Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hail to "Portlandia": Keep Portland Weird!

Thanks to my personal content editor (Tommy...the only son), I have been turned on to an exquisitely strange and awesome comedy sketch show on IFC called Portlandia. Every episode
starts with a few soothing strains of smooth jazz and a montage of the Pacific Northwest city that is known for coffee bars, indie rock and artist communities (and not much more). Frankly, Portland has never even remotely been on my radar screen, but it sure is now. If I turn up suddenly missing someday, it's because I packed my bags and cats to go be a cafe barista in Portland.

Portlandia stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein and is executive produced by Lorne Michaels. Every single episode is filmed on location in Portland. Fred and Carrie play a whole host of quirky, freaky, surreal characters, some of whom appear on a regular basis. Most irritating = the lesbian duo running a Women's bookstore. Most fascinating, a pair of Japanese Harajuku girls drinking coffee from microscopic cups. They've already spawned buckets of catch phases, including..."cacao", "put a bird on it" and "we can pickle that". Portlandia has also attracted a constellation of wonderful guest stars, including Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) who plays the mayor of Portland and Jeff Goldblum who was a joy as a crafty dude who specializes in vintage and modern art knots. It's like minimalist macrame. They also featured my favorite new band "The Decemberists" as a fake indie band called Echo Echo.

You can catch up with Season One on Netflix or On Demand if you have IFC. Season Two just premiered last Friday night on IFC at 10:30pm. Run as fast as you can to watch the best new comedy series on TV!

The dream of the 90's is alive in Portland!


Lisa said...

Great post! Portland does a pretty great job of keeping itself weird, and I love it because they have a great "Star Trek in the Park" theater experience each summer. Definitely cool and I will have to watch this; have meant to but always missed it. I like Fred Armisen a lot! (The only uncool thing about Portland is that they were pretty rough on Occupy Portland recently, which is odd because their mayor is usually such a likable guy.)

Jane said...

I don't get at all how some of the most progressive cities (Portland, Oakland, Davis) have also been the most aggressive when it comes to dealing with Occupy protesters. It doesn't make much sense. Oh well, Portland is just a day's drive away from me now. I'm going to have to get up there and check it out. Perhaps a summer road trip with the Tomster! By then we'll know "The 90's are Alive in Portland" by heart and we can sing it as a car song.