Thursday, May 26, 2011
Book Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey
Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.
She has seen both these dreams come true.
At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon -- from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.
Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.
(Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)
This book did and did not meet my expectations. I knew Bossypants would be a memoir of Tina Fey's career and life, but I also expected more jokes/funnier stories. While I did chuckle throughout the book, I rarely burst out laughing. Tina's voice definitely comes through the words and her stories are fascinating and I highly enjoyed reading them.
However, I thought that overall flow of the book was jarring and there was not central theme to pull it together- besides Tina Fey herself. I haven't read many memoirs, so this may be typical of them but I wish it felt more like a story instead of each chapter being more of a separate entity.
That being said, there were some amazing chapters. For example, one chapter explains just what professional photo shoots are like- which I loved. Tina Fey spoke about them in a way that seemed like it would also be my point of view- if I ever had the fortunate opportunity to even be in the same room as a photo shoot.
I also liked a lot of Tina Fey's feminist points (although I strongly disagree with her political views, so I just skimmed those parts so I could keep enjoying the book). There are three chapters in particular that I liked. First- I liked the two back to back chapters: 'Remembrances of Being Very Very Skinny' and 'Remembrances of Being a Little Bit Fat.' I liked the conclusion to both of these chapters, basically we should stop caring about weight so much as long as the person is healthy. It's a simple as that.
The other chapter that I really liked was about Tina Fey and her wildly popular Sarah Palin impersonation. This chapter also talks about the concurrent events of Oprah appearing on 30 Rock and planning her daughter's birthday party. I liked how even though she was a anxious, worried mess during this turbulent time, she also managed to do it all. It was fascinating to read about this time, especially since it was quite recent and I knew about/had seen both her Sarah Palin impersonations and the episode on 30 Rock with Oprah. I did not know about her daughter's birthday though. Oh well.
I loved a lot of the other chapters as well, but I also did not like some of them. I did not like the last chapter in the book, called 'What Should I Do with My Last Five Minutes.' Basically Tina Fey divulges all of her worries about possibly having another child or staying with her career. While I completely understand her anxiety, and even completely emphasize since I worry about my possible future career taking over my life to the detriment of my future family, I just didn't think it was a good way to end the book. It was quite depressing. And I think it's something that a lot of people/mothers/would-be mothers/fathers/etc worry about. But Tina Fey didn't have any answers or insight, so why bring it up and take us all down in your worries?
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars