The Holidays have come and gone, my pretties. The gift cards have been defrayed with frightening speed and, for some of us, like Dr. Lucy and myself, Comic-Con is still a staggering seven months away. What’s a creative spirit to do in the grey bane of post-gifting, post-cocktail Winter? Prepare for Season 3 of Portlandia on IFC, of course. Get ready to get your Pacific Northwest-weird on, America!
From weird to Wired frames-of-reference, Primetime Emmy Awards-nominated and Gracie Allen Awards-winning Portlandia proffers an Übermodern vaudeville steeped in a homey and comforting grey and rainy respite of Northwestern coffee culture and smells just slightly of a musty vintage shop. Amidst a television culture of all-too-shiny, all-too-sparkly drama and desperate, hacky, wannabe comedy usually set in New York or L.A., Portlandia scratches an itch that one can only get from wearing the same rarely-cleaned, wool, REI sweater too many days in a row. (Apropos to NYC/LA: Producers, enough with where you live. We love landing at LAX and JFK, too; but there are other population centers across this vast country. Get out once in a while. Try San Diego, in fact. My Hotel del Coronado would make a sparkling backdrop for some such nonesuch.)
Depending on your sphere of comedy, Portlandia will range from side-splitting cackles to bemused snorts. Like an Anne Rice novel, a bottle of red or seasons 1-6 of Family Guy, even the worst of the bunch is still better than just about anything else in your purview. A hybrid of American and Canadian sketch comedy pacing, British story and character oddity, plus off-the-beaten-path travelogues, Portlandia serves up a grande porcelain cup of soy-frothed satire and schtick. Everything, from vegetarian dumpster dining, to hipper-than-thou thrift store clerks, to dog park etiquette, to gender-neutral booksellers, to Supa kawaii -Japan’s obsession with the super cute/super tiny- gets the snarky treatment. It’s a beautiful thing. Be ye a Renaissance Faire geek, a SciFi freak, a hippie poetess, a steampunk tinkerer (~ahem~ Dr. Lucy?), a vintage glam girl (Who, Moi?), a psychobilly crooner, a Jack White stalker or a power-lib Ivy Leaguer, Portlandia will tickle something on you, somewhere.
Special treats include the occasional, surprise guest star, including Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Jack McBrayer, Penny Marshall and Jeff Goldblum.
Already a fan? All apologies for preaching to the non-denominational choir. If not? Acquaint yourself pronto with the locally-sourced, fair trade, dye-free, organic, vegan stylings of Arminsen & Brownstein, co-creators and -stars. Seasons 1 & 2 are available on Netflix Instant. You could also take a wee break from your pre-recycling activities of chipping the dried cheese off your pizza box and rinsing your Parmalat milk box and sample some tapas-sized clips of Portlandia here, courtesy of IFC. Have even more time because you quit your job and you’re makin’ jewelry now? Play at the whole site for a while and even take a tour of Portland with Kumail Nanjiani (frequent guest star) to find IRL inspirations for some of the show’s sketches … including America’s only all-vegan strip club! Colour me there!
So, get your Battlestar Galactica marathons out of the way, brew some Fair Trade Kopi Luwak Indonesian cat coffee and fluff up your vagina pillows … it’s time for Portlandia, Season 3!
“The modern world’s gone all off track, but you can escape it all in Portland. It’s the dream of the 1890s in Portland.”
S3 Premiere on IFC Friday, January 4 @ 10/9C
Starring: Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein
Executive Producer: Lorne Michaels
Director: Jonathan Krisel
Production company: Broadway Video Entertainment
Distribution: IFC, Netflix and Umbrella Entertainment
Writers: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel, Karey Dornetto, Allison Silverman, Bill Oakley