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  • "Portlandia" is a parody of/homage to the City of Roses, depicting scenarios that look like typical Portland occurrences. "Saturday Night Live" cast member Fred Armisen and singer Carrie Brownstein play various characters that truly represent the city, with occasional guest stars. This is not a sitcom in the common sense. It's filmed on location, and the humor is sort of like the kind in Christopher Guest's movies. "Portlandia" isn't a masterpiece of a show, but it's a very fun look at my hometown. I can affirm that it's a pretty accurate portrayal. And a very funny one. This show probably won't be for everyone, but if you like quirky stuff then you'll probably enjoy it.
  • Written by and starring Carrie Brownstein, of Sleater-Kinney fame, and Fred Armisen, of Saturday Night Live fame, a sketch comedy show set in Portland, Oregon.

    Funny, clever and original comedy. Captures well the absurdities of everyday life as well as parodying many organisations and types of people. Often irreverent in the institutions and people they take on.

    The humour spans subtle to over-the-top. Therein lies the one problem with the show - the subtler stuff can be too subtle and you miss the joke. Add in the fact that each episode concentrates on a different topic and this makes the individual episodes a bit hit- and-miss.

    Brownstein and Armisen are wonderful as the lead actors. While Armisen's comedic credentials are already well known and respected, Brownstein is a revelation. Her background, through Sleater-Kinney, is in socially-orientated rock music, and here she takes on sketch comedy, and does so extremely well.
  • Portlandia is a wonderful mockery of a sort of the silliness of the modern age, poking fun at obsessions with food and authenticity and playing with concepts of gender.

    Portlandia walks that very thin line between so weird it's funny and too weird to be funny. That means you can see something truly inventive, original sketches, but also that you can watch an entire episode without a single funny thing in it. This has become increasingly true as the series has progressed - as of season 8 the humor has been somewhat patchy, although it is still sometimes brilliant.

    If you haven't seen this series, you should definitely check it out. Start with the early episodes to get the most bang for your buck.
  • This is perhaps the worst garbage ever existed on TV screen. the screenplays were stupid, exaggerated, ridiculed, twisted, and most of all, pretentious to the extreme. Portland is such a beautiful and unique city that made all the cities on the map of the United States look so boring and stereotyped lifeless. Yet this series used two the most unlikable and pretentious mediocre actors to play the main couple roles. What a joke!

    We have been visiting Portland twice a year since our elder son moved to that city years ago from southern California. After visited Portland so many years and so many times, we finally understood why he never wanted to move back to California. Portland is a city has its uniqueness. Yes, the city are full of down-and-out dandy residents, but the air and the atmosphere are uplifting and unpretentious. This city teaches you how to live with limited income but still could live freely and enjoyable.

    There are so many districts in this city that have their own characters. This is a city that the residents know the tricks of how to get by with limit incomes but still feel they are rich than most of the people living in other cities. This is a city that still got the disgusting fast food chains, but like no other cities in America, they are not the typical eye-sores like what we see in California or other states, because the eat-out dining culture in Portland is so abundantly kaleidoscopic colorful, every district and every street got its own characteristic specialties, they are so unique and so different from any other city's life style.

    This city is also the capital of bicycle theft, almost every one you know had the experience of lost their bicycle, no matter how you tried to protect it, yet this city's bicycle culture never dwindled but keeps on growing, somewhere in this city, the bike lanes are wider than the motor vehicles lanes.

    A city with fresh thick cut salmon slices on their Su-Shi conveyor platform, 3-times thicker and 3 times fresh than what you paid for in any other city. would put shame on all other Su-Shi bars/restaurants in any city in America @ $1.85 a plate!

    This is a city surrounded by breath-taking scenery spots that put shame to what the cities in California claimed as their best "scenic drives".

