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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sketch shows are generally not my thing since they tend to follow a
tradition of being campy. Portlandia, on the other hand, is damn
straight (and most importantly consistently) funny. I mean where else
could I look to see a smart parody of a radical feminist lesbian played
by a feminist lesbian? Or catch a glimpse of Kaia Wilson as a cafe
customer during a sketch? I realize that these are partially (OK so the
latter, completely) personal reasons to enjoy the show only more.
However I think that anyone who enjoys absurd comedy with some social
criticism would really appreciate the show.
I don't believe that creativity and the will to work on it comes by easily, so call me old fashioned but when I see someone showing a good bit of it, I support it.
Portlandia is a sketch comedy show that contains two main characters
played by Fred Armisen of SNL fame and Carrie Brownstein of popular
band Sleater Kinney. These two come up with rad skits in which they
play Hippy Vegans, Cult members, Cos Play characters, and Yuppies just
to name a few. Every episode contains famous actors, which add to the
Port goes stageless! SNL, and Kids in The Hall take place on stages or sets. Port does not. This gives it a more authentic reality show feel which makes it more accessible and less artificial.
This show makes me feel like I know these people or grew up with them. They make fun of things me and my friends make fun of. Everyday young adults, who understand punk, politics, indie rock, college life, and getting over all of that will relate.
Portlandia is a 9 1/2 star show yet it's not over the top. It's not pretentious. This is why Port is for now. This generation. It's almost like a consistently funny SNL. An SNL that doesn't make fun of pop culture but rather everyday life. Therefore it's easy to laugh at again and again.
Though it's great Port lacks just little in two areas rewatchability and characters. If they could just some more stable characters and focus a little bit more on consistent relationships (non sketch stuff) to give the audience something to look forward to than maybe next season it will be a 10.
If you like sketch comedy but have not yet discovered this series, take
my advice - see this show. 'Portlandia' is, for me at least, the best
American sketch comedy series I've seen since 'Upright Citizens
I don't know how accurately it depicts Portland and its denizens, but I do know that (A) it really makes me want to visit there and (B) it really, really makes me laugh.
Carrie Brownstein is new to me as comedian, though I of course know her musical work with indie darlings Sleater-Kinney. The brilliantly versatile Fred Armisen has deservedly earned a big fan base (including my family) through his work on SNL. Yet, who could have predicted that this combination of talent, in such an off-the-wall concept, could work so well? It really does, and I want to congratulate all associated with the series, notably the legendary Lorne Michaels for once again nurturing talents like Fred and Carrie and giving them the chance to do a great show like this.
Once you get the style and shape of the show, you'll be hooked. The sketches are, for the most part, really good and some (e.g. Chicken Farm, One More Episode of Galactica) are destined to become enduring classics.
The stars (in their multiple roles) are ably assisted by a fine cast of supporting performers and a BIG highlight of the series is the many surprising and hilarious cameo appearances, including people like Edward James Olmos, Aimee Mann and Greg Louganis (playing themselves) and of course the wonderful Kyle McLachlan as the Mayor. These bits work not only because of who the stars are, but also because in just about every case they are perfect for and in the sketch (c.f. Eddie Vedder's great cameo in the "boyfriend's tattoo" sketch).
Thanks Fred and Carrie and all the cast and crew - it's been a real delight to discover such a clever, quirky, inventive comedy series that consistently takes unexpected turns, gives a lot of laughs, and leaves you wanting more every time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This show completely cracks me up. The strange characters portrayed by these talented people are too funny. The subtle humor and lack of a laugh track is something that is lacking on television. The mayor is a total pretentious jerk that probably reminds a lot of us of our bosses. The bizarre humor in the show is completely original and unrelenting. I hate it when they have back-to-back episodes on Saturday mornings because I can't get out of bed - can't turn it off. The bookstore women, the cult, the dumpster divers, the gender-reversed couple, the Portland "Thinkers"....too funny. It's the best thing to hit television since "Fernwood 2 Nite", circa 1975. This just in...the second season sucked. I removed 4 stars.
One of those safe shows you hear everyone raving about. I gave this several chances, as I wondered what I was missing. All of the gags are DOA, I've never once even smirked at this safe pablum. I think the popularity of this God awful show is that everything safe, and all the humor, if you can call it that, is aimed at millennials. The jokes are based on observational humor specifically hipster culture in portland, which is just hipster culture. The problem is that all all the gags are nerfed, there isn't a single biting, or sharp observation in this show. Every single "jab" at these hipster conventions is gentle and designed for the hipsters to laugh at, because they are in on the joke. Also, all the targets are stereotypes so broad, this show needn't take place in Portland as all the jokes are totally generic, and run for far too long. This show feels like SNL - lame sketches that overstay their welcome. Jesus they did an ENTIRE episode about a bit where a lady didn't want to eat Tsukemen a certain way and the noodles came to life in a painfully tedious and unfunny episode length sketch that should have lasted 3 minutes at most. This show is just bizzzzaaaad.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not sure if I just don't understand the subject or what the show
was trying to accomplish. I was in high school in the early/mid 90s and
very little of the material in the show resonates with me.
