Book Review The Simpsons One Step Beyond Forever

Catching The Simpsons on a Sunday night is a religious experience for some. The new episodes bringing with them a new set of laughs, most of which are easy to miss. That's what makes these guides so necessary for the die-hard fan. In fact, you probably shouldn't even consider yourself a fan unless you have them for each season.

While it's debatable that seasons 13 and 14 were on a serious decline, there were no less inside jokes. It's not enough that this guide covers the couch gags, chalkboard skits, Itchy & Scratchy episodes, quotes, voice actors, character profiles, and a synopsis for each show. It's the small inset for each one, "The Stuff You May Have Missed."

That's where the best information is, pointing out various small bits, pop culture references you likely missed, things to look for come re-run time, and anything else that was tossed into the episode by the animators. These sections are generally small, but provide the most useful information in the book given that a rabid Simpson fan will likely know the plot outline of each episode.

Other extras include concept sketches, new drawings of one shot characters, and song lyrics (I Hate Flanders is a true classic). Seemingly useless features include all the times Homer said "D'oh" or "Hmm," yet you end up reading every one of them. The final few pages offer a ton of useless information, all of which seems to be necessary in some way as you flip through and marvel at the person who had to catalog this trivia.

It almost seems useless to review a book like this. You know if you need (yes, need) a copy. One Step Beyond Forever doesn't change the formula set by the previous books, but continues the quality. These are invaluable to the true fan, and this new entry doesn't change that.

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