It’s so strange to have this huge piece of work that defined my life for the past three years finally be out in the world so that OTHER PEOPLE can see it. The reviews are coming in and I feel so lucky that many people are responding positively.
And for the most part, I understand and occasionally agree with the criticisms*. There is a negative one that I reference a lot mostly because it’s from a major outlet and because the reviewer pretty much called me a terrible writer. It came up in my Googling yesterday and I saw the promo copy written for the site (which is much different from than the copy they used on Twitter, which is completely sensationalistic, hyperbolic and completely off the mark), in which they called the book “belligerently upbeat.” I laughed at that, as it’s something I would never call myself or my work — and the first thing I thought was:
"Is ‘belligerently upbeat’ like ‘aggressively short**’?"
"She’s kind of short, don’t you think? Aggressively short, almost. It’s like she’s throwing it in my face."
— “Bowling for Votes”
If so, I’m okay with that. Making this connection has helped me deal with the sadness I had over the review because now I’m in the room with Leslie, watching people through a two-way mirror — people who are far more predisposed to offer criticism than praise. And I’m not looking for blind or gushing praise, nor am I going to invite anyone out to a Dr. Horrible Sing-Along and then punch them when they insult my writing, but I’m going to keep this idea of a focus group in mind while reading reviews.
*I have no problem with criticisms, especially thoughtful ones. I do get frustrated when people make incorrect assumptions about the book (like it was authorized and thus I should have had more stories about X in there) or list out what they wanted in the book and since I didn’t address that to their satisfaction, they declared the book inadequate.
**I, too, am aggressively short and most likely throw it in EVERYONE’S face.
And now you know why Amy Poehler never wins at the Emmys…
The Television Academy has been counting votes for Amy Phoeler this whole time, and it’s zero every year.
This was waiting on my stoop when I got home.
(It’s the British version of the biography that comes out on July 24.)
It’s so surreal. It’s so real. My mind is still blown. I’ve been rapidly vacillating between these three reactions:
Classic Children’s Books Starring ‘Parks and Rec’ Characters
this. is. wonderful.
Considering how many canon things come up repeatedly in fic (and the show for that matter), I’m sad that this piece of Leslie history hasn’t been addressed more.
This article addresses the show’s issue with Ann really well:
The problem is that the show’s writers have never seemed to have a firm grasp on who Ann is outside of their friendship. She has had fun moments… But while other Parks and Rec characters have evolved over the course of the series—cocky Tom Haverford matured as he realized his entrepreneurial ambitions, apathetic April Ludgate become softer and more career driven due to her marriage and Leslie’s mentorship—Ann is pretty much the same person audiences met in the pilot.
“Will you just shut your beautiful piehole,” Leslie says to Ann after she disagrees with Leslie’s plan to extend a work project so that she can spend more time with her ex. “Just sit there, let me stare at you while you silently support me on this game plan.”
It’s a funny line, but one that also sums up the problematic nature of their friendship. Leslie loves Ann, but seems to view her as her cheerleader or sounding board, and little else. And the trajectory of this friendship hasn’t changed over the past six seasons: Leslie has a personal or professional dilemma, and Ann listens to her problems or assists her in some way…
Perhaps if Ann were given more to do on the show, her friendship with Leslie would be more equal. But the writers have never really attempted to deepen her character; for example, it never clarifies whether she is biracial, as her portrayer is. The fact that we have never met Ann’s parents or childhood pals or anyone else from her life, or know what her goals are beyond meeting Mr. Right or having a baby, is a disservice to the character.
Ann is a perfect best friend for Leslie; unfortunately she isn’t much more than that. Let’s put it this way: If Leslie were to craft a wedding dress for Ann made up of her greatest moments, it’s hard to picture what that dress would look like. — KIRTHANA RAMISETTI
(and it took six seasons to learn that Ann is from Michigan… which we found out from Chris.)
The only problem is that Ben Wyatt would “drop by” to “surprise” Leslie for lunch all the time. He’d keep “getting lost” and Nick Fury would find him playing around in the R&D room when Ben flies a mini-Helicarrier out the door, smacking Fury in the back of the head. There would be reprimands for Agent Knope, who would have her Thursday afternoon recreational workshops suspended for six months. She decides to share her punishment at home, which leads to some awesome sexytimes when she sneaks out and experimental pair of hover-handcuffs that floats the “prisoner” about two feet above the ground.
The invisibility cloak gets checked out by Agent Knope often — for “real world” testing, however in the past year, no one has been able to figure out where Hawkeye’s extra pair of extra-tight pants disappeared to.