story about the path that leads humanity towards evil, and you had to make it into toxic masculinity... It's toxic humanity, if anything.

    • Arkalidor


      29 dias atrás

      By the way, Penny isn't being punished by the narrative for her choice. She couldn't possibly be for a simple reason: she doesn't make any choice. As you pointed out, she has no agency, she's an object in this story. There is literally only one single character in this story: Billy. Every other "person" in this story is an object for Billy to act upon. That's the whole point. That's the way this narrative functions. One character, one story. edit: Also: "it promotes vulnerability in some men while using it as a tool in shaming others" Wrong. Captain Hammer is not ridiculous for being vulnerable, Captain Hammer is ridiculous because of his lack of vulnerability during the rest of his life. Captain Hammer has never been vulnerable and thus doesn't know how to handle getting beaten. That is why he's being ridiculed. The show promotes vulnerability in men and ridicules those who lack it, those who don't know how to lose.

  98. mia quartermaine

    mia quartermaine

    29 dias atrás

    omg joss whedon really hates women...scream

  99. Alyssa Goss

    Alyssa Goss

    29 dias atrás

    I had no idea Nathan Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris were in A Series of Unfortunate Events.... Wow, you want to talk about problematic creators. Daniel Handler, pen name Lemony Snickett, is well known for making racist jokes and harassing women authors at panels and conventions. He is actually so much worse than Joss Whedon.

  100. popstarprincess123


    29 dias atrás

    Do you respect men?

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