Six seasons of half-hour Portlandia are currently on Netflix. It was created by and stars Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen. The two play several oddball characters, often in the same episode. The show is filmed in and around Portland, OR; apparently, the new alt cultural capital of America. In the often hilarious sketches, the characters expose the fringe lifestyle of the “look at me, I’m special” generation from goths, yuppies, grunges, hippies, foodies, techies, and the always popular intellectually superior who love to look down upon all of the others.
Aside from its comic nature, I enjoy the show for a number of reasons. I know the portrayals are caricatures, but it provides me with some insight into cultures that are foreign to me. I love the fact that the show is filmed on location. I like seeing the architecture, atmosphere, the local minor characters and extras. I am so tired of seeing New York and LA. Though the writers poke fun at these subcultures exposing many absurdities, I’d say it is done with love and respect. It never tries to be mean, and that is a tribute to the writers’ intelligence.
Would I ever move to Portland based on this series? No way in hell! But I love peeking in on the place and respect the folks who are there living lives that seem to please them.
Portlandia? A big Yes.