I doubt it would be a shock to say that season 3 of Supernatural, sucked. It was, without debate, the worst season of the show thus far (season 5 would have to start trying by this point to beat it out). With this in mind, I picked up the season 3 companion, wondering how they were going to deal with it.
Short answer: Honestly.
Long answer: My recommendation on these books and more is usually based on whether you can acquire something from them that you cannot from the show alone and whether that is worth the price. This book does give some fascinating insight that you won’t have gotten from even the DVD commentary and extras. With the benefit of hindsight and breathing room from the season end, Kripke & Co really nail what went wrong and right in the season.
Part of the issue was executive meddling, but the creators don’t shy away from the parts they played. An example: the higher-ups insisted that 2 girls be added as semi regulars to the show. Kripke & Co had already planned for Bela’s appearance and decided to tweak some things to make her a regular. Looking back… they realize they some of those tweaks were in the very wrong direction (exhibit A: shooting Sam).
The actual episode reviews are quite standard. The author, Nicholas Knight, tries to find something positive about each one. Even something like Red Sky at Morning they talk about some of the special effects they had to work on, though there were some initial budget problems.
Of course, season 3 was cut shorter than normal because of the writers’ strike so to get the book up to the same thickness as the others, there are lots of extra included. Even some talk on the book Bone Key, the SPN magazine and the comics (no mention of this blog though, WTH?). So all in all… this isn’t a bad purchase for fans, though casual ones might want to just check it out of a library or borrow a friend’s.
Note: I know a supplement has released for the SPN:RPG. I am trying to get a copy from my local comic store, they only got 1 in and another hardcore fan beat me to it.