Admittedly, I’ll have less to say about part two of this little experiment (since I got most of my general comments out of the way for the first part), but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some really positive things to say about it.
What Act II does that Act I didn’t is embrace and engage with all of these characters. It’s still clear that Felicia Day’s Penny is the most underwritten of the characters, but it works because of how fantatic Neil Patrick Harris is on the other side of the equation. Day has a nice ease to her that allows the dialogue to flow and the songs to pop just right, so it’s not an issue of performance: it’s just a really simple character who’s trapped between two really awesome ones.
And no, enough things cannot be said about Neil Patrick Harris: his delivery during his exchange with Penny at the laundromat (In particular, the awesome “Sometimes there’s a third layer that’s the same as the first layer” line). I just love this character, and am glad that they broke my clear issue with the first part about the blog’s feasibility. It seems like before this point he would have run into the obvious problem of announcing a fiendish scheme on his blog and then having Captain Hammer/LAPD on his case, but at least it’s addressed here.
And the more said about Captain Hammer the better – for the most part he’s more or less doing cameos, but they’re brilliant. From the opening “Wait, I’m just naturally like this” to the utterly fantastic return to explain his hammer metaphor, Nathan Fillion is clearly loving this performance. You can tell just how much fun he’s having, whether he’s pedaling a pedalboat or punching Neil Patrick Harris in the face, and that’s what I really like to see in this series.
And I found this music stronger, mainly because the songs were no longer introducing characters – I found the opening song (I’m calling it on “On the Rise”) to fit perfectly and really was reminiscent of various songs from the Buffy Musical. Similarly, the final number was just the type of angry rock anthem that we’d expect from the same, but it all works – we’re still looking for the big show-stopping number in Sunday’s finale, but until that point this is moving things along very nicely.
So still very much on board here, definitely – anyone else watching? And for those interested, Canadian viewers are now able to watch on the site as they seem to have worked with Hulu to get rid of the region lock in this particular example (Which makes sense considering there are no licensing rights for a new property. Props to Whedon’s people for getting that, and the server issues, dealt with.)