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Jill

BROOKLYN, NY, United States | Member Since 2012

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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  • You're Lucky You're Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Phil Rosenthal
    • Narrated By Phil Rosenthal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (53)

    The creator and executive producer of Everybody Loves Raymond dissects the art of comedy and the making of a sitcom classic. In television, where programs can premiere and disappear in the same week, Everybody Loves Raymond reigned as America's best-loved show for nine years with more than 17 million viewers. As the number-one sitcom, it received more than 70 Emmy nominations, including two wins for best comedy.

    Margaret says: "For Raymond Lovers"
    "Great if you love sitcoms"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up You're Lucky You're Funny in three words, what would they be?

    Educational, humorous, engaging


    What was one of the most memorable moments of You're Lucky You're Funny?

    I liked the audio of his various speeches (Emmy's, Hofstra...)


    Have you listened to any of Phil Rosenthal’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The making of the last great traditional family sitcom.


    Any additional comments?

    I've never been a huge fan of Everybody Loves Raymond, I've always just thought it was a cute show and watched it sometimes in syndication. However, I love sitcoms in general (although I'm over the multi-camera format now, as is most of America I think). This book was just great if you're curious about how you get to make a sitcom. His early life was interesting enough but I really got into it when he started getting into the Raymond years. I might listen to it again at some point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Happy Accidents

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett (foreword)
    • Narrated By Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (307)
    Story
    (309)

    In the summer of 1974, a 14-year-old girl in Dolton, Illinois, had a dream - a dream to become an actress. But it was a long way from the South Side of Chicago to Hollywood, and it didn’t help that she’d recently dropped out of the school play, The Ugly Duckling, or that the Hollywood casting directors she wrote to replied that "professional training was a requirement". But the funny thing is, it all came true....

    La Becket says: "I really wanted to love this"
    "Bravely Honest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Happy Accidents in three words, what would they be?

    funny, fascinating, enlightening


    What other book might you compare Happy Accidents to and why?

    Any other funny lady memoir. It's like a darker Bossy Pants. Or an older Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Probably most similar to Rachel Dratch's A Girl Walks Into A Bar or even Dick Van Dyke's My Lucky Life...


    What does Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett (foreword) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Obviously you want to hear Jane Lynch's voice when reading her memoir.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    One moment with her step-daughter which I won't spoil for you. Just in general, her struggles with her sexuality and alcoholism were moving and illuminating.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the best memoir I've read since Bossypants. Jane Lynch's life is fascinating, lucky, and at times, embarrassing. Definitely worth a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Next Best Thing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jennifer Weiner
    • Narrated By Olivia Thirlby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (277)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (244)

    At 23, Ruth Saunders headed west with her 70-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to be hired as a television writer. Four years later, she's hit the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Big Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie's going to be the show-runner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on a boss, and her grandmother's impending nuptials.

    Rebecca says: "Funny Story!"
    "Read the Abridged Version"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The protagonist (Ruth) is too passive and has no confidence. Ok, you have scars on your face. That must be hard. But you're a successful TV writer. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and stop complaining that nobody will ever love you because of your scars. Try online dating or something. She continually gives in to everyone in her professional life and she's even passive in the final resolution of her love life (no spoilers). It's hard to root for someone who can barely root for herself.

    One more thing, which has to be said... the book (unintentionally) has a moral of "It doesn't matter if you don't love yourself. Just find a man to love you and everything will be ok."


    If you’ve listened to books by Jennifer Weiner before, how does this one compare?

    I have not.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was too slow.


    Was The Next Best Thing worth the listening time?

    Depends how much time you have on your hands. There were a lot of things about this book that made me mad but, as someone interested in TV production, the subject matter was interesting. Ultimately, I did want to know what would happen next and I felt myself getting angry on Ruth's behalf as she got continually screwed in the pilot development process.


    Any additional comments?

    There were so many times that I wanted to yell, "I don't care what everyone in the room is wearing!" "I don't care about every item of food and drink that you served for dinner!" "Why, oh why, are you telling me everything that is contained in your grandmother's purse? Why??"

    This is the problem with audiobooks. If I were reading, I would have just skimmed over these parts. This is why I recommend the abridged version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Dick Van Dyke
    • Narrated By Dick Van Dyke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (211)

    Dick Van Dyke, indisputably one of the greats of the golden age of television, is admired and beloved by audiences the world over for his beaming smile, his physical dexterity, his impeccable comic timing, his ridiculous stunts, and his unforgettable screen roles.

