Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day Three Hundred and Eleven - Portlandia: Season 1, Episode 1, "The 90's live on... in Portland."

"The dream of the 90's is alive in Portland! The tattoo ink never runs dry!"

It's a lyric to the parody music video that Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein open their ode to pretension, Portlandia, with and it's both biting and oddly nostalgic and empowering. And the feeling carries over into the majority of the sketches that populate this twenty minute show.

From the organic-happy couple who fall under the thrall of a charismatic farmer, to the pair of womyn's shop clerks who run Steve Buscemi through the ringer for using their bathroom, Armisen and Brownstein have put together a genuinely amusing look at the ever so serious culture of former and current hipsters, hippies, and grass-fed weirdos that I definitely identify with more than I should.

It's a sketch show, obviously, but very low key and organic (irony) and is done by people who really seem to know what they're doing. At times it seems a little passive-aggressive, but that's kind of the fun, considering the subject matter, and most of the sketches never seem to overstay they're welcome, aided by the short run time, so you never get bored.

What shocks me is that it's executive produced by Lorne Michaels. Blew my mind, considering the stagnation of SNL for the past few decades.

That's not to say that things can't get a little too awkward, even if that's the point. While I did enjoy Jason Sudeikis' Aleki, the organic, free-range farmer whose CHA score has to be a straight 20, when he comes in to fondle Armisen's character, the fingering shot lingers a little longer than necessary. Still, his open air funeral is pretty funny.

I don't think there was anything really "laugh out loud" about the show, but it was pretty pleasing overall and definitely put a smile on my face that reappears every time I think of a particular sketch. My favorite part was definitely Armisen's overly obsessed Adult Hide and Seek team captain playing off the elderly lady in the library where they're competing. Her natural delivery while she calls him on his bullshit is delicious.

If you're a fan of indie-culture and don't mind poking fun at yourself and the other hipsters out there, Portlandia is your jam, trust me. I look forward to seeing where it goes and it won't take long, considering the first season (there are three on Netflix) is only six episodes long.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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