I did not care for this book at all. The authors do not even seem to be fans of the show. Seemingly every review has some kind of snide comment. A few examples:
“Everything that felt adventurous about One Breath in 1994 has been so thoroughly improved upon elsewhere that it’s hard not to cringe just a little bit when watching it today.”
“Usual Suspects has enough charm and old-school fun that it’s impossible not to like, but it’s also not an episode to inspire the absolute love this series does at its best…”
“Arcadia is a fan-favorite episode that might be the most overrated episode of the series.”
In addition to the negative tone, the book itself is very hard to read.
The print of the book is microscopic. This release would have been better served as a trade paperback so the print could be a bit larger.
The title of each episode is relegated to very small print in the margins. In much bigger print directly above the commentary is the authors’ shorthand review. For Syzygy, the episode name is very small, but in larger print and in caps is “SURE. FINE. WHATEVER”.
But perhaps my biggest beef is the endless use of footnotes. Almost every page has at least one, and almost all of them are pointless. Ex: “Or the Sopranos, paving the way for an era of morally complex dramas starring men….” The footnote: “Yeah, almost always men.”
I’ll stick with the Official Guide to the X-Files series. Even though the set of books did not cover the entire series, they were much better organized, more readable and contained a lot more information (such as guest starts, location, original air date, etc. which are all missing from this book).