Four and a Half Torches (Out of Five)
Geez, fandom has gone big-time.
I should’ve known that fan “guides” and “companion books” to various TV shows were getting impressive when I reviewed Firefly: Still Flying, the latest of many companions to the canceled show Firefly, and they gave us an in-depth look at the kitchen utensils used in the galley of the Serenity.
In glossy pages, no less.
Yup, fan-guides are getting just that detailed.
Now there’s Supernatural: The Official Companion Season 4 by Nicholas Knight, and it’s another frighteningly comprehensive and detailed look at one of the best series on television.
In short, this book may not be for the casual fan, but if you’re an uber-fan of this show, you will love it.
Let’s get one thing out of the way right away: season four is this series’ best so far. Creator Eric Kripke thinks so (according to this book), and I think so too.
The book begins with an long introductory essay setting up the season. But what this book has that earlier companion books didn’t always have is access — to both the on-screen talent and the behind-the-scenes folks.
Not surprisingly, they have interesting things to say.
We learn, for example, that a “frozen” budget meant that season four required the producers to eliminate an entire day of shooting from the show’s previously nine-day shooting schedule. We also learn why Kripke violated his long-standing “no angels” policy of the first three seasons, and how it ended up revitalizing the show’s series arc — and gave us Misha Collins to boot.
Next up we have an episode guide, where we learn everything we could possibly want to know about each episode. For example, we learn the story behind Dean’s now-classic line, “I’ve been re-hymenated,” in the “Monster Movie” episode.
And what did Jensen Ackles think of those 1980s gym shorts in “After School Special”? “The shorter, the tighter, the better.”
One quibble: the episodes aren’t numbered.
After that, we have character break-downs, and also profiles and interviews of other key production personnel.
I say again: if you’re a Supernatural uber-fan — if you can’t get enough of this show — you’ll love this guide, which is wonderfully researched, professionally-written, and incredibly detailed.
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