Dr. Horrible DVD: Commentary! The Musical Review

Commentary! The Musical is not necessarily the rousing, toe-tapping grouping of what will become cult classics songs like those from the actual Sing-Along Blog. Rather, what it seems to be is more introspective than that. While this commentary runs parallel with the visuals from the Sing Along Blog, the songs don’t really "comment" on what you’re seeing (save for a couple of scant lines here and there). After the initial Broadway-themed lead song, Commentary!, sung by everyone, (though Nathan Fillion states in prose that he phoned it in), each song sung by the different actors and writers is more of an insight into their personal point-of-view of making the Blog. Most of the songs are jokingly applicable, but a couple of them are rather sweetly sad and have a grain of truth. Don’t fear, though, it’s kept light, and well…sing-songy.

There doesn’t seem to be an easily accessible title list for the songs online, so with a best-guess at the titles, the list goes like this:

 

Commentary! This is the cast, writers included, in a song about, well, the Commentary. It ends with the inevitable uproarious laughter.
Writer’s Strike Song Applicable because the lack of work during the strike was the impetus to the writing of Dr. Horrible. As stated on the DVD, it’s more of a history lesson, and where Joss sings along, one gets more of an opinion on how he felt about the final decisions of the strike.
Ten Dollar Solo Sung by Stacy Shirk, aka Groupie Number 2, who has given it a Carly Simon sad torch song quality. The title references the lyrics where she explains that she paid Joss $10 to get the solo on the DVD. She sings about how she’s a nobody and just needs a chance. NPH joins in at the end because he gave Joss more money. "Suck it! I gave him fifteen!" At the end of the song she runs away, crying.
I’m Better A lounge-lizard-type-song, with a 70’s R&B swing, sung by Nathan about how he’s better than Neil "in so many ways, it’s almost unreal." Nathan, after all, can make a great "7-layer-bean-dip" and he has "the high score on Ninja Ropes." This will be the song the fans will hearken to, and demand all the lyrics for.
The Art Felicia’s song about trying to balance her "tortured actor’s process" and "the art," against "how cute Nathan is". Also, even though her "death scene pumps" are great, that she has to force herself to remember "it’s not about shoes." Oh, and remember: "Catch ‘Guild’ Fever!" She has a rush of lyrics near the end that fans will need supplied, as well.
Zack’s Rap Zack Whedon sings a rap song, ala "It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp," about how he doesn’t like musicals, and how he prefers the drama of the story. "My brother said it was about a guy who kills some chick." He also gives us a little info on getting set-up with Hulu, and about the parts of the story that he, himself, wrote. The emulator-inflected back-up singers sweetly warn us, "Don’t tell him it’s a musical, ’cause then he might kill us all."
Nobody Wants to Be Moist Simon Helberg does a snappy, toe-tappy, 1930’s, Leon Redboney tune about Moist’s difficulties. While we can never be sure whether it’s a joke or the truth without the visuals, Neil mentions that Simon played his own piano for his song, too. Very well, by the way.
Ninja Ropes At best guess, this seems to be sung by Jed Whedon in the lead, with back-up by Nathan and Neil. It’s has a Boy-Band, lullaby quality to it as they sing about how the Ninja Ropes game made them all brothers. It has some incredibly harmony.
It’s All About Me The background characters, i.e. the groupies, the newscasters, the moving guys, all sing a dreamy, wistful song about how "if I had the screen time I deserved, you’d see," how important each one of them was to the story. After all, "the so-called stars are hopelessly out-classed."
Nobody’s Asian Maurissa sings about how she would never be allowed to be Penny (even though she "wrote all Penny’s lines," and "even sang her part on the demo,") because she’s Asian. "When it’s time to cast the show…did they want somebody yellow? Hell, no." It goes on to list some parts that Asians tend to play, and other races that get chosen before "they" choose an Asian. This is one of those that has that grain of truth in it.
Pick, Pick, Pick Joss sings a heartrending, extraordinary song lamenting the compulsory commentaries on DVDs, as it destroys the whole mood of the original story. When you "pick, pick, pick, pick, pick it apart…The narrative dies. Stretched and torn." But an opposing singer(s) (unknown) declares, "We have to sell some DVDs!" And that if Joss didn’t do things like this, he’d "be ignored at Comic Con." This song and Joss’s voice have an amazing Duncan Sheik quality to them. At the end of the song, everyone is fed up and walks out the door.
It’s Neil’s Turn NPH is left alone in the studio after everyone walks out. He sings his own song about how he can do it all and doesn’t need any of them. "No more Nathan, with his bean-dip." Neil has to run the equipment, too, and then realizes it’s too much for him. "What does this switch do…what’s with all these cords?"
Commentary! Finale Felicia rescues Neil from his solitude, and the rest of the cast and writers return to show their support to each other. "We’ve resolved all our problems!" As they finish up, a loving nod to the fans, Joss-style, is uttered: "Seeing it through makes each of you a huge, ****ing nerd!"
Steve’s Song Steve Berg sings a charming solo including heavy use of his sibilant "s". "My friends would never consciously exploit somebody’s weakness; they say my voice possesses a sweetness." He also confirms in song, "on the horizon there’s a sequel."

 

The comments in-between the songs are often Garland-Rooney-esque in their exuberance, as Jed Whedon states, "I just know that we can pull together and make this the best musical commentary ever!" Then it runs the gauntlet to fun insults where, for example, Nathan calls Felicia "monkey-face".

Overall, Commentary! The Musical is a unique and incredible achievement. The songs are creative and appropriately derivative, as intended. They are not as re-quotable and re-singable as the original entity, but it’s a lovely piece of work done by loving hands.

Facebook Comments

Post Author: System Administrator

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.