Monday, December 20, 2004

Gladly! (A half-assed review of Paul Feig's Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence)

Dear Paul:

Okay. I get it. Really, I do. Your childhood and adolescence were a continuous stream of humiliation. One of your stories illustrates the point very well. The second and third ones drive home the persistence of your ritualized embarassment.

Around the eighth one, I just wanted to beat you up.

Paul, Paul, Paul. I was a huge fan of Freaks and Geeks. That was some fine TV. I was so predisposed to like this book that you should have had me eating out of your hand. But whereas ythe show evoked subtle catharsis and redeeming resilience, your autobiographical accounts in the book mostly come across as whiny and full of hyperbole. I do not believe for a gym-class-minute that you remember your exact thoughts and perceptions as you describe.

What was your pitch to the publisher? "I could write a book about what a dork I was in junior high! Like Freaks, but, you know, in a book."

Granted, one or two of the stories were funny. (The chapter "My First and Bestest Girlfriend" was a blunt and hilarious anecdote of sexual discovery.) Overall, though, the episodic structure you emplyed in Kick Me doesn't build to anything bigger or take us off on unpredictable paths. This was more like treatments for shows than it is a quality prose memoir.

So, your momma dressed you funny. Get over it!


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