How to Include Felicia Day in ‘Dr. Horrible II’
A Modest Proposal for a Sequel to “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”
Whenever Joss Whedon finishes his forthcoming little Avengers project and gets around to working on a follow-up to “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” one of the lingering questions is: Will the sequel include Felicia Day (and, if so, how)?
If you haven’t seen “Dr Horrible” — major spoiler alert — Day’s character, Penny, dies at the end. As essential as she is to the original story, given this turn of events, it’s difficult to imagine how she could play a role in the sequel. But it’s sad to think of another installment in the series that doesn’t include Ms. Day.
There are, as well, other narrative challenges in continuing the story of Dr Horrible. The moral descent of Neil Patrick Harris’s character, Billy (a.k.a. Dr. Horrible), leaves him in a narrative cul-de-sac. And Nathan Fillion’s Captain Hammer ends up in a bad place as well. Dramatically, both need a new character arc.
So here’s my pitch. Two words: evil twin.
Penny has a relative (a sibling? a cousin?) to be played by Ms. Day. But, unlike sunny, perky Penny, she’s dark — dark hair, heavy eyeliner, and a cynical outlook on life. She’s dour, a bit diabolical, and overtly flirtatious.
Nonetheless — perhaps, in part, because of her physical resemblance to Penny — both Captain Hammer and Billy are drawn to her.
This makes Hammer, of course, a mess. He can’t handle an assertive, sexually aggressive woman. A strong female is his kryptonite. Hilarious comedic situations ensue.
Billy, on the other hand, seems to genuinely care for her. She holds a strange attraction for him. And, yet, he’s disquieted by her negative outlook. He wants to like her, but he can’t cope with her cynicism. He finds her occasional acts of petty villainy troubling.
So Billy tries to reform her, looking for ways to make her see that her nihilistic world view is naive and pointless. Sure, the world is a mess, but it’s not entirely bad. There are a few good things; they may be hard to see, but they’re there if you look hard enough.
Ultimately, Billy realizes he’s really trying to convince himself. It’s not the attitude of Penny’s evil twin that troubles him, it’s his own. When Billy realizes this, he knows he must let her go to find her own path in life.
For his part, Billy can now, finally, mourn the loss of his true love, Penny. He takes a volunteer position in the Caring Hands Shelter for the Homeless.
Fade to black. Queue the theme music.
That’s it. What do you think? Comments are welcome. And if Mr. Whedon and the gang from Mutant Enemy Productions would like to use any of these ideas, they should feel free to do so. I’ll even sign legal gobbledygook to that effect if they’d like.