"You know what I like about it? It doesn't remind me of anything."
~Rory Gilmore, some random episode of Gilmore Girls season 6
Ah, one of the greatest comments one can get (especially if you're Jess and you've been in love with Rory for four seasons). Sadly, this is not one I will be giving Tina Fey. What made me think of it was the fact that her recent humour book/memoir, Bossypants, reminded me of so many things, and not in a good way.
She portrays herself much in the way that Jen Lancaster portrays her character in her memoirs, particularly Bitter is the New Black, where she mocks and satirizes her former self. Only, Jen Lancaster is much more successful with this, producing many laughs, whereas Tina Fey only comes off as annoying.
Her sense of humour is similar to Amy Poehler's. While I do love Amy Poehler on Parks and Rec, I really don't get her sense of humour outside of that show--Baby Mama, her years on SNL, etc. She has a great energy on Parks, but on shows like SNL that hyperactivity becomes grating. She always goes for the easy, obvious, quick joke, rather than building to a big pay off. I don't think I'd enjoy a book by Amy Poehler, no matter how much I love Leslie Knope. Well, in Bossypants, Tina Fey becomes a lot less Liz Lemon and a lot more Amy Poehler, and it's really not that funny. It's is frustrating and weak and just not that clever.
She attempts to pull off a David Sedaris style of storytelling, where she tells a rather mundane story in a rather funny way. But just as she's no Jen Lancaster, she's no David Sedaris. Many of her stories are more exciting than Sedaris's, yet they are not as entertaining. For a woman who crafts such a clever show each week, she certainly doesn't write very interesting short stories. I'd prefer Sedaris to Fey any day.
Love how much he looks like a wax figure!
She hasn't lived a life like Rob Lowe. Part of the reason to read a celebrity book like this is to see all the celebrity references. In Rob Lowe's Stories I Only Tell My Friends, he name drops like crazy and it's so much fun! Tom Cruise! Charlie Sheen! Martin Sheen! Aaron Sorkin! Francis Ford Coppola! In Bossypants, there aren't nearly as many exciting names like that. You get to hear a lot about Amy Poehler and Lorne Michaels (the producer of SNL), and a little bit about Alec Baldwin. That's basically it. It's not nearly exciting and not nearly as fun.
None of that was good stuff. If you add it all up, the book is not very good. I literally only laughed twice during the entire memoir. And one of those times I was just laughing at a 30 Rock joke she quoted, which doesn't really count.
That was an issue I struggled with--is this supposed to be humour, or is it just supposed to be a memoir? When the book was being promoted a few months back, it seemed to be sold as humour, and I guess that's the assumption, since it's coming from Tina Fey. But since I was laughing so little, I felt like I should just judge it as a memoir--like I judged Rob Lowe's book.
In the end, it doesn't live up to my expectations. either as a piece of humour or an autobiography.