Monday, September 21, 2009

Will Success Spoil Dr. Horrible?

So this is all over the Internets this morning:

So, where to begin, for those not paying attention? First off, Neil Patrick Harris is Doctor Horrible, who starred in "Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" with Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day and was made during the writer's strike by Joss Whedon and released to the Internets to a collective nerd-gasm. And Neil Patrick Harris was ALSO the host of the Emmys this year, and DHSAB was nominated in the "Best Regalia" category (at least, I think so - I didn't watch), so it makes sense to see the character turn up there.

And the Emmys are in the throws of a discussion that is well-known to gaming professionals - are awards to recognize individual achievement or to promote the general product (See the last 25 years of discussions about the Origins and GenCon Awards)? But that is an argument for eternity. Instead, the bit presented picks on the Internet, with Doctor H going on at length of the superiority of the Nets while showing the flaws of the current system.

And I was suddenly reminded of Tony Randall. Yeah, from the Odd Couple, but before that he was in a lot of romantic comedies of the late fifties and sixties, most of them set in New York City in corporate environments and were based on Broadway Shows (as opposed to now, where all Broadway Shows are based on Old Movies). Anyway, he was the lead in "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" with Jayne Mansfield, playing an ad executive, and extolling the virtues of television while revealing its flaws.

Now the original Broadway play of "Will Success..." attacked Hollywood screenwriting, and in no way resembled the eventual film, which mocked the new technology of TV. Right down to pointing out how small the picture was. But of course the studios embraced the new tech while mocking it, with the end result that the relationship between TV and the movies is only one of choice of the delivery system.

And so it will be with the Net. While we are busy posting on our "tweety pages and biggidy blogs", the dark shadows of larger corporate predators are moving beneath these waters, enclosing the net into their delivery system. Its already starting, despite declarations that no one knows how to handle the 'net. And who knows. Fifty years from now, there will probably be a net show complaining about mind-beam technology, with all its crass commercialism and limited bandwidth.

In the meantime, more later,