    Richard says: "Still Inspires Me and Funny."
    "Fascinating Story of a Fascinating Man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version but I thought Dick Van Dyke's performance was great.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dick Van Dyke is a really interesting, deep thinker. Not only did I enjoy his stories about his shows and movies, but I appreciated his thoughts on religion and the meaning of life. We could all learn a lot from him.


    Have you listened to any of Dick Van Dyke’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Some of the reviews I read implied that DVD was too old to be reading at 85 years old, and that his voice sounded weak. I did not find that at all. I am aware that he is old, but his voice is strong and so is his performance.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It definitely pulls you in. Some parts are slower than others but it kept me engaged throughout.


    Any additional comments?

    Will probably listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Warren Littlefield, T. R. Pearson
    • Narrated By Bob Balaban
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (87)

    Warren Littlefield was the NBC President of Entertainment who oversaw the Peacock Network’s rise from also-ran to a division that generated a billion dollars in profits. In this fast-paced and exceptionally entertaining oral history, Littlefield and NBC luminaries including Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Kelsey Grammer, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Julianna Marguiles, Anthony Edwards, Noah Wylie, Debra Messing, Jack Welch, Jimmy Burrows, Helen Hunt, and Dick Wolf vividly recapture the incredible era of Must See TV.

    Simone says: "A Fun Flashback of 90s TV!"
    "Nostalgic Look at NBC in the 90's"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Top of the Rock the most enjoyable?

    Hearing about the exciting events of the time from my favorite writers and stars.


    What other book might you compare Top of the Rock to and why?

    Live From New York (the SNL book). EXCEPT this book is much, much better to listen to because it (a) is not as long and boring, and (b) only has one narrator. The SNL book had too many narrators, which was really distracting.


    What about Bob Balaban’s performance did you like?

    He did a good job of reflecting the meaning of the words behind the quotes, without trying to imitate Seinfeld, for example.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It's not that kind of book. But I guess the most impressive thing was all the moving parts that went into the successful spinoff of Frasier, especially considering how many things could have gone wrong, and how many spinoff disasters there have been before and since.


    Any additional comments?

    Really awesome book for anyone that loves TV.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 'Hello', Lied the Agent: And Other Bullshit You Hear as a Hollywood TV Writer

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ian Gurvitz
    • Narrated By Ian Gurvitz
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (14)

    Most of us have no concept of what goes into creating a show, getting it on the air, and keeping it on. Perhaps we assume that the people in charge simply decide what amuses them at the moment, make those shows, stick them on, and wait to see if the public responds. Or maybe they just throw darts at a board? The truth, as with most things, is more complicated. In 'Hello', Lied the Agent, Ian Gurvitz has produced a corrosively funny insider's look at what being a television writer is really all about.

    Debbie Richards says: "Interesting"
    "Cynical but Amusing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to 'Hello', Lied the Agent again? Why?

    Yes, I probably will. I'm interested in the television industry and he gave a very detailed account of what it's like to try to get a show (or 5) on the air. It was a unique insight you don't often find, especially since most books are written by people who got lucky and succeeded. This was a more average, win some/lose some perspective.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 'Hello', Lied the Agent?

    At one point, he was saving the empty water bottle from every meeting he had and throwing it on the passenger side floor of his car. That visual sticks with me. He thought if he could just have a few more meetings, he could make his living on bottle deposits.


    Which character – as performed by Ian Gurvitz – was your favorite?

    It was a memoir, so...


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh often. It was a little too dark and depressing at times, but did not make me cry.


    Any additional comments?

    There were a few slow points, some times when I got tired of his voice, or when it got too cynical. But overall it was funny and worth listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Here We Go Again: My Life In Television

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Betty White
    • Narrated By Betty White
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (43)

    "Here is Betty White - a woman who has been on television forever!" is generally how Betty White is introduced. And quite accurately, too, since she first appeared in 1949, when both she and television were rank beginners. Since then, she has had one of the most amazing careers in TV, winning five Emmy awards, creating such unforgettable characters as Sue Ann Nivens and Rose Nylund, and appearing in a host of television classics.

    Paul D Jenkins says: "Betty's Life Story Is Amazing!"
    "Interesting Life, Cheerful Stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Here We Go Again again? Why?

    Maybe, in a really long time from now. I'm always interested in hearing how actors got their starts and Betty White is particularly interesting because she started around the same time as TV. However, there are some slow parts.


    What other book might you compare Here We Go Again to and why?

    It's a rather short memoir. While entertaining, not a comedy book. I don't really know what to compare it to.


