Tina Fey's Memoir Will End Heretofore Unknown Tina Fey Backlash

Ray Gustini
Tina Fey's Memoir Will End Heretofore Unknown Tina Fey Backlash

Tina Fey is funny. Funny as a writer, funny as a performer. Almost everyone--with a few notable holdouts--is willing to concede this point. It is no surprise to hear that her new memoir, Bossypants, which hits stores tomorrow, is also funny. How funny? Judging by the reviews, funny enough to stop the Tina Fey backlash in its tracks. To which you may ask: what Tina Fey backlash?

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Apparently there was one, at least according to the critics tasked with reviewing her book. When it started about what it's over is the subject of disagreement. Time's Mary Pols says she first felt "a twinge of unease" when Fey signed the contract to write a memoir in 2008 "at the height of her Sarah Palin-playing ubiquity." After reading the text, Pols admits her fear that Fey was "heading into the realm of celebrity cash-in books" with the project was misguided. "It makes me want to apologize for the brain spasm that caused me to forget Fey's foremost talent: writing."

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It was Fey's appearance on the January 2010 Vanity Fair cover "in what looked like a Wonder Woman costume," not a brain spasm, that caused Mary McNamara to doubt the project. Since that appearance, writes McNamara in her review of the book for the Los Angeles Times, Fey "has seemed in danger of falling for the very canard she has spent a career satirizing: that a woman can 'have it all' if she's willing to lose 20 pounds, show her breasts and regularly remind everyone that, although she writes and stars in an Emmy-winning TV show, she is still essentially a loser who eats a lot of cupcakes." Rather than continuing down this path, Bossypants is a pleasant surprise, in that it "reminds [the reader] why Fey has succeeded where so many have failed--because she is precise, professional and hilarious."

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Whether audiences needed such a reminder is another question entirely. Date Night, starring Fey and Steve Carrell, opened to solid reviews and grossed just under $100 million last year, while 30 Rock has already been renewed by NBC for a sixth season.