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vacation, birthdays and Doctor Horrible

I've got three weeks of vacation coming up (yay!) during which I won't be around the internet all that much (boo!). It doesn't start until this weekend, but I'm so backed up with stuff I have to get done that you probably won't be hearing much from me until toward the end of August. I still have to get my columns in, of course -- no vacation from the newspaper -- so I won't disappear entirely. However, for the first time since last year's vacation, I won't be able to keep up on my flist, so I hope you'll all be prepared to let me know what I missed!

I'm going to Missouri for a week or so, then bringing Emily back up here for a couple of weeks more until she has to go back to college; she's staying down in Missouri for school because she's got a free ride to the local community college, and it would be crazy to pass up a chance at an associate's degree that doesn't including running up a lot of student loan bills. We don't *like* it, but she has to look out for her future, after all. That's why I won't be online more than necessary -- I want to spend every moment I can with her.

After that, I'll have to make some hard decisions about the way I spend my time. With two jobs, the volunteer fire department, and two new grandbabies, I haven't gotten any writing done to speak of. It's amazingly difficult to become a novelist when you aren't writing novels.

As always, Joss' newest effort was well made, technically excellent, and loads of fun. The actors did a sterling job and the songs were great. I'd recommend Doctor Horrible's Singalong Blog to anyone.

But the ending sucked.

It didn't fit in with the spirit of the rest of the show at all. Yes, Dr. Horrible had a point to make, yes it was about real people with real emotions, but it was also an upbeat experience that could and should have had a happy ending.

Dammit Joss, sometimes couples DO end up happy together. All your relationships don't have to end in tragedy. I don't know what horrible thing happened in your past, but even if the guy didn't get the girl, there was no reason for the story to end with such a sense of hopelessness. Give us a happy ending every now and then, will ya?

Meanwhile, happy birthday to redwolf! And since I won't be around, happy early birthday to zessa, fangfaceandrea, zenofthesword, dragonsong, and lilachigh. Also to darthsindel1981 and bipolarcat, in case I'm still backed up that far into August.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 22nd, 2008 08:25 am (UTC)
Dr Horrible - I enjoyed the first episode and the second was better and I didn't like the last one which had me sitting there thinking "huh, is that IT?". Ah Joss... *sigh*

Enjoy your vacation if you can and I hope you squeeze in some writing somewhere along the way....
Jul. 22nd, 2008 10:40 am (UTC)
I'd wondered if I would be the only person who felt that way, but I found a comment thread in which pretty much everyone had that opinion. It's too bad too, because Doctor Horrible was otherwise an excellent show.

Anyway, thanks! I don't think I'm going to get any writing in during my vacation, but I'm hoping to hop right into it again afterward.
Jul. 22nd, 2008 08:52 am (UTC)
Dammit Joss, sometimes couples DO end up happy together.

Yes, they do. I personally think that can be just as interesting as unhappy endings but I don't think that's the story Joss wants to tell, sadly. Basically I agree with you. Dr Horrible was sparkling until the end, which kind of leaves a nasty taste.

Have a lovely holiday.
Jul. 22nd, 2008 10:47 am (UTC)
Now that I think about it, I wonder how many readers might hate the fact that my stories always have happy endings? I could be accused of being as predictible as Joss, only in the opposite direction.

But tacking a tragic ending on Doctor Horrible worked no better than adding a happy ending to a tragedy would. It makes me wonder if the commenter I read tonight was correct: He suggested Joss pushed so hard to make a Serenity movie because Firefly was canceled before Joss had a chance to kill anybody off.
Jul. 22nd, 2008 11:11 am (UTC)
Have fun on your vacation! And no matter what, we hope journalling doesn't make it to the cut. ^_^
Jul. 23rd, 2008 05:03 am (UTC)
I might not comment as much in the future, but once I'm back from vacation I'll go right back to going through my flist every day -- I've met too many great people here to give it up! I just have to force myself back into fiction writing if I plan to ever get published.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 05:09 am (UTC)
You've been a very nice LJ buddy to me already in the short time we've friended each other.

Oh, I just noticed! Your icons are from the Kevin Sullivan "Anne" movies. Aren't they? Haven't watched them yet, but I've stalked a lot of all things Anne. Love the series to pieces.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 05:21 am (UTC)
I don't remember where I got those icons, but yep, that's where they're from. I watched only the first movie, and saw some episodes of an Anne series (on PBS, I believe), but in truth that was a long time ago. I just barely remember it -- considering the icons, I should go reintroduce myself to her world!
Jul. 22nd, 2008 11:51 am (UTC)
If you think about it, Billy and Penny's relationship would have sucked, because while I think Penny may have liked Billy, you can tell Billy really wanted to be evil more than he wanted her, so he thought. (i.e. the scene in act 1, where his focus is on getting the wonderflonium, not talking to Penny), the ending being the way it was is the only reason Billy ever learned he wanted Penny more than he wanted to be a villain. So, if Penny never died, she'd still always be second place in Billy's heart.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 05:09 am (UTC)
Quite true, but I still think Joss could have come up with something that could have meant, as Doctor Who once put it, "Nobody dies today!" The ending just didn't fit the tone of the rest of the story. Joss is in real danger of gaining a reputation as a writer who goes for the easy ending by just killing someone off. Coming up with something that made Doctor Horrible appreciate Penny is certainly within his considerable talent, and it could have made for a more upbeat ending that matched the rest of the tale.

