No, Miranda darling, it is not just you, of course we are all in this crazy life thing together. Is It Just Me? is British comic actress Miranda Hart's entry into the engaging genre of I-was-such-a-dorkus-but-now-I-am-a-famous-comic-actress/comedienne made famous by such fabulous femmes as Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling. Of course, people on this side of the pond have absolutely no idea who Miranda Hart is, and they probably wouldn't enjoy her goofy, pratfall-laced brand of humor much anyway. But I do, and I do.
Hart came to my notice playing Chummy on Call The Midwife, the book of which I wrote about last time. It is eerie how well Hart fits the role of Chummy both physically and socially - just check out her wikipedia entry to see what I mean.
Anyway, apparently Hart is wildly popular in the UK, where they like their humor broad no pun intended. So she's written a guide to life, in the form of advice to her 18 year old self. In order to be happy in life one should, in no particular order:
1. gallop a lot,
2. eat something called Arctic Roll regularly and in vast quantities, if possible while watching a some show on the telly called Strictly Come Dancing,
3. lay off the electronic devices now and then,
4. fearlessly use the word poo - in its most basic definition - in regular conversation,
5. not sweat it if you are clueless about modern music, modern culture, current events, or don't have a hobby,
6. generally love yourself for whom you are and what you like to do and sod the rest.
I would not actually recommend this book to anyone who does not have an enormous affection for all things British, as Hart sometimes lays it all on a bit thick. Some of the later chapters, on weddings and motherhood, are all-too predictably outraged at the excess generated by extreme pursuit of those two institutions. But the chapter on Christmas, or Chrimbo, is positively hilaire. Hart's description of the evolution of The Mother into Christmas Mode is absolutely brill, and who can't identify with the psychic pain of being forced into playing Chinese Whispers with deaf-as-a-post Great Auntie June?
In all seriousness, I'm glad I read this because it was lovely to get to know the obviously smart, together, and positively lovely Miranda Hart. She's kind of the opposite of Caitlin Moran, but in a good way. SUCH FUN.
Now don't worry, we'll return Shortly to our regularly-scheduled crime programming.