Honest Trailers Commentaries is a weekly web series in which a panel of Honest Trailers writers watch and riff on an episode of Honest Trailers. They combine elements of traditional reaction videos, conventional audio commentaries, and comedy riffing tracks. Like reaction videos, they combine a shot of the writers with a thumbnail of the video they are watching. Like conventional audio commentaries, the writers discuss the creative process of producing each episode of Honest Trailers. Like comedy riff tracks, the writers frequently go off on humorous tangents, especially improv comedy bits involving character impersonations.
Honest Trailers Commentaries are currently published on the Screen Junkies YouTube channel every Wednesday at 10am PST. Episodes are typically 20 - 30 minutes in length. They are currently hosted by Spencer Gilbert, Dan Murrell, and Joe Starr. In addition, writers Lon Harris and Danielle Radford also appear (usually on alternate weeks).
Publication history Edit
Honest Trailers Commentaries were first published on Screen Junkies' paid subscription service Screen Junkies Plus, starting in 2015. The writers made a video every week to commentate on the newest Honest Trailer, while simultaneously going back through the archives of Honest Trailers, starting with the oldest Honest Trailer. When Screen Junkies Plus was discontinued in June 2017, new episodes of Honest Trailers Commentaries were published on the Screen Junkies News (later renamed Fandom Entertainment) YouTube channel starting with Memento. An Honest Trailer Commentary for every episode of Honest Trailers has been recorded - almost 300 in total. However, when the Screen Junkies app/website was discontinued in early 2018, all pre-June 2017 episodes were taken down. The episodes still exist, but Screen Junkies doesn't currently have a way to publish them. Screen Junkies Plus also used to host episodes of Honest Game Trailers Commentaries.
In July 2019, Honest Trailers Commentaries moved to the Screen Junkies YouTube channel at 10am PST every Wednesday, 24 hours after the corresponding episode of Honest Trailers is uploaded. At this time, the hosts tweaked the format slightly - they now respond directly to fan questions and criticisms left in the comment section of the Honest Trailer video.
Honest Trailers Commentaries get a fraction of the views of Honest Trailers - typically between 50,000 and 80,000. Honest Trailers Commentaries are designed to be watched after watching the original Honest Trailer. However, there is a vocal minority of viewers who prefer Honest Trailers Commentaries to actual Honest Trailers and don't even bother watching the original video. The writers frequently make jokes about these people, who they "don't get."
- Introduction: The host explains the format of the video, typically instructing viewers to watch the actual Honest Trailer first, then come back and watch the commentary. The host explains the panelists will watch the Honest Trailer, pause it as necessary to share their thoughts, and then show deleted scenes and cut jokes.
- Opening thoughts: Each panelist gives their overall impression of the movie and the challenges of writing the Honest Trailer for it.
- Stop/Start: The writers watch the Honest Trailer, calling out "Pause!" at crucial moments to have in-depth discussions of the film's features. The writers frequently ask the booth operator to go back and pause on key images in order to better scrutinize them. Compared to Honest Trailers, Honest Trailers Commentaries typically involve much more nitpicking.
- Deleted scenes/cut jokes: Video of jokes that were removed from the Honest Trailer. Sometimes jokes are removed because the Honest Trailer is running too long. Other times jokes are removed because they didn't land. Most cut jokes are alternate lines (especially alternate "starrings") that the team recorded with narrator Jon Bailey.
- Final thoughts: The writers give their overall thoughts on the film.
- Fan questions: Starting in July 2019, the hosts take a few minutes to respond to fan questions and criticisms left in the comment section of the Honest Trailer video.
- Clue for next week's Honest Trailer: The host conclude by dropping a hint (usually a pun) about what the next week's Honest Trailer will be.
Memorable episodes Edit
- Honest Trailers Commentary for Solo: A Star Wars Story - in which the panelists joke that Solo establishes the rule that every single idea the characters had in the original Star Wars trilogy must be based off an event that occurred in a prequel. The hosts riff on the idea of Han Solo expounding, with gravitas, about his encounter with a space worm and a rock. The also joke about the origin of other surnames in the Star Wars universe.
- Honest Trailers Commentary for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - in which the panelists riff on the idea that the character Benjamin Lockwood must have been monumentally clueless to not notice that his business partner was building a secret dinosaur auction room in his house.
- Honest Trailers Commentary for Mission: Impossible - Fallout - in which Spencer Gilbert reveals he can accidentally mimic the voice of character Solomon Lane perfectly -- by inexpertly attempting a Jason Statham impersonation.
- Honest Trailers Commentary for Venom - in which the panelists improvize an Eminem-style rap theme song for the prestige movie Roma. They also hypothesize that Venom comes from a sick-ass planet where everyone has 2000's OzFest tour band names (Riot! Toxin! Venom!) and the name "Venom" is as mundane as "Dave."
- Honest Trailers Commentary for How To Train Your Dragon - in which the panelists riff on the idea of all the adult characters having Swedish accents. However, the panelists' only knowledge of the Swedish language comes from the Swedish Chef in The Muppets, while their only knowledge of Swedish culture consists of eating meatballs and assembling IKEA furniture with Allen keys.
- Honest Trailers Commentary for Alita: Battle Angel - in which the panelists ridicule the lengths the movie went to in order to clarify that Dr Dyson Ido didn't choose to make Alita's body more "mature," replete with terrible German-Austrian accents. The panelists also speculate that the only reason Christoph Waltz got the job was because he could say the phrase "panzer kunst" without laughing. In addition, they imagine an alternate universe where Alita: Battle Angel has the same place in pop culture as Avatar.
Production credits Edit
Produced by Max Dionne
Tech Director: Josh "JTE" Tapia
Assistant Editor: Emin Bassavand
Honest Game Trailers Commentaries Edit
For a brief period, Screen Junkies also published episodes of Honest Game Trailers Commentaries on Screen Junkies Plus. These videos were produced in collaboration with Smosh Games and featured the writers of Honest Game Trailers reacting to and discussing their videos. Regular panelists included Spencer Gilbert, Matt Raub, Max Song and others. At least 33 episodes were published. Due to Screen Junkies Plus ending, episodes of Honest Games Trailers Commentaries are no longer available.