The Madison of the Northwest
Whatever you are watching, stop it immediately and watch Portlandia.
Unless you’re watching it already, in which case…as you were.
Format: 30 minute television show
Category: Sketch Comedy
Starring: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein
Premise: The dream of the 90s is alive in Portland…along with a lot of really weird citizens.
Original Broadcast Channel: IFC
Off the Wire Location: Netflix (season 1)
At first, I was really lukewarm about watching this show. I didn’t really care for Fred Armisen, I had never heard of Carrie Brownstein, and I have a strange competitive feeling about Portland (I’m from Madison, and I want us to be the weirdest city ever dammit!)
However, from the first sketch, I was completely drawn in by the quirky strangeness of it, and I watched it straight through to the end. It took me a little bit to like Fred and Carrie (a lot of the characters are very abrasive, as is the case in most sketch comedy shows), but it did happen in the end. They kind of grow on you.
Still not convinced? Fine–here’s five succinct reasons to watch this show now:
1) Great music. Fred Armisen was a musician for many years before he got into comedy, and it really shows in the soundtrack.
2) The Portland travelogue. At the beginning of every sketch, they label their location with a street address. It’s a genius way of promoting Portland, and it makes you feel like you’ve been on a mini-vacation even though you haven’t left your couch.
3) Kyle MacLachlan. Yep, that’s right–Agent Dale Cooper plays The Mayor of Oregon and appears in the majority of the episodes. It’s a really funny character and he plays it perfectly.
4) I’m a sucker for a great title sequence, and I love this one. Very Kids in the Hall; it brings me back to my youth.
5) It’s only six episodes (for now). You can watch the whole series in an evening, so you’ve got nothing to lose (except for that one evening–but come on, were you really going to do anything that important anyway?)
There you go. Now you have no excuse–you’re welcome.