Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog

Available online at drhorrible.com through July 20 and available for download at the iTunes store.

If I didn’t already love Joss Whedon, I would for this: When the writers’ strike prohibited him from working on screenplays for film or TV, he used the break as an opportunity to collaborate with friends, family, and colleagues on an Internet project, an oddball musical about a would-be supervillain, his smug superhero nemesis, and the object of his unrequited affection.

Given that “Once More, With Feeling,” the musical episode of Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was one of the few truly bright spots of season six (I might love Joss, but I’m no apologist for Buffy’s sharp downturn), I was looking forward to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog, and it didn’t disappoint. It did surprise, though. I suppose I had expected something lighter and breezier, a trifle to match its let’s-put-on-a-show roots, but now I wonder why. After all, Whedon has all but perfected the art of exploring hard emotional truths in potentially campy premises. Why shouldn’t he do that online as well as on TV?