Monday, December 22, 2014

"Yes, Please" by Amy Poehler

I love Amy Poehler, mostly because I love Parks and Rec and her character Leslie Knope. It's hard to read a book by the real person behind the show and fictional character you adore because you're just asking for her to disappoint. I preface this review that way because I wanted to like Yes, Please so much more than I did, but I don't know that my reaction is totally Poehler's fault.

There were some good parts. She gushes about Parks and Rec and her costars, which made me happy. And her recounting of some award show gags was funny--but just because the gags were funny. I would have rather seen a YouTube compilation of them.

Other parts really didn't work. A longish chapter about an SNL skit she did in which she (unknowingly) mocked a real disabled girl just felt self-serving: "see how bad I felt about it and how I made it all better." And, "innocent" that I am, I winced a little whenever she talked about her frequent drug use, even if it wasn't heavy stuff. Leslie Knope would never use drugs! The frequent name-dropping, even if Poehler acknowledged doing it, grew old.

Poehler's background is in improv, and she clearly excels in that arena. On the printed page, she often feels flat and unfunny. I imagine even listening to the audiobook would improve the book significantly.

Or maybe she just can't live up to her friend Tina Fey when it comes to memoir/essays. Bossypants still rocks my world.

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