29 April 2011

Book 18 of 2011

Holy crap, I finished this in two days after borrowing it from Ms. Beeley.


18) Bossypants by Tina Fey
It feels unfair to review this book, which is part memoir and part comedic essay collection, in any sort of real or logical way since I feel like I'm predisposed to loving everything Tina Fey does since I've had a crush on her (like most of young, white male America between the ages of 24 and 39 with English degrees who stay up late at home on Saturday nights and spend too much time on the Internet) since she started doing Weekend Update on SNL back when that was a thing she did because she's a brunette lady who wears glasses on television and there are so very few of those. Also, she's smart and funny. And 30 Rock is one of my favorite TV shows and Liz Lemon is my favorite female character of all time. Plus, I liked both Baby Mama and Date Night and saw them in the theater. I was not impartial going into this book is what I'm saying.

Putting aside all of those predispositions, this book is great. Fey has a distinctive voice because she's, admittedly, very one-dimensional as a performer, but this leads to a familiarity. It's very easy to hear each word in Fey's usual exasperated cadence. Much like she does on 30 Rock through Liz Lemon, Fey is unafraid of making herself look ridiculous or be brutally honest about herself because who is she trying to impress at this point? She's happily married with a daughter and another kid on the way, working at her dream job. People that find her attractive and charming do so as much because of her sense of humor and intelligence as they do because she wears dark-rimmed glasses. And if dudes stop finding her attractive because she talks about her flat feet or belly fat, then middle fingers in the air for everyone, right? Right.

The chapters alternate between short narratives about specific moments from her personal life and an overview of Fey's career, all of which are funny. The highlight is an essay on her dad that made me want to write a similar ode to my own father. The rest of her insights into her experience playing Sarah Palin and attempting to make a hit show that instead became a critical cult darling are fun to read. I'd put this slightly above Patton Oswalt's Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, and I hope that she doesn't stop writing books with just this one. Ms. Beeley's assessment put it best: "I want Tina Fey to be my best friend."

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