My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m late to the Bossypants party, but luckily Tina Fey knows how to keep the party thumpin’. Bossypants is hilarious, smart, and deeply insightful. But mostly it’s hilarious.
Bossypants is less a biography and more a brilliant stream-of-consciousness into the life of Hollywood-stomping Fey. It’s loosely organized by periods in her life, with a brief bit on her childhood, including irreverent stories about who she met on the first day of school, all the way up into her ongoing surprise that “30 Rock” turned out to be a sleeper hit. She’s humble about her achievements, making Fey seem even more like the person you’d most like to have a beer with. This sounds stupid, but she really is “just like everyone else,” and it seems that maybe a little of that midwestern awareness of the ridiculousness of NYC culture/TV writing insanity is what makes her brand of humor so fresh and entertaining. She’s the girl next door who makes you laugh so hard you nearly pee.
But just because it’s funny—and it IS funny, the kind of funny that’ll have you tapping your husband on the shoulder at midnight to read “just one more line” aloud—doesn’t mean this is an idle book. Fey wraps her humor around sometimes biting criticism, particularly about gender roles. She’s a feminist icon for a reason, and she’s very aware of the limitations (and benefits) of being a woman who is also funny.
The only criticism I have is that I wish there were more, particularly about the writing process for “Mean Girls,” the smash-success movie about teenage girls’ social structure that has, for me at least, left lasting ripples. There’s a scant reference to it, with a lot more time devoted to “30 Rock,” which I have been negligent about seeing (I’ll be fixing that soon).
More, Ms. Fey, always more. I love you and can’t wait for more.