Saturday, September 28, 2013

This One is Mine by Maria Semple

2.5 Stars

Violet Parry is going through a mid-life crisis. While she should be perfectly content living her life (house on Mullholland Drive, billionaire music-mogul husband, a beautiful baby girl), she’s not. A chance encounter with down-and-out Teddy Reyes reignites a spark in Violet that she thought was gone forever.

Sally is Violet’s sister-in-law. She would kill for the chance to live a life of luxury like her brother and his wife. That’s why she has set her sights on Jeremy – a local sportswriter who is about to make it big with an ESPN contract.

Follow both of these women as they set their sights on their new love interests and see how much they are willing to risk in order to achieve their respective goals.

I’ve been an over-the-top, shout it from the rooftops fan of "Arrested Development" for ages. In fact, that horrible caterwalling you may have heard when it got cancelled the first go-around was probably me. On "Arrested Development" Semple helped write characters who you really should hate, but somehow can’t help but love. However, with all good things there are also bad. Semple also was a writer on "Mad About You", a television show I would rather stick a hot poker in my eye instead of watch. While "This One Is Mine" didn’t make me want to go to the extremes of blinding myself, I did not much enjoy it. There are humorous moments and I enjoyed the character Teddy. However, the others were so absolutely 100% unlikeable that you can’t hide them under the guise of "satire". If you polish a turd, it’s still a turd and these characters were turds.

But never you fear, faithful readers. "Where’d You Go, Bernadette?" finds the magic of Semple’s writing and humor once again. We can just pretend this one doesn’t exist.

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