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"Set course for wonder - It's a commentary!
—Commentary! The Musical
Commentary! The Musical is a commentary track in musical form on the DVD version of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, featuring self-bashing songs such as "Better Than Neil" and "Ten Dollar Solo". The official lyrics and liner notes can be found here.
- Artist Disillusionment: The subject of Joss's song, which is so depressing it drives everyone except Neil out of the studio.
- Author Filibuster: Joss Whedon's songs (one about the writers' strike and the other about how DVD extras like commentaries and making-of features destroy the narrative of the original work) come off less like Take That Us and more like plain old Take That.
- Blatant Lies: Is Nat trying to say he's Better than Neil with his song "Better Than Neil"? No, no, no! It's just an old sea shanty his mother taught him! Because he's from pirate blood!
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: It's already a commentary, but when one song is entirely about the song itself Jed notes that it's like "breaking the ninth wall".
- And Jed speaking about it would be...breaking the tenth wall?
- Buffy-Speak: Inevitable.
Felicia Lofty... Artness?
- Nathan manages an entire line of Buffy-Speak in Better Than Neil. Some of them make little or no sense:
- Catch Phrase: "I don't discuss my process!"
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a commentary and a musical.
- Fake Nationality: "A Persian or a Cajun/or an Indian or an American Indian/Played by a Mexican"
- Foreshadowing: "Why don't you sit in the corner over there by Steve and if we have time left over..."
- Gag Dub: Commentary! is 38% funnier when actually watched as a commentary track over Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog than when simply listened to as * cough* soundfilesdownloadedoffBitTorrent* cough* .
- OR just use YouTube.
- Or bought on iTunes!
- Hypocritical Humor:
- "We won't have those awkward pauses..." in the intro, "Commentary". Humourously, it's exactly synchronised with the other piece of Hypocritical Humor: namely, "Wow! Sarcasm! That's original!", and both are followed with awkward pauses - the one in Commentary is much longer, though.
- Also, Joss commenting on the evils of DVD extras and how they ruin the original narrative, in an over-the-top DVD commentary musical, one of several DVD extras. Although it may have been the extreme overabundance of them that he was complaining about, rather than merely their use.
- The song "Nobody's Asian in the Movies" is commenting on a problem to which Joss Whedon's own TV series Firefly contributes.
- "I Am" Song: "Moist"
- I Banged Your Mom: In "Ninja Ropes", Neil "told you How I F*** ed Your Mother".
- It's All About Me: is actually the name of one of the songs - sung by the various extras, and explaining how it is, in fact, all about them...
- Last-Second Word Swap: "My wonderful me-ness, my hammer the pe-ople can tell that I'm awfully swell..."
- Lounge Lizard: Nathan Fillion turns the smarm factor Up to Eleven on "Better Than Neil".
- Simon Helberg is arguably an even better example with his song "Nobody Wants to Be Moist." He even has a tinkly piano solo!
- Meta Fiction: It's a musical commentary track. It thrives on this.
- It really is more of a commentary on commentaries, than it is a commentary on Dr. Horrible. It probably spend more time commenting about how it's not a very good commentary than actually commenting on Dr. Horrible. The most commentary-ish song is Felicia's 'The Art', but that's full of her Blatant Lies and Take That Us.
- Money, Dear Boy: Zach's excuse for why he got involved in a musical product in the first place.
- Overly Narrow Superlative:
Jed: Let's all pull together and make this the best musical commentary ever!
- Race Tropes: Many are explored (and mentioned by name) in "Nobody's Asian in the Movies", including the stereotyped Asian who is a goofy mathematician, Korean grocery store owner, or ninja, or who speaks Engrish. "Me Love You Long Time" gets passing nod, too.
- Self-Demonstrating Song: "Ten Dollar Solo", as mentioned above, is completely about itself.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money: One of the extras pays Joss ten dollars to get her own solo. Neil pays him fifteen dollars and changes the song into a duet.
- Shaped Like Itself: In "It's All About the Art":
Magic is a magical thing/And lovely as love
- Shout-Out: To The Guild, How I Met Your Mother, Doogie Howser, M.D., One Life to Live and an iPhone flash game, among others.
- Stacy comments in "Ten Dollar Solo" that the remake of Fame will be better and less depressing than the original. Said remake is directed by Kevin Tancharoen, brother of Maurissa.
- In "Zack's Flavour" mentions that the musical doesn't need to be 'pretty' or 'witty'. Compare with the line from The Producers 'Shows should be more pretty, shows should be more witty' from the song 'Keep it Gay'.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: In Ten Dollar Solo:
Ten dollar solo/not bad so far/there's internal rhyme/although not every instance/and the meter is occasionally a little bit bizarre
- And a painfully obvious one in "Better Than Neil":
My wonderful me-ness/My hammer, the pe--ople can tell/that I'm awfully swell
- This is made even less subtle (more hilarious?) by the fact that it plays off the single most popular gag in the original film.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Immediately before "The Art", "I certainly wasn't thinking about how cute Nathan is!"
- Take That: Probably embodied best in Nathan's song, "Better Than Neil", a 3-minute-long Take That against the main actor Neil Patrick Harris.
- Although he claims that it's a sea-shanty that he learned from his pirate mother.
- "Songs can hurt like a fist."
- The previous comment is also said while, on-screen, the actor's character is being beaten up by the singer of the previous song.
- Of course, the song also implies that Nathan himself is either painfully jealous and in denial, downright delusional, or both, so it could be said to be mocking him just as much if not more.
- Take That, Audience!: Hope you had fun / 'Cause now we're done / You've listened to every word / Seeing it through / Makes each of you / A huge f***ing nerd
- Take That Us: Just about the whole thing. If the lyrics are to be trusted, Joss Whedon is a cheap sell-out in between being emo about exactly that, Zack Whedon is a particularly pathetic wannabe rapper, Neil Patrick Harris is a secretly megalomaniacal (and possibly bipolar) attention whore, Nathan Fillion is butthurt and in denial about not being as talented as his costars, Felicia Day is a self-promoting blabbermouth in between desperately trying and failing to be deep and artsy, Maurissa Tancharoen thinks "math" is a verb, and the entire rest of the cast severely overestimates the relative importance of their roles. The fact they all personally participate in putting themselves down in this way can only say good things about their sense of humour.
- Steve's Song
- Nobody's Asian in the Movies. Joss Whedon has been slammed for the fact that Firefly had no Asian characters, despite being set in a universe where the culture is heavily influenced by China.
- Felicia has a vestigial tail. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
- Neil's may be a shout-out to his appearances as himself in the Harold and Kumar movies, which portray him the same way.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: "Ninja Ropes", in the best possible way.