An Unexpected Review

Every review I have ever done on this blog about shows, books and films, have mostly been positive. Despite my reassurances to my friends that I am a miserable cow, I am also quite a positive person. Not cheerful, or overly happy…. just positive. I don’t really like to look for the negatives. It brings people down and come on, we all like good news rather than bad, we all like compliments rather than complaints, and we all like to be happy rather than sad when we can. 

Which is why it may come as a surprise to people that not only am I about to do a bad review, I am also about to do a bad review on someone I love. Or loved. 

Lea Michele. Brunette Ambition. 

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I expect to get hate for this review. The Glee fans are pretty hardcore. Especially the Lea Michele fans. I know that for a fact that if any of my friends are reading this, they will already be shocked at the fact that I am about to give a bad review on this woman. 

I feel like the term Idol gets thrown around a lot. Which is why I have never said that Lea Michele is my idol. I have admired the way she dealt with Cory Monteith’s death, and I have always said she was somebody I looked up to. But I have never called her my idol. 

I do have idols. Of course I do. If you know me, you will know I am a sucker for the old Hollywood greats.  Shirley Jones. I will always love that woman. She’s fierce. Gordon Macrae. He is an idol. To me. These two are people that a lot have never heard of. But I think they are amazing. 

They would be the only two people celebrity wise I would ever call my idols. I mean, I find a lot of people hot. (Just in case you weren’t aware of my love for a good looking guy.)  We all know that my like for a few guys in particular is a well known fact. Darren Criss – Amazing. Chord Overstreet – that body. Sandy Moffat – Phwoarrr . But they aren’t my idols. As much as I’m not shy in telling people who I find sexy/talented/hot/brilliant….. I am very careful about calling them an idol or inspiration. 

Other than Shirley Jones and Gordon Macrae, the real people I find inspiring would be somebody like Stephen. You all know him. The always happy teenage guy who raised over three million for charity while dying of terminal cancer. That is inspiration. That is hardcore. I could name many more in cases like this. But I won’t. Because I am here to do a review. 

So let’s get back to it. I think I’m stalling because it’s hard to do this. It’s hard admitting to yourself that somebody you have loved for five years is … well….  not who you thought they were. 

I have had Lea Michele’s book Brunette Ambition on pre-order since February. That is how excited I was about it. I started counting down the days. She promised a book that would be part autobiography/part lifestyle tips and part pictures. And to be fair, it was all of that. 

Being such a big fan of the girl, I always knew her background. I knew that she never really struggled for much and that she was an only child. I know that she is close to her parents. And I know that she had a career on Broadway before getting her break on Glee. 

And this book tells the story of that. But as I was reading, I couldn’t help thinking that quite frankly….. she comes across as ……well, the diva some people have always believed she was. Not a good diva though. A demanding diva. I can’t believe I am even writing this. 

She speaks a lot about working hard to where she has gotten to today and how she didn’t have it just handed to her, and I don’t doubt that she puts in the hours. But don’t we all? It seemed to me in reading the book that she always got quite lucky on Broadway. You look at all our beloved West End stars right now who have the biggest talent I have seen in a long time, and some of them are out of work. Simon Lipkin for instance. What the fuck is he doing out of work? I know people, including myself…. who would happily pay out to see him in shows, any shows. He could spend two hours on stage doing cartwheels and we would probably still pay to watch. Anyone want to pitch that to him?! Anyway…. what I am trying to say is that yes, I do believe she worked hard and wanted her career enough, but I also believe luck dealt her a very nice hand throughout her Broadway time.

She had her parents undivided attention and support which is great. She’s an only child. A lot of people don’t get that support from family. A lot of people grow up poor. She has been very blessed in her life – and to be fair, she does say that numerous times. She has been blessed and happy and I think she knows it.

Even the Glee thing and landing the job….. I always believed she got that job through her own hard word and determination. We all heard the story of her audition. We all watched her audition, it was filmed. It’s actually how she got her reputation as a diva because she shouted at the piano player when he messed up her song. But I didn’t know until I read the book that her best friend Jonathan Groff actually knew the creator of Glee Ryan Murphy before hand and that was how Lea and Ryan met. I don’t doubt that she was talented enough for the part and therefore landed the role, but what I am saying is…. it all seems to be very lucky circumstances that have led her to where she is today.

She says that she worked hard to land the role of Rachel Berry. I believe that to be true. But on a serious note, I worked fucking hard just to land an under paid job in a retail store. I had three interviews for it out of 88 people. THREE. For a job in a store!!!

I’ve worked my ass off for years to try and land something in writing. There have always been promises on the horizon. Right now, I have something behind the scenes, but who knows if it will come to anything? I wouldn’t even like to think about the hours I’ve put in on a career that I don’t even have.

The book talks a lot about self care. And really, it shocked me. I always believed she was a natural beauty and that she just sort of stepped out of the house looking that amazing with ease. It turns out… it’s not really the case. She talks a lot about how we should all self care and how it’s so important. She says how everyone should do this and that to pamper themselves. Long luxurious baths in expensive oils. Facials. Homemade scrubs. The list goes on. And that is great. There are a lot of good tips in the book to unwind and relax. A lot of tips on how to give your body the best treatment.

But as a single Mum to two children with a job and housework and dinner and life to get on with, a shower / quick bath and remembering to cleanse, tone and moisturize takes up enough of my day. You know? She tries to claim that she looks the way she does because she looks after herself well. And she talks about her skin. But all I saw when reading it was that basically…. if you want to look as good as her, it takes a hell of a lot of time and money . We don’t all have the luxury of being pampered. 