    This is not a city portrayed like this stupid farce, full of clowns, jerks, brain-dead, pin-heads, pretentious extremists. A city full of smokers, pets, bike thieves, junkies, do-nothing and do-little white trash, tight-arss stubborn Republicans, mindless and goalless liberals...and so on, but they accommodated to each other nicely and peacefully. A city with most of the sidewalks smell dogs urine, a city with water pan put in front of almost every store for dog lovers-slaves, a city full of residents wearing fashionable and flashy dresses covered with cat hairs. A city with residents who never pay any attention to rains or snow, a city where residents like to wear clothes with hoods, so they can still mindlessly walk in the rains anytime they want; people walking in the street holding umbrellas on a raining day only expose themselves outsiders or just tourists. This is a city where people live there knowing how to wholeheartedly appreciate a sunny day. A city people still like to hold and read a REAL book in any season, especially in a rainy or snowy winter day.

    In summary, you don't have the right to portray a city and its residents @ such an insulting, pretentious, exaggerated and, unrealistic angle.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This show completely cracks me up. The strange characters portrayed by these talented people are too funny. The subtle humor and lack of a laugh track is something that is lacking on television. The mayor is a total pretentious jerk that probably reminds a lot of us of our bosses. The bizarre humor in the show is completely original and unrelenting. I hate it when they have back-to-back episodes on Saturday mornings because I can't get out of bed - can't turn it off. The bookstore women, the cult, the dumpster divers, the gender-reversed couple, the Portland "Thinkers"....too funny. It's the best thing to hit television since "Fernwood 2 Nite", circa 1975. This just in...the second season sucked. I removed 4 stars.
  • I watched these a few years ago- so I can't compare the 1st and following seasons. Fred and Carrie do a lot of gender bending- and have a unique voice- visiting common themes. they confront the ordinary joe, jill and the "hippy dippy"- taking a fresh look. as to be expected, some skits hit better than others. they take chances.
  • Comedy is very personal. I think it's harder than drama- as to tastes- I think something is over sweet or too salty and it's some one else's favorite food. Often, I can't get a single laugh from some comics others think are funny. I can't say all the skits are even; some better. Is it ha ha funny, not always. But I found it entertaining and original. and I like a different voice. they break through sexual and social stereotypes by displaying them. Carrie as a man and Fred as a woman pull it off, not by their physical, but by the spirit and mimic of the essence.
  • Dunno, hit or miss. Some bits are pretty good, others are torture and go on and on as if there's no director. It's roots are in SNL so it has that whiff of Andy Samberg inspired anti humor that tries to see just how uncomfortable they can make you before you turn away. It's very heavy on irony that's not ironic, almost like a fake show that the fake writers on 30 Rock would pitch as a plot device. But some bits are pretty good as long as they keep them short and tight.
  • mlbroberts20 February 2020
    That's about all I can say. I could not get into it. The godawful theme song should have warned me off, but I watched, and it just wasn't worth watching. I wouldn't call it a comedy - it's more like watching somebody else's group therapy where no one has a life.
  • Erik_Stone12 May 2021
    Spot on. It's like a documentary, because it predicts the future, like the rest of us already knew, and why we escaped years ago. It's nice to be able to laugh at dead-baby jokes and the holocaust . . . Thankfully, welcome to Portlandia, which is even more funny, because it's more realistic.
  • The creators of this show made some accurate and pithy observations regarding the culture of Portland, Oregon, capturing our local native vibe that is sometimes quirky and sincere, sometimes obsessive, and sometimes down right passive-aggressive. As a 13-year resident of Portland, I appreciate this, as I appreciate location shots and the cameo appearance of our beleaguered Mayor Sam Adams.

    Nonetheless, a lot of the sketches on this show simply lack humor. There seems to be a lot of padding, a lot of sketches where there is no real joke, and a lot of unfunny characters who show up every episode, such as the couple played by our actors doing the cross-dressing thing.

    You can certainly use Portland as a springboard for humor, god knows I have been making fun of this city (which I love) for years...but at the end of the day, you also need some more actual jokes, and you need a bit of substance. Instead, you have one or two segments of this show being amusing, with the rest of it falling flat like Saturday Night Live after Tina Fey left.

    In short, the writers either have almost no actual material, or are just lazy.
  • If you think of SNL...:)..That is an homage to all the other reviewers that used that show as an analogy... This show, IMO, is just terrible.

    I can tell a lot of work went into production, and after all the seasons that were shown, you'd think it's watchable. Well, if you like the new SNL....:)... I guess there is a decent sized market that finds