    Have you listened to any of Betty White’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No it was pretty even throughout. There were some funny and sad parts but Betty kept it pretty light.


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting story, slow at times. Worth the price.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Girl Walks into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Rachel Dratch
    • Narrated By Rachel Dratch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (865)
    Performance
    (795)
    Story
    (793)

    Anyone who saw an episode of Saturday Night Live between 1999 and 2006 knows Rachel Dratch. She was hilarious! So what happened to her? After a misbegotten part as Jenna on the pilot of 30 Rock, Dratch was only getting offered roles as "Lesbians. Secretaries. Sometimes secretaries who are lesbians." Her career at a low point, Dratch suddenly had time for yoga, dog- sitting, learning Spanish - and dating. After all, what did a forty-something single woman living in New York have to lose?

    Teddy says: "Just kinda 'meh'...."
    "I laughed, I cried..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Girl Walks into a Bar...?

    Just all of Rachel's awkward moments, from being offered nothing but lesbian roles, to accidentally ending up on a date with a gay guy.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Girl Walks into a Bar...?

    The email from her baby's uncle-to-be. I was crying on the subway.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was pretty amused by all the metaphysical stuff. For example, when she went to see a channeler who becomes Kendra, the vaguely Indian-sounding spirit guide.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it was very engaging.


    Any additional comments?

    I have to admit, I was initially more interested in the show biz/SNL part, which is really only the first, say, 15% of the book. But it was so entertaining and such a sweet story that I got sucked into the rest of it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tom Shales, James Andrew Miller
    • Narrated By Christopher Burns, Eric Conger
    Overall
    (401)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (119)

    A history of Saturday Night Live that finally reveals what really went on backstage, on the set, in the writers' offices, and on the town. Dozens of stars, writers, and guest hosts recall the backstage gossip, feuds, foibles, drugs, sex, struggles, and calamities of the show that changed television.

    Tim says: "Interesting inside look, so-so presentation"
    "Surprisingly Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller and/or Christopher Burns and Eric Conger ?

    I would probably stay away from these authors. The narration was ok.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller again?

    Probably not.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was weird. There were like 6 different narrators, alternating the quotes by the actors and writers. It was weird to have someone else do the voice of an actor you know, but fine. At times, I felt the narration was over-acted, but I got used to it.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Live from New York?

    The book is basically just a series of quotes that tell the story. That's fine, but I think it could have moved faster if they summarized more and used fewer quotes. The early years were especially boring to me, but maybe that's because I don't remember them.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a big fan of SNL and I'm glad I know more about the history of the show now. It was just a little tedious at times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Seriously...I'm Kidding

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Ellen DeGeneres
    • Narrated By Ellen DeGeneres
    Overall
    (863)
    Performance
    (781)
    Story
    (775)

    "I've experienced a whole lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you'll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I've put together for you in this book. I think you'll find I've left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I'm saying is, let us begin, shall we?" (Ellen DeGeneres)

    Julie says: "Not so much."
    "Love Ellen, but this was a bit boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Considering I was just commuting anyway, sure. It kept me company. If it were to take me away from anything productive, I would say not.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I liked the tiny insights I got into Ellen's home life with Portia. The least interesting aspect were the completely random tangents.


    Have you listened to any of Ellen DeGeneres’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


    Could you see Seriously...I'm Kidding being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Well let's just stick to Ellen's talk show.


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe I just don't get

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Sophie Kinsella
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1292)
    Performance
    (432)
    Story
    (431)

    Sophie Kinsella's debut is a romp through the perils of shopping and spending, spending, spending! Becky can't resist a sale, and she's only a little overdrawn on her VISA. Readers will laugh aloud at Becky's retail adventures as she finds new and creative ways to relieve her increasingly credit card debt. Emily Gray's narration bounces along with Becky and her buying whims, while delivering a humorous account of what happens when credit goes bad.

    Evelyn says: "Not so much!"
    "Fantastic narration carries the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Confessions of a Shopaholic?

    Narration by Emily Gray. The story was cute too.


    Would you recommend Confessions of a Shopaholic to your friends? Why or why not?

    Depends on the friend. The character represents all the worst parts about women who like to shop. It's a little scary because she's all my worst fears about myself. While the book is entertaining, the main character becomes borderline unlikable somewhere in the second half.


    Have you listened to any of Emily Gray’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not but I definitely would again.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yeah, it was pretty addictive.


    Any additional comments?

    Better than the movie, but *spoiler alert* I wish the main character matured in the end. I guess that's why it's a series though. I'll probably cave and listen to the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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