I suppose there's the odd laugh, but it appears to be a show written entirely as an in-joke and I'm afraid I'm missing almost all of it. The jokes that were accessible, like the bookstore, were funny for the first minute or two but after several long drawn out minutes of the same material I was just eager for the scene to end - meager laughs were simply replaced with despair.
I've never actually seen or experienced an adult hide and go seek league, have you? Let alone something as obviously over the top and ridiculous as the one portrayed in this show. Does anything like that even exist? Outside of the fake social pages set up as (maybe) marketing for this show? It's just so 'out there' that it loses any of its potential humour. If it had stuck to poking fun at the ludicrous reality that *does* exist, it could have been brilliant.
Then there's the scene where they go to see the location of where their chicken (I think, right?) was farmed. I understand that there are those who are interested in knowing the origins of their meal, and this bit could have been very well done if it ended in the restaurant. The show just takes it to a painful degree where the laughs have dried up and it's just simply sad and unfunny in the end. I was just wishing they would wrap up and move along.
To sum up, I'm really not sure how this got a 7.8 rating - but I can guess: It's a collection of scenes strung together, desperately attempting to make a funny, they fail so miserably that your just feel bad for the actors and creators that you want to give it a higher rating in the hopes that it will redeem yourself for taking the time to actually watch it.
Maybe next time you will be carrying exact change so you can get out of the bookstore that much faster and won't get locked in.
Awful joke right? I know.
I never would have guessed that punk rocker Carrie Brownstein was this
funny, and as for Fred Armisen, after 12 years on SNL, I naturally
assumed those to be the peak of Armisen's sketch comedy genius, but
The characters are memorable (i.e. Feminist bookstore ladies) and the sketches are spot on at capturing the essence of hipster culture, various more generalized societal woes and everyday struggles.
Excerpt from Shocking Art Supplies sketch: "We've got baby doll parts; you can put them together any way you want" "Here's a radical juxtaposition; the butt is in the front" "What does that say about society"
As an art student,I took to this one, however every episode is packed with hilarious critiques and comedic genius from the dynamic duo Armisen and Brownstein.
After stumbling across this on Netflix I thought I'd give it a go, and I am very happy I did ! Armisen and Brownstein are a perfect duo who work well together and always manage to disappear fully into their characters. Whilst its not always laugh out loud funny (although I'm not sure that's exactly what they're aiming for anyway) I do always get a good giggle out of it. The show creates a wonderfully of-kilter world that is fun to dive in to for 20 minutes at a time, and immerse yourself in the little bubble that is Portlandia ! There's also some great cameos from stars such as Jeff Goldblum, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader who always provide excellent comic relief, however Armisen and Brownstein do such a great job of pulling the show off on their own it's worth watching just to see them work together.
Portland is a unique place, to say the least. When this show first
started, I had hoped for a show that captured the vibrancy of the NW.
The show does touch on topics of interest from the area. People raising
chickens in town...the love of micro brews...the music scene.
Unfortunately, it is just painful to try and watch!
Think of SNL. They often have just a couple of skits that make you laugh. The rest are just failing attempts. Portlandia feels as if they swept up SNL's leftovers that fell on the floor, changed to a Portland theme, and then tossed it at us. I truly hope that this show will end some day soon! It would also be great, if they could tell the viewers that this is TV and not real. It is amazing, how many people move here because of the show??? Maybe, they should do an episode about the brutally high rent, lack of jobs, 7 1/2 months of rain and the increasing dis like of hipsters by the city.
I have yet to laugh at this show, or be able to make it through a complete episode. Thumbs down!
"Portlandia" is a parody of/homage to the City of Roses, depicting scenarios that look like typical Portland occurrences. "Saturday Night Live" cast member Fred Armisen and singer Carrie Brownstein play various characters that truly represent the city, with occasional guest stars. This is not a sitcom in the common sense. It's filmed on location, and the humor is sort of like the kind in Christopher Guest's movies. "Portlandia" isn't a masterpiece of a show, but it's a very fun look at my hometown. I can affirm that it's a pretty accurate portrayal. And a very funny one. This show probably won't be for everyone, but if you like quirky stuff then you'll probably enjoy it.
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