UHS Honors English 9 P2 2017 discussion

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Book review - Bossypants

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Matthew Spurlock | 8 comments Matthew Spurlock
English 9
Mr. Hilbert
April 25, 2018
Bossypants Review
Tina Fey; an iconic director, comedian, actor, and now the author of her memoir Bossypants. You probably know her from her cult classic Mean Girls, but you probably didn’t know how she became a part of the film industry, and what it was like being a part of it. Throughout her story, we learn of how she tackled the misconceptions of sexism in the Saturday Night Live crew, how she started her acting career, and how she became the woman she is today. While maintaining her trademark humor she blends seemingly random chapters with the overarching narrative, all to finally bring the jumbled pieces together. In the end, those odd asides build on the important topics she is talking about, such as female positivity and empowerment for women.
When she talks about her childhood, she refers to her parents in a very kind manner but she soon shifts the mood when she talks about her work at a theater camp during the summer. There, she learned what it really meant to be a mean girl, and got inspiration for the Plastics through this past experience. Anxiety about dating, the feeling that she didn’t fit in, the fact that all the popular girls during her time were blond; as you read you begin to realize that the dramatized events in her biggest movie weren’t as far-fetched as you might think. She uses colorful language and word choice in order to lighten the mood at times where it seems plain dark, and it makes it a lot easier to read than if it was just the horrible truth. However, she turns the mood around and brings us to a brighter day in the future.
She goes on to share her experiences through college as a drama student before moving to Chicago. Working at the YMCA and then Second City, she had to work hard and hone her craft if she were to become a good comedian. As a part of their job, comedians have to use their knowledge and imagination to their best abilities, since they don’t have any props or scripts they can go by. Her recounts of working hard make you realize that these professionals may not to work as hard now to keep a roof above their head, but they had to work immensely harder than a lot of people in order to get to where they are now.
Lastly, Fey goes over how she got to where we see her now; on Saturday Night Live. Working alongside another well-known face, Amy Poehler, Fey tells how Poehler showed her the ropes when she was starting her work on SNL and gave great advice on how to view her work and life. She admits she couldn’t have done her job alone and having colleagues advice helped her out, and she even used it to pitch the show 30 Rock to NBC (Which was approved). While on the topics of SNL, she clears some misconceptions about sexism on the show by explaining how, for example, male crew members would be hesitant to perform a sketch on maxi pads, not because of sexism, but because they barely knew anything on the topic. She uses this experience to teach how the audience might see things one way, but there is a whole other story under the front layer.
In general, the book goes over her life. That was its main purpose and that was what it achieved. It then also delivers a message on how to take on the challenges she went through and overcome them. This helps people see a word of advice in action, and why its important in certain situations rather than just hearing it without context. Her jokes and humor might not be for everyone but the guidance she gives is there nonetheless. Bossypants shares her personal life and helps people live their own with kind words to live by, giving good insight on how to overcome the bad situations.


message 2: by Kylie (new)

Kylie | 8 comments This sounds like such a great book and I am ready to start reading it right now! There were so many aspects of this review that I just loved such as examples that people can relate to, her many struggles in life, and how these all helped her succeed in the end such as using her personal experiences of being bullied at summer camp to help create a hit movie. You also talked about how she used words to change the mood so that it wouldn't stay dark and depressing for too long which I really like in a book. Next, you mentioned the many different activities that she was involved in such as Saturday Night Live, comedy, acting, etc to prove that she had a lot of life experience that she was working with in order to write this book. I am so ready to buy this book on amazon right now because it sounds fun yet empowering at the same time.


message 3: by Cedar (new)

Cedar | 8 comments I love that entertainment industry people are starting to write books about how they got to the place they are now. I'm always so interested in the whole process and seeing the struggle from their point of view. Tina Fey is such a cool gal and I really respect her craft. Thank you for painting a picture of what to expect from the colorful language to her fears and experiences. This sounds like an important read because from the way you explained it, she gets a bit more serious and really replays her adolescence. You are right when you say her humor isn't for everyone but I definitely appreciate her comedy.


message 4: by Bridget (new)

Bridget Mitchell | 8 comments This book sounds amazing, and something that would really interest me as a big nonfiction reader. Autobiographies are hard for me to read because it always sounds like the person is bragging but this one sounds different. Her background of hard work, sweat, and tears makes her comedy more relatable. I was surprised to learn about the basis of the Mean Girls plot, which I had never really looked into. The drama masks over the truth, but I can see that it's still there. People think that celebrities get their lives handed to them on a silver platter, and that's true to some degree. But I like that you explained that for Fey, there was an immense amount of work put in to have that kind of lifestyle. I would definitely read this book because it sounds like a new perspective on living in the entertainment industry.


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