Thirty Days of Feelings

If his heart can grow three sizes in one day, surely mine can go up one in a month, right?

If you know me – or least read this blog fairly consistently – you’ll know that I am bitter, cynical, sarcastic, and otherwise unpleasant. If you really know me, you know that this is just the hard candy shell to protect my gooey caramel center, brought on by years of bullying, depression, and general heartache. And finally, you may know that I more or less hate Christmas. It’s loud. It’s obnoxious. People who love it start talking about it in June. It’s overly commercial. And it has always come attached with guilt (in my family).

The thing is, my mother loves Christmas. Not as much as her mother, who was BURIED WITH HER SANTA CLAUS DOLL (are you beginning to understand my baggage?), but still a lot. And every year I feel like a d-bag because I can’t get into it.

SO this year I’m undergoing a bit of an experiment: Thirty straight days of doing/watching/listening to/reading something that makes me feel – however fleetingly – like an actual human being, in the hopes that this will thaw a layer of ice off my frozen shriveled little heart, and allow me to not be such a buzzkill this year. So let’s get to it.

Day One: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

We live in a post-Avengers world, where it’s popular to love Joss Whedon. But it wasn’t always so. Allow me to put on my hipster glasses for a moment and say that I have loved all things Joss since 1997, with the advent of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. But as much as I love Buffy, and Angel, and Firefly, and Cabin in the Woods, and The Avengers, and to a lesser extent Dollhouse (not counting the two stellar flash-forward episodes, which I love unreservedly), one thing makes me feel feelings more than any other: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog – a musical web mini-series, born out of Writer’s Strike boredom and inspired by The Guild, featuring the dream team of Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Internet Goddess Felicia Day.

The story centers around Billy (NPH), a shy nerd who is unlucky in love, and who also happens to be the super villain Dr. Horrible. Billy hopes for only two things – to go on a date with Penny (Felicia Day), who attends his local laundromat, and to be inducted into the Evil League of Evil by his hero Bad Horse. In order to achieve these goals, Billy seeks to up his game – both romantically and villainously. Complicating matters – in both arenas – is Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion), a handsome, charming, OUTRAGEOUSLY cheesy jock hero.

What follows is a story of love, and of loss. Of longing and yearning. Of striving and achieving and failing. It still baffles me, over four years later, how deeply I connected to these characters in just 45 short minutes. I laughed – a lot. And I cried – also a lot.

Ultimately, Dr. Horrible is more than just a silly musical. Don’t get me wrong, it’s that too. But it’s an endearing, poignant, bittersweet story about things that we can all relate to – whether we’re heroes, villains, or something more complicated in between. It’s a deeply affecting human story, surrounded by music and freeze rays and frozen yogurt. In short, it’s a perfect way to spend under an hour, and it will leave you a better person for having seen it. At least it did to me.

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