The rules and guidance she gives in her book claim to be applied to every day jobs. She often says that although she knows her job is not the norm, she feels that the tips she gives in her book apply to every day jobs/life. Bull shit. 

It may come as some surprise to her , but weirdly enough, for a shift at my job….  I don’t have the opportunity to pick out a designer dress and then sit in hair and make up for three hours…… 

She has menus and food pictures that she says are easy but… if I attempted one of those meals for just me and my two kids, it would break me money wise for the rest of the week. She also has a section where she tells you how to do a load of hair and make up styles. Quick and easy. Do them yourself. Looks for any occasion. Apart from in each bit, her hair stylist AND make up artist are doing these looks for her. They are in the pictures with her….. 

I think all in all, the point I am trying to make is that the book is a fraud. Throughout it she mentions that the tips are easy, that although she lives in a different world, normal people can follow her guide. And us normal people can’t!! I would respect her and the book more if she just admitted that unless you are basically her…. this isn’t going to work for anyone. She is trying to hard to claim that she lives a normal life, when in reality…. it’s a life most of us could only ever dream of. 

A few times she mentions how she is self confident. I admire self confident people. Good for them. But I think after reading this book that Lea MIchele believes she is self confident when the fact of the matter is….. she has a big ego. She’s demanding. She’s a diva. And not in a cute Rachel Berry way. Rachel Berry, the character she plays on Glee, gets away with her attitude because she also has very redeemable qualities about her. 

This review of her book also comes off the back of my disappointment at her new music video. On My Way. Her album was amazing. Her album was everything I would dream it would be. Whether she is egotistical or not, she has bags of talent and does deserve her success. And her first video for Cannonball didn’t disappoint me. It was beautiful, just like the song. 

But when she released the video for On My Way….. I started to realise that maybe she wasn’t who I thought she was. The amount of outfit changes were ridiculous. If you can call them outfits. She writhed around in next to nothing throughout the song. She sticks her ass out and does a ridiculous pout all the way through it. She looks trashy. And that baffles me. She’s beautiful. She has talent. Why sell yourself out like that? Let the music and the talent do the talking , not your body. 

And I guess now I have let all this out , I might as well be honest about something else. The fact that she has about four lines dedicated to Cory in the book is another thing that winds me up. I’m going to be blunt here, we all know the tragedy. We all know they were very much in love. And we all know that she has spoken about Cory a lot since his death. So the fact he barely gets a mention in a book that is supposed to be a ‘tell all’ about her life is weird to me. I know people are going to say…. “She shouldn’t have to talk about him if she doesn’t want to, she has a right to keep him private….” Of course she does. I am fully in support of that. But in that case, maybe she shouldn’t have spoken about him in everything else besides her book. The fact that her best friend Jonathon Groff gets a three page letter telling him how much he means to her is great….. but a little bit about Cory would have been nice for the fans who wanted to read it. 

You can’t really have an autobiography without a section about a man who turned her world upside down. Especially if you have been previously happy to talk about him. 

The book was all just a let down. It felt like a page by page of look at how great I am, look at how much money I have, look at how much harder I work than anybody else in the world…… it was a showy book. We all work hard and strive to be better than what we are. 

I don’t know. The fact that my first ever bad review is about somebody I absolutely loved is a difficult one for me. I tried to look for the positives in the book. I really did, Maybe I’ll read it again and see if I can pick any good bits. 

Another girl from Glee, Jenna Ushkowitz , released a book last year. It was also part autobiography/ part lifestyle guide. And the part Jenna plays in Glee, I have never been overly taken with. I didn’t even really know much about Jenna. But after reading her book, I decided she was a fantastic person with the type of positive attitude I could only dream of having. 

So the fact I didn’t at all like Brunette Ambition has shocked me. 

Anyway, onwards and upwards. I will always be a huge Gleek. Glee is my favourite TV show ever. I love it. But I guess I now move forward as somebody who respects Lea Michele’s talent and that’s about it. It will be weird watching the next season of Glee knowing that my thoughts on Lea have changed. 

And I really hope that this is the only bad review I have on this blog for a while. If none of you hear from me , just assume the Glee fans got me 😛 

I need coffee and chocolate after that……..

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The_Written_Laura

Inventing the world that's passing by.

One thought on “An Unexpected Review”

  1. Oh my, first thing that came to my mind when I read this: “Thank God you didn’t order it for Laura’s birthday in September!” – because that’s what I had actually already planned. Jeez.
    A to your review: I totally get it that yu feel bad about posting a bad review, or one that disappoints you in some way, because that’s why I don’t do some reviews on my blog – because the books are bad and I don’t want that negativity there. But there is absolutely nothing for you to apologize to, especially NOT to all the Glee and Lea fans out there. It’s your opinion, it’s changed your mind, they will just have to suck it up and live with it. You’re not living in some fantasy bubble where you love everything she says and does and is, where she can do nothing wrong (like some people are about some West End people). You just showed everyone that she is just a human being after all, she has her flaws – and you don’t like it. Period. Don’t feel bad about it all, because it’s your life, it’s your opinion, and this is a damn well-written and honest review. Well done, lovely. xxx

    P.S. No objections on the Mr. Lipkin subject, I’d pay to watch him washing his hands for hours.

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