Here lies everything
The world I wanted at my feet
My victory’s complete
So hail to the king
Fans of Dr. Horrible recognize those lines as the musical climax to the Sing-A-Long Blog, where the doc finally achieves his goal to become part of the Evil League of Evil....but at a very high price.
However, you can take those words and give them new meaning. This time, you can picture him singing those words after finding out that his story has made history as the first original web show to earn an Emmy nomination.
In the past couple of years, the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences has recognized internet content, mainly webisodes. Now, Dr. Horrible has stopped the world not with his freeze ray, but his own musical. When you think about it, the Emmys couldn't ignore the Doctor. He's been a hit on the internet, iTunes, and even his own DVD. No one else has gone that far.
However, some may think the "victory" isn't complete: Dr. Horrible is under "Outstanding Special Class - Short-format Live-Action Entertainment Programs". It's competing against the Super Bowl Half-Time show, and webisodes linked to 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica and The Daily Show. Some may wonder why a half-time show would compete with web content. Maybe it's because they tried to come up with a category that almost fits the nominees. In this case, guys, not quite. Besides, Super Bowls win Emmys in sports production and announcing, not for entertainment. The last Super Bowl half-time show I liked was Super Bowl XXXVII,when Sting sang "Message in a Bottle" with Gwen Stefani.
Also, since Dr. Horrible did get an Emmy nomination, why didn't its songs get nods for "Original Music and Lyrics"? Yes, the Emmys have that category, which has been won recently by "I'm F*cking Matt Damon" and "D*ck in a box". Surely, "It's a Brand New Day", "My Eyes", "Everyone's a Hero" or even "Bad Horse" could have competed with songs that did make the cut...like Hugh Jackman's song that opened the Oscars, Stephen Colbert's Christmas song, or Flight of the Conchords' "Unnatural Love.".
And...I think Hugh could win because his production number did more with less, and even plugged his movie. (Take that, Colbert!) Still, the Whedons' and Maurissa's songs should have been considered.
That being said, let's recognize the real victory: an original web series, unconnected with established TV shows, won an Emmy nomination. Once the precedent is made, the Emmys will have to change with the times, and make new categories specifically for web content. One could be for webisodes connected with regular shows, another for original shows. Maybe other categories like Best Actor in an Internet Drama are a few years off, but you have to start somewhere. Dr. Horrible's nomination is good news for web shows like The Guild, Web Therapy, Cell Fulldose, Children's Hospital, Rockville CA, and many other original web shows out there. It shows the Emmys are starting to recognize web-based original shows as a true genre. Full recognition will take a few more years, but it will happen.
Dr. Horrible may see himself as a super-villain, but he is now a hero to those who make original web shows. They know that getting an Emmy, or even being considered, is no longer an impossible dream.