Anyone else out there seem to be hearing about Portlandia at every turn? It’s a comedy show on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) that seems to be in its own genre. Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, a member of Olympia, WA punk band Sleater Kinney, play a variety of characters that are quintessentially Pacific Northwest. The show is impressively written and directed by Jonathan Krisel.
Their writing is clever and reminds me of stand up comedy in that they make fun of everyday human experiences, but with a strong sense of silliness. I especially like their characters that are parents of a 5-year old. In short scenes we see these parents absurd attempts to get their child into the best private preschool, and then listen to their wall-banging love-making in celebration when their little guy is admitted.
It took me a couple of episodes to get used to the format because it is not a common approach, but by the third episode I was hooked.
Their river rafting characters particularly speak to me as a sometimes serious rafter, but what makes it special is that they take their ridiculousness one level further than you’d ever imagine.
I especially admire the writing on the show and connecting to the program makes me think I might want to try my hand at comedy writing someday.
If you haven’t given Portlandia a try yet, please do, and might I be so bold as to suggest you start with the episode, Mixology.