Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bossypants




Disclaimer: I completely love everything Tina Fey has done and love it blindly. So rather than this being a "What a great book!" and thoughtful this will unfortunately sound like a fangirl love letter to Tina Fey. I'm not sorry.

After reading The Fault in our Stars, I needed something that was hilarious because that book broke my feelings. (If you're interested in how it broke my feelings, read here!) I found that Bossypants became more than just a memoir and was inspirational, silly, incredibly quotable, and very relatable.

"To say I’m a troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair."
I've always been told that someone's a great writer if you can hear their voice through their writing.   Reading her book, you can definitely hear Tina Fey in it. Best example? Read the chapter "The Secrets of Mommy's Beauty" and tell me you don't hear Tina Fey reading it in your head. The most prevalent theme in her book is about her job as a writer. She starts from how she worked at a desk job and poured all her money into improv classes, and builds upon that. But not linearly, she breaks it up between her home life, stories about her family, and random Q&A's with the internet. It's the way she can change the topic is great, and something I've always admired in watching 30 Rock.
"‘The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.’ This is something Lorne has said often about Saturday Night Live, but I think it’s a great lesson about not being too precious about your writing. You have to try your hardest to be at the top of your game and improve every joke you can until the last possible second, and then you have to let it go."
Speaking of 30 Rock, her chapter about the show will make you love it even more. She introduces the writers of 30 Rock and a little bit of their background, and you can see some of the similarities with the ones shown in the show. After reading Bossypants, I've noticed that 30 Rock has a very improv-y feeling. The jokes per scene, sight gags, and how the characters play off of each other does seem very SNL-ish, but not overtly so.
“One afternoon a girl walked by in a bikini and my cousin Janet scoffed, “Look at the hips on her.” I panicked. What about the hips? Were they too big? Too small? What were my hips? I didn’t know hips could be a problem. I thought there was just fat or skinny. This was how I found out that there are an infinite number of things that can be “incorrect” on a woman’s body.”
And like a lot of Tina Fey's works, there's a lot about being a feminist and views on women. Throughout her chapters dedicated to improve, her stint on SNL, and working on 30 Rock, she talks about women and their role in the media. How women aren't seen as funny, getting women to turn on each other, etc. We've all seen this, especially if you've seen Mean Girls. (Which surprisingly was not mentioned at all during this book. Please for book 2?) But some of the most inspirational bits about her view of women was that it's all encompassing. It's okay to be progressive and work 70+ hours per week. She wrote some real truths about how it's okay to cry, how you shouldn't be mean to people to get things to happen your way, among other things. As someone who likes to be nice to people and cheery, that was so good to read because so often I come across people who seem to just want to ruin my mood. 

Anyway, other little tidbits I noticed/want to mention:



  • The fact that Tina Fey seems to swear in every other sentence was actually great. She used it in a way to be funny, and not annoying. Although, I can see that putting some people off. 
  • As I mentioned before, Fey didn't mention Mean Girls. Which is strange because that's what made me hear of her first. I mean I don't know what she could have written about, but I'd love to hear what she thought about writing that movie and how big of an influence it's had on us. 
  • "Don’t concern yourself with fashion; stick to simple pieces that flatter your body type. By nineteen, I had found my look. Oversize T-shirts, bike shorts, and wrestling shoes. To prevent the silhouette from being too baggy, I would cinch it at the waist with my fanny pack. I was pretty sure I would wear this look forever. The shirts allowed me to express myself with cool sayings like “There’s No Crying in Baseball” and “Universit├Ąt Heidelberg,” the bike shorts showed off my muscular legs, and the fanny pack held all my trolley tokens. I was nailing it on a daily basis. Find something like this for yourself as soon as possible.” -- One of my favorite passages ever actually.
  • Tina Fey can't drive and that makes me feel okay. She went out of her way to mention this, and I figure if she's successful in life without a driver's license, than so can I. (Who's thinking bad logic? Anyone?)

Anyway that's just about it. Sorry for the word vomit. (This might be my longest entry yet? Oh man) The next book I'll probably talk about is going to be The Silver Linings Playbook. I'm almost done with it actually. (On the last 100 pages.) So yay! :)

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