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Read Any Good DVDs Lately?

14 Jan, 2011 By: John Latchem

Chasing Zebras

When I fall in love with a movie or TV show, I generally want to learn as much about it as possible. It’s always fun to pop in a DVD and keep an eye out for hidden details or bits of trivia about which you might not have known.

The Internet has proved to be a great resource for that (thank you Wikipedia), but one shouldn’t overlook the volumes of published tie-ins that inevitably find their way to the market in the wake of a pop-culture phenomenon, some of which are officially sanctioned, and some of which are not.

I’m not just talking about episode guides that were once a staple of the tie-in market. For any popular movie or TV show, you may find dozens upon dozens of books seeking to analyze the stories and characters, or the science or philosophy behind the show.

Take the show “House,” for example. Over the holidays I was given a copy of the book Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. by Barbara Barnett, published by ECW Press. It’s an exhaustive resource to the show filled with essays that explore the various themes and ethical issues portrayed week to week on the medical drama, as well as an episode guide for the first six seasons that keeps track of the medical mysteries, the complications that ensue, to whom House is mean in a given week, and other trivia and observations. (The book’s title refers to how House thinks outside the box to diagnose his patients, alluding to a med-school axiom that suggests when one hears hoofbeats, one should think horses, not zebras.)

Any “House” fan (as I am) would find a book like this immensely entertaining.

So next time you’re heading home from the video store, be sure to stop by the bookstore too. You might learn something new.

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