Review: FAME: The Hijacking of Reality by Justine Bateman

Raise your hand if you LOVED Family Ties as a kid! And had a crush on Alex P. Keaton? And wanted TO BE Mallory!?! Justine Bateman was an idol of mine in the 80’s. If I could be like her, or look like her, I pressed my parents to give me a sister just like her! But I got stuck with a brother. Boo!

It’s funny, because when I first heard about this book, I said first thing, “Whatever happened to her?” in that snarky, snide voice – like oh, she was has-been, she didn’t do anything after Family Ties, she’s a one-hit wonder…. And THAT is exactly the type of attitude Justine addresses in this book. (I’m totally sorry for what I said btw Justine and I still love you!)

If you’re looking for the behind the scenes secrets and juicy scandal of the beloved sitcom – this is not the book. If you want the scoop on MJ Fox and hanging with child stars of the 80’s – nope, not that book either. In fact, one of the first chapters in the book fully explains this – the book is NOT a memoir. It’s an exploration of fame. Justine dissects everything from childhood fame in the 80’s, to reality star “fame” of today, as well as both the construction AND destruction of fame that social media can make happen. I was fascinated by her take on all things fame. I felt for her – being an actress on a hit TV show, and only being seen for THAT. That her education, and directing, and successes in business mean nothing – cause the “whatever happened to her” mentality translates to – well, if we haven’t seen her on TV anymore – she must be a failure in life.

I loved reading this – she’s frantic, and passionate, and, OK I’ll say it- a bit crazy, yes – but do you blame her? Imagine people saying about you “Boy, she sure has let herself go” on a public forum, on google searches, on Twitter. Just cause the last time they saw her she was 21 – and now she’s 50. Well, clearly she’s aged – duh. Obviously she doesn’t LOOK the same!

I gobbled up every chapter and loved her take on how crazy it is to be famous, but how much crazier it is today. Sure, there’s some namedropping, some mentions of Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, and more – and there’s even a bunch of color photos in the book that she talks about and references throughout the book, which I loved. I didn’t need the juicy gossip, as I felt like it made me understand celebrities more and totally got me out of that mentality of “Oh, they wanted to be in the spotlight, so they are just automatically targets.” No. I feel terrible now for ever ragging on a celeb in the spotlight – especially the young ones out there.

But I’m still not laying off the reality “stars” 😉 haha.

Get your copy here —> FAME by Justine Bateman


  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (October 2, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617756601
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617756603

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About Justine Bateman

Born in Rye, New York, Justine Bateman has an impressive résumé that includes Family Ties, Satisfaction, Arrested Development, and many more. As an actress, she has been nominated for a Golden Globe and two Emmy awards. An advocate for net neutrality, Bateman holds a degree from UCLA in computer science and digital media management. Her film producing credits include Easy to Assemble with Illeana Douglas and Jared Drake’s Z. Bateman wrote her directorial film short debut, Five Minutes, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival, and her follow-up film short is the drama Push. She is currently in preproduction for her directorial feature film debut of her own script, Violet. Her writing has been published by DAME, Salon, and McSweeney’s.






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