‘Portlandia’ skewers your urban green lifestyle
Bikers, locavores, and just plain urbanites, quake in fear: Your lives are no longer safe from actually-funny satire. “Portlandia,” the IFC sketch comedy premiering Friday, could’ve also been titled “Stuff Green People Like” (h/t Campus Progress). The show features SNL‘s Fred Armisen and indie actress/punk rocker Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney (America’s best rock band according to myself and a little thing called Time magazine). “Portlandia” takes on the titular city where the dream of the ’90s lives on, where you work part time at a coffeeshop and do clowning on the side, and “all the hot girls wear glasses.” But I suspect its zingers will ring true for Austinites, San Franciscans, and Williamsburgers as well.
So how embarrassingly accurate is Portlandia?
Local, organic food
Portlandia: In the pilot, a waitress tells Brownstein and Armisen that the chicken they’re about to eat, Collin, “is a heritage breed, woodland-raised chicken that’s been fed a diet of sheep’s milk, soy, and hazelnuts.” But before they even order, they skeptically eye Collin’s papers and snapshot, ask if he was allowed to frolic with friends, and drive 30 miles to scope out the farm where Collin was raised.
Real life: I’ve never driven 30 miles to check out my dinner, but yes, obviously it matters where our food comes from.
Portlandia: In a feminist bookstore sketch that’s clearly an homage to Armisen and Brownstein’s Thunderant days, Armisen’s character drinks “capu-chuchu-chuchu” tea out of a Mason jar to clear out his tear ducts. “It tastes like soot and hot water,” he deadpans. “It looks like a stillbirth,” Brownstein comments solemnly.
Real life: Yerba maté, anyone?
Portlandia: In a “Did you read?” sketch, the duo practically rap-battles over which hipster reading material they’ve consumed, including Mother Jones: “Did you read that thing in Mother Jones about eco-chairs and eco-ways to sit?”
Real life: Damn, right on. Who doesn’t love some MoJo?
Portlandia: GOOD recounts, “In one hilarious sketch, Armisen and Brownstein reach DEFCON 5 after seeing a dog tied up outside a restaurant, its owner missing; ‘Who puts their dog on a pole like a stripper?’ shrieks Brownstein.”
Real life: Yeah … guilty. We bring our dogs to work.
Portlandia: In the pilot, Brownstein eagerly exclaims, “In Portland, it’s almost like cars don’t exist! People ride bikes, or double-decker bikes, they ride unicycles, they ride the tram, they ride skateboards!” And according to GOOD, the second episode features a bike messenger who — en route to a vegan piercing workshop — harasses drivers.
Real life: An anonymous Grist staffer says several of her friends have tried to hit or run their bikes into cars; others like Elly Blue are more concerned with riding responsibly.