Recently Discovered: Portlandia

I am in love with Portlandia on IFC.

Now, IFC is weird in our house: Verizon makes it a subscription-only channel and we do not subscribe. And yet, somehow we can still see it? I don’t know. I blame techno-djinn. As should we all.

IFC has been very good with the making-funny, given that there is where I also discovered Whitest Kids U Know (streaming on Netflix, and the Dinosaur Rap is necessary viewing).

Anyway, point being, I’m a bit late to the game here, but Sweet Jeebus, Portlandia is some funny shit. I’m not particularly aware of Portland culture, but it matters little — the show walks this bizarre line where it first puts hipster culture on a pedestal and then pelts it with Pabst Blue Ribbon cans until it falls off and breaks. On Saturday Night Live, I generally can’t stand Fred Armisen — and yet, here, he’s allowed to, I dunno, become his comedy self and go Full Tilt Weird with it. And it works. By god, it fucking works. (Oh, and his comedic partner in crime is, somewhat mysteriously, Carrie Brownstein from totally rad grr-grrl band, Sleater-Kinney. So, there’s that.)

If you don’t have IFC, Portlandia still streams on Netflix.

In the meantime, I leave you with this:




  • I am getting so sick of every hack writer on television and the net making fun of hipsters. I mean it’s getting so played out and mainstream, we get it, they are pretentious, can’t we get something new in here? I guess I will just have to go back to retro comedy, things like the Marx Brothers, but I bet you’ve never even seen Duck Soup.


    Oh Shit.

    I think I just crossed into hipsterdom myself.

    Kidding of course. I really should sit down and watch that show one of these days. I can message a friend to check how close it hits to home.

  • The show is even funnier if you ARE aware of Portland culture. I lived there for four years — lots of great stuff and so very glad to escape before my son soaked up too much of that particular vibe. I LITERALLY almost fell off the couch laughing while watching. If someone tells you it isn’t funny, it’s a Portlander taking him/herself and the whole “holier than thou -passive aggressive — hipster trendy” sensibility a little too seriously. Which many, many of them do.

    I have a feeling I”m going to get virtual bitch slapped by a bunch of Portlanders now. Laugh at yourselves, guys. You know it’s funny.

  • Thanks for pointing this out. I get up there once in a while and have delightful arguments with my stepson. He positively salivates at having me as a moving target, lol. I’m pleasantly surprised how much he knows; he didn’t care for studies as a child. He landed in the right environment for him.

    It reminds me of the movie Fargo, which took place near my old stomping grounds; over the top, yes, but very close to reality. And yeah, some folks got their feelings hurt.

  • I’ve lived in Portland for four years and in Oregon for about a decade, and I have mixed feelings on Portlandia. On one hand, we certainly do have a hipster element here, and the show does pretty well with picking out things like our insane cyclists. On the other, I often go most of an episode without laughing all that much, so just as a straight comedy, I’d call it mid-range. So, somewhere between the horrible vacuous lack that is Whitney and the orgasmic volcano of Community. That all being said, the Ronald D. Moore sketch on the most recent episode was pretty great.

  • Well, darn, that video can’t be played in Canada–even though I live about an 8 hour drive from Portland. Love Oregon. Especially that no sales tax attitude they sport down there.

  • It’s because of you that I watched a couple episodes on Netflix. Sadly, I live in Columbus, Ohio and I know some of these (types of) people personally. They annoy me, but laughing at their pretentiousness feels good. There’s this place called Northstar Cafe, and here is the philosophy from their website (I don’t have a problem with these things, but seriously, this place is a LOCAL cafe):

    “At Northstar, we recognize that every decision we make affects the health of our community and the environment on a local and on a global scale. We make conscious decisions about the kinds of locations we choose, the way we build our restaurants, the carryout containers and operating supplies we purchase, and even the organic cotton t-shirts and hats that we wear in the cafes.

    Most importantly, we’re extremely careful about the ingredients we use. We choose locally grown, organic, and artisan produced foods not only to protect the environment and to support producers whose values are aligned with ours but also so that we are serving the most wholesome and delicious food we can.”

    Columbus: Portland East. Ugh.

  • Oh Portlandia. 1. I’ve lived here my entire life. 2. The show is hysterical. 3. I am not a hipster. 4. Wait… am I automatically a hipster because i live in Portland? 5. This place drives me batty sometimes, but I can’t imagine living anywhere else (except maybe Seattle — which is just a larger Portland with better ocean and mountain views).

    Viva la Portlandia!

  • I was visiting family in Portland when this show came out. Just walking down the street gives you a glimpse into stuff just as bizarre. I don’t know if it’s their official slogan, but “Keep Portland Weird” is posted everywhere. My sister’s neighbors have goats living in their yard because, hey, livestock’s legal in the city limits.

  • Um, is that video clip locally sourced AND organic? And are we talking organic-organic or Pennsyltucky-organic? Because it’s really important to me that we all do whatever we can to support our local video artisans by sourcing authentically free range locally sourced negative carbon footprinted antimagnetic audiovisual loops, you know what I mean? Um, and I’m kinda wondering, was the video clip birthed in a trauma free electricityless editing room smudged with a hempsageoregano bundle from the Peruvian Andes? You know, like you do? And obviously I’m not talking about the horrible travesty of cultural incest that’s resulted from overprivileged European colonizers spraying their guilt dollars all over the landscape by purchasing faux artisanal bundles assembled by indigent native children whose innocence is already about to be brutally exploited by tourists looking to feel better about themselves by signing adoption papers and rescuing the children from their Peruvian orphanages, like you can ever just sign a paper and pay money and take total responsibility for another living being’s life! I’m referring to the kind of profoundly appropriate hempsageoregano bundle intentionally harvested from fresh llama feces at Machu Picchu by nude Peruvian shaman seekers following their people’s ancient spiritual traditions. You know? Because if the video clip suffered in any way while being produced, I don’t think it would be an act of good will toward our Mother Gaia to watch it. Also, I’d be more comfortable if you put a bird on it. Use chalkboard paint. Um, thanks.

  • I just discovered Portlandia myself, and dammit, I live here. I love the show. Some of it just nails it right on our heads. It’s almost like we’re stuck on this island, evolving into some weird offshoot of civilization. But I have a tether in Idaho, so I stay pretty grounded.
    I’ve talked with a lot of people in Portland about the show, and many of them are put off by it, saying that they are just making fun of Portlanders. Duh. They should do a show about that.

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