TV Squad's guide to spending your holiday loot: Books
Hopefully the gelt you received this past holiday season hasn't been all used up on paying your credit card bills for the gifts you gave this holiday season. That's because there are a number of books about television that you could be using that free money towards. There are books about TV shows, books about TV characters, books written by TV characters, and just general television history books. There are so many books about television already out or about to be released that you could easily spend countless hours reading them on the steps of your local library after the nuclear holocaust.
Just don't break your glasses.
So, here are eight titles to get you started.
Bite Me!: The 10th Buffyversary Guide to the World of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by Nikki Stafford: It's been almost 11 years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired on the WB. Despite the show ending in 2003, Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang have remained on our collective minds ever since. Nikki Stafford's book, originally released in 2002, has been updated to provide information and analysis of all seven seasons. It also gives details on what happened to the stars of the show when they left, the legacy that Buffy has had, and even contains information about the Season Eight comic books by Dark Horse. Speaking of which...
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home (Trade Paperback), by Joss Whedon and Georges Jeanty: Who else but the creator of the Buffy television series could continue the adventures of our favorite vampire slayer after the destruction of the Hellmouth. This trade paperback collects issues1-5 of the Season Eight comic book series written by Joss Whedon and published by Dark Horse comics. If you want to learn more about the comic before you put your easily-earned cash down you can read Keith McDuffee's reviews of the series. And, while we are still in the Buffyverse...
Angel: After the Fall, by Brian Lynch: While not written by Joss Whedon it is plotted by him, which means the feeling of the show makes it to the printed page. Like Buffy's comic book series, After the Fall picks up where the series finale of Angel ended. Readers get to see who lived, who died, and what the consequences of the battle were on Los Angeles. By the way, IDW, the publisher of the Angel series of comic books, offers a number of other TV-related titles, including Doctor Who, Star Trek and Transformers.
Zippy The TV Chimp, by Carole Womack: Zippy is one of the unsung heroes of the early days of television, having appeared with such personalities as Jackie Gleason, Ed Sullivan and Howdy Doody. This biography, written by Zippy's trainer, tells the story of how Zippy became the star he was and what eventually happened to the little chimp.
The Essential HBO Reader, edited by Gary R. Edgerton and Jeffrey P. Jones: Ever wanted to know everything about HBO? If so, then this 384 page, $40 book will be for you. The HBO Reader delves into the network's thirty-five(!) year development as a corporation and explores its various past programs like The Sopranos, The Larry Sanders Show, Def Comedy Jam and Sex in the City.
TV Year 2006-2007: The Prime Time Season -- Volume 2, by John Kenneth Muir: You remember the 2006-2007 season, don't you? So much promise that turned into do much dreck. Yet, it did give us shows like Heroes, Ugly Betty and 30 Rock. Author Muir covers the 200 dramas, sitcoms, and reality shows that aired in prime-time between August 2006 and July 2007.
I Am America (And So Can You), by Stephen Colbert: Sure, it's a little old, but it's still on the New York Times Bestseller list (12 weeks and counting). Included in this humorous take on how Colbert would solve everything are illustrations, charts, and the complete transcript from the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner (which people are still talking about).
Born Standing Up, by Steve Martin: Before he became a big movie star and famous author, Steve Martin was a television writer and stand-up comedian. This memoir talks about his early years doing both, starting in the mid 1960's and ending in 1981. He also talks about his times working in Disneyland and meeting Diane Keaton for the first time (when she was Diane Hall) .