The Eight-Day Week
Portland—the one in the Northwest, not the one to our north where our friends have that charming beach house—is a little like Brooklyn and a little like a nursery school full of adults. Or at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe from two seasons of Portlandia, the sketch show that takes on Oregonian hipster/layabout culture, from its obsession with organics (we East Coast urbanites can relate!) to its disdain for anything even remotely corporate (what are they talking about?!).
The third season of everyone’s favorite IFC comedy-sketch show is fast upon us, with Portlandia slated to begin on January 4. In advance of the inevitable onslaught of new hipsterisms, hereto-unknown eccentricities and brand new organic fetishes, The Observer cornered co-creator Fred Armisen about what new “dreams of the Nineties” he would bring to life. Read More
After HBO’s Girls, there really is only one show that perfectly encapsulates the adorka-suicidable tweeness of today’s 20-somethings, and that is Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s sketch series Portlandia. The IFC show takes on a broader range of crunchy subcultures to parody than Ms. Dunham’s, and its gently-mocking, “You’ve got to love them even though they are ridiculous and also ‘they’ are ‘you,’ so lighten up” tone is way less controversial than the abrasive, uncomfortable humor behind Girls.*
Big Apple Idolatry
- Fresh off his Broadway run in Chicago, Usher will be kicking his feet up in one of those swivel pods on the third season of The Voice. He and Shakira will be taking over for Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo Green, who are vacating their judges’ chairs on NBC’s hit music contest. Of coorse, Usher has an ace card up his sleeve to win over any waffling young talent. It’s two words, and rhymes with Bustin Tweezer.
Did we need a Brooklyn spoof of Portlandia? Not really, since the IFC comedy encapsulates most of the tropes of hipster culture already, not just those relevant to the West Coast. (If you need further evidence, check out Adrianne Jeffries‘ amazing piece, “A Twee Grows in Brooklyn” on this exact subject.)
Plus, we already had that Sh*t New Yorkers Say last week, which was close enough. When Eliot and Ilana Glazer were naming off newspaper titles, it was just like that one sketch from Portlandia, “Did you read it?“
Brooklyn blog Brokelyn‘s latest incarnation of the imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-viral-flattery takes the “Did you read it” Portlandia sketch and turns it into a food fight. Funny if you live in Brooklyn and can laugh at a joke about Roberta’s; kind of confusing if you don’t and can’t.
Last week at the Portlandia premiere, we made a crack to David Cross about Chipwrecked, the third movie in the CGI-rodent franchise that the actor has clearly always felt was beneath him. Maybe we should have held our tongue: apparently these comments cut deep, and cut crazy, to the point where Mr. Cross railed on Conan O’Brien last night about his hatred of the film, urging viewers to not see his movie. (Reverse psychology?)
And then there was the matter of the one of the film’s producers, whom he claimed was “the personification of what people think about when they think negatively about Jews.”
First, a little bit of back story: The night before The Observer was to go to the screening party for the sequel season of Portlandia, the IFC comedy show starring Saturday Night Live fixture Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein, an Irishman stepped on our lighter in a bar. In exchange for the gaffe, the gentleman offered us a fist-sized piece of homemade organic chocolate truffle, wrapped in decorative foil. How sweet!
As we dashed our way to the Museum of Natural History last night in order to see what could possibly top the catchphrase “Put a Bird On It,” we split the giant confection with a fellow famished coworker. Which would have all been fine, if we hadn’t made the completely understandable mistake of confusing “chocolate truffles” for “chocolate-covered mushrooms.” No, not truffle mushrooms. The other kind. (In hindsight, putting actual truffle mushrooms into chocolate doesn’t make any sense either.)
We guess that’s why your parents warned you never to take organic candy from strangers. Ooh look, there’s Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig! Are those two glowing, or is just the hallucinogens kicking in?
On a cold day in late January, Paul LaRosa, an author and CBS producer, and his wife, Susan, were shopping for cheese at the Park Slope/Gowanus Indoor Winter Farmer’s Market at Third Avenue and Third Street when they struck up a conversation at one of the stands with a tall, clean-cut yoga instructor who had just returned from studying meditation in Thailand.
How much Portland is in “Portlandia?”
The new show, which premiered Friday on IFC, depicts a eco-friendly wonderland where the denizens of this magical Portlandia enjoy a rigorous pursuit of the liberal ideal. There are militant feminist bookstores, restaurants with overly extensive information about your dish’s living experience on a sustainable farm, and the openness Read More
There was flannel everywhere.
It was the premiere of “Portlandia,” the sure-fire TV hit from Fred Armisen (of Saturday Night Live fame) and Carrie Brownstein (of now-defunct rock heroes Sleater-Kinney), and everywhere we looked we were greeted with a wash of that plaid-heavy cozy super-nineties fabric, flannel.
The bartenders serving up Portland’s own Rogue Ale? Read More