Book Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Bossypants
Title: Bossypants
Author: Tina Fey
Social Media: Goodreads and Twitter
Publisher: Sphere, imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Format and Price: E-Book at $12.99

About The Author:
Elizabeth Stamatina “Tina” Fey is an American actress, comedian, writer and producer. She has received seven Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, four Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Writers Guild of America Awards. She was singled out as the performer who had the greatest impact on culture and entertainment in 2008 by the Associated Press, who gave her their AP Entertainer of the Year award.

After graduating from the University of Virginia in 1992, Fey moved to Chicago to take classes at the improvisational comedy group The Second City, where she became a featured player in 1994. Three years later, Fey became a writer for the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL). She was promoted to the position of head writer in 1999. The following year, Fey was added to the cast of SNL. During her time there, she was co-anchor of the show’s Weekend Update segment. After leaving SNL in 2006, she created the television series called 30 Rock, a situation comedy loosely based on her experiences at SNL. In the series, Fey portrays the head writer of a fictional sketch comedy series.

In 2004, Fey made her film debut as writer and co-star of the teen comedy Mean Girls. In 2008, she starred in the comedy film Baby Mama, alongside Amy Poehler. In 2009, Fey won an Emmy Award for her satirical portrayal of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a guest appearance on SNL.

About The Book:
Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her.

Before 30 Rock, Mean Girls and ‘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.

General Observations:
~A Little Bit Of Everything: Tina Fey’s memoir isn’t in canonical order and covers a broad range of topics and stages in her life, so I see why some readers might describe it as “all over the place” and it does feel like that at certain points, but I think it works for me (however I can see why it doesn’t work for some readers).

~Favourite Chapters: While I love Tina Fey’s much hailed Sarah Palin impersonations, her Saturday Night Live chapters weren’t the chapters I enjoyed the most, though I did enjoy reading about the writing process for comedy skits (and the separation of writing the skit and acting in the skit). However, two chapters stand out for me the most, the chapter Tina Fey dedicates to Amy Poehler and the chapter she dedicates to her father Don Fey. You can see it in the SNL skits they perform, it’s obvious that Tina and Amy not only work well together but enjoy each other’s company immensely. As for Don Fey, Don Fey was a code-breaker in the Korean war, Don Fey is intense and, according to Alec Baldwin, not a man to be messed with. I find it interesting to learn about people’s parents, especially with regards to comedians.

~Feminist Priorities: While I did enjoy her chapter on “Crazy Older Actresses” (spoiler alert: older actresses are given the crazy label when Executive Producers no longer feel the urge to fuck them, this label is rarely applied to men and even when it is, it’s rarely seen as a detraction), I couldn’t really relate to her chapters about what it’s like to juggle a career and a family, though I completely understand why those chapters need to be written, the conversation of how people need to stop asking how women balance a career and a family and just let them get on with it needs to happen. However, it’s not a topic that’s high on my specific Feminist Agenda, at my age Tina Fey was still working at the YMCA, hopefully by the time I’m 40, this will no longer be an issue. However, that this is still an issue now does lead me to cynical conclusions.

Overall, an interesting and entertaining read that’s easy to read yet engaging, I definitely recommend reading it.

Links:
~Tina Fey & Amy Poehler: First Ladies of Comedy (January 10, 2014)

~Couric / Palin Open – Saturday Night Live

~VP Debate Open: Palin / Biden – Saturday Night Live

~Governor Palin Cold Open – Saturday Night Live
RMFAO Genre Challenge 2016

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