Who has seen Portlandia? If you haven't yet, you're missing out on some snickering and sometimes belling-laughing sketch comedy, based around our own Portland, Oregon.
The Independent Film Channel's (IFC) sketch comedy show debuted in January of 2011 and stars Saturday Night Live cast member, Fred Armisen, and Portland's own Carrie Brownstein (singer and lead guitarist for the local NW band, Wild Flag). Producer of SNL, Lorne Michaels, is a big part of bringing the show to the airwaves.
Produced by Andrew Singer and Jonathan Krisel, the entire show is based around our eclectic and quirky city and the way we live. The name of the show comes from a huge sculpture that is perched atop the big, blue Portland Building over on SW 5th Avenue in the heart of the city.
When I first saw it, I have to say that I was a little perturbed at the way they were portraying us. But after my initial knee-jerk reaction wore off and I got more into the first season, I began to realize how true to life so much of it is. As groovy as Portland is, we have some ways about us that are more than worthy of poking fun at.
So far, my favorite bits are based around two feminist owners of the bookstore, Women & Women First, supposedly located over on the NE side of town.
Although the show has gotten mostly good reviews, there are some media outlets that have panned it as having "tiresome characters," among other things. You can't please everyone and I actually think that some people just don't get it. This is most definitely a television show that has to grow on you. I remember the first time I ever saw the movie, "Napoleon Dynamite." After the show, I sat and wondered what the heck I had just watched. I gave it another show and viewed it a second time. Now, it's one of my favorite movies! ;)
Just like any other television show, book movie or whatever, it's all a matter of personal taste. Believe me, there are some shows and films that reviewers love that I hate to death. Don't let someone else declare your love or not for something. Check it out for yourself and decide.
As of this writing, the show is now into it's thrid season and other seasons have been released on DVD and on Netflix. Since I don't have cable or satellite television (who wants to put out $80 a month for 2000 channels when you only watch about six or seven of them regularly?), I tune into my Netflix account and watch the show as the episodes are released.
Overall, the city has embraced the show and loves the additional attention it brings to us. Mayor Sam Adams even declared January 21, 2011 as Portlandia Day, and has appeared in a few episodes as the fake mayor's errand boy. Wait! But isn't Sam Adams a make-believe mayor? Sorry. I digress.
Tune into IFC and check out the show for yourself. I think you'll enjoy it. If you don't have cable or satellite television like me, you can watch segments of Portlandia online, right on the IFC YouTube channel.
Go deep into your mind and pull out your thoughts about Portlandia. Like it? Hate it? You gotta tell us why. Do you have a favorite episode? Tell us all about that, too.