On the other hand, it's still a better show than 90% of what else is out there.
Jul. 22nd, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC)

Enjoy your hols!
Jul. 23rd, 2008 05:10 am (UTC)
I'll certainly try!
Jul. 22nd, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC)
Have a good trip.

As for the Joss thing - I think he must have been traumatised by a happy couple sometime in his past...
Jul. 23rd, 2008 05:11 am (UTC)
what a thought -- most people are traumatised by some cruel or painful experience, but Joss is trapped in a nightmarish world of true bliss.
Jul. 22nd, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for my early birthday wishes! The first this year! I'm off to France on Friday, but only for a week. Football season starts early August, so must be back for that. Have a really good holiday.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 05:11 am (UTC)
I will! Enjoy your trip, and bring us back pictures!
Jul. 22nd, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I've seen the raves about Dr. Horrible, and I loved it (particularly the second act), but the ending didn't work at all for me. As MMW said, it was anti-climactic, and it didn't feel quite right.

Have a great vacation, and I wish you many happy memories made with E. to tide you both over.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 05:13 am (UTC)
I'm hoping for the happy memories, too -- thanks!

The overwhelming response seems to be that almost no one was thrilled by the ending of Dr. Horrible. That's too bad, especially considering how much we all raved over the first two parts.
Jul. 22nd, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
Hope you're enjoying your vacation and get loads of writing done. *mopes* Not getting much done myself. *mopes some more*

I haven't had the chance to watch Dr Horrible, and I'm kind of thinking I've got too many other things I want to watch first. I'm torn when it comes to Joss. He giveth and he taketh away, and you can pretty much bet he'll do both if given the chance.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 05:15 am (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, I don't anticipate getting any writing done on my vacation; Emily and I are going to try to stay active doing various fun and/or family stuff together, since we won't see each other for a few months after that. I'm sure we'll have a good time, but I'll be chomping at the bit to get back to the keyboard by the time it's over.

Yep -- Joss both giveth and taketh with Dr. Horrible! I would still recommend it, despite my dissatisfaction, if only for the great fun everyone obviously had making it.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, I was nowhere near a computer Saturday so didn't see the end of Dr. Horrible. Sounds like I didn't miss much. It's not just Joss - so many tv and movie people see terrified of a happy ending! Look at Xena - Deep Space 9 - Voyager - Buffy - Angel - even Highlander's finale was more nostalgic and melancholy than happy. Even Starsky & Hutch was meant to have a sad ending but fortunately the producers listened to the test audiences. I love-love-love the ending to DueSouth. Improbable? Yeah, maybe. Impossible? Mostly not. Plus everyone gets to be happy. It's perfect.

Have a great vacation. What's Emily's degree going to be in? Someday when all three of us are in Indiana and have the same day off and everyone's cars are working and the weather's good (laughing yet?), I'll have to show you around some neat little Marshall and St. Joseph County cemetaries.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 05:19 am (UTC)
Yes, you're right. There seems to be an attitude that an unhappy ending makes it "art", and a happy ending is "unrealistic". Well, it's entertainment, people -- if I wanted reality I'd turn on the evening news. I get sick of people being overly depressing or deliberately confusing in the name of "art". Grr. (Argh.)

Emily wasn't really sure what she wanted to study in college, so she was going for the required classes while she figured it out; but recently she's started leaning toward a writing career. yay! Now there'll be two of us sharing the same interests and lack of income! :-)

It would be great to get out and explore someday -- but I know what you mean about weather and working cars! We're always up to explore cemetaries.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
I did not like the Dr. Horrible ending the first time through but then I watched and watched and watched and I get it. What we're seeing is the birth of a super villian. If Penny had stuck around he still would have been all mushy and not E.L.E material. With her gone he has nothing left to be good for and thus truly becomes Dr. Horrible.

Now what I would have loved to see is have Penny turn out to be Bad Horse in disguise so she'd be evil and they could have had an evil happily ever after BUT as Bad Horse is an actual horse and that's frakking awesome I'm okay with forfitting that idea.

Jul. 24th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, that does make sense, as a superhero origin story. I still don't like the way the tone of the story changed, though -- one of the things I was always taught as a writer was not to mess with the reader's expectations. If they're going to get a comedy, start it out comic; if they're going to get a tragedy, start it out serious, and so on.

Now, Penny as Bad Horse -- that would have been a great twist!
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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