Friday, May 27, 2016

simply no, thank you

i so badly wanted to like amy poehler's memoir, yes please. because i love amy. i loved her on snl. i loved her on parks & recreation. i loved her when she hosted the golden globes. i loved her bits during the emmys. i think she is funny and smart and she has a lot of smart and funny friends. and she's been a comedy writer her whole career. you'd think that she would have written a very funny book, but she didn't. and for someone who talks about how badly she feels when a joke falls flat it's so disappointing that this was her best effort. it's like someone told amy, here's some money, write a book. but she had no idea what she wanted to write about and many ideas about what she didn't want to write about. for someone who seems to be open and committed to taking a bit as far as it can go, she does not do that here. the glimpses she gives us into amy poehler the person are too slight. and the stories she tells about the people she's met and how she got to where she is are too unfocussed and lack depth. one of the best chapters in the book is when she talks about the development of parks & rec. she gets michael schur to add footnotes to her memories of that time and the back and forth provides a light touch that the book desperately needed. she has so much affection for the series and yet it feels like she barely shares anything about it. for a memoir it's very strange because in many ways you feel like you know less about the person who wrote it after reading it than you did before you started.

instead it's probably best to think about moments like this on parks & rec. this moment felt more real than anything in the book. and that's saying something.

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