Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey (Review)

Looking for some light comedic non-fiction from a great comedienne? BOSSYPANTS might not be as great as you might think, but it's still a fun time from the amazing Tina Fey.

280 Pages
Published April 5th, 2011 by Little, Brown and Company

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.

My friends always tell me I remind them of Tina Fey. In fact, Tina Fey is actually one of my heroines, up there with Hilary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Oprah. I am the real life younger version of Liz Lemon, as sad or awesome as that might be, so of course I wanted to dive into this book the moment I got it. That of course didn’t happen, so come July and it was the Oh No They Didn’t Book Club Light Read Selection of July, I finally made time.

From recollecting tales of her childhood to a honeymoon ruined by cruise ship fire, Tina Fey’s life is surprisingly…not as comical as I had expected. Not to say this book wasn’t funny, but I wanted more funny. She’s a comedian. She’s a comedy writer. Bossypants fell short of the laugh out loud funny mark, but it made up for that in relatable and even inspiring tales about life, love, work, and popping out a kid. All I need help on, so I was happy in this camp.

Another problem I had with this book was the fact it skipped around and didn’t follow a timeline. We’d go from childhood to college to work back to college to 30 Rock back to SNL back to childhood to having a child at random parts. The parts where she recounts her life before she gained fame are amazing, 5 stars all around. Even the parts where she talks about her honeymoon and her child fall in this category. But the work parts? Three stars at best. I got bored with descriptions of coworkers, staffers, friends, Saturday Night Live bits, and 30 Rock’s will it or won’t it fail recaps.

Tina Fey manages to keep her heroine status with this offering, but it wasn’t as good as I had expected. If it had been timelined better, and if it had left out ¾ of the work-related stuff, it would have been a 5 all around, but I will give it 3.5 and round it up to 4 because I love Tina and I’m a nice girl. Also, the cover is hilarious.

VERDICT: Not as funny as what you might expect from Tina Fey, but BOSSYPANTS does offer a lot of fun stories and advice and a look behind the scenes at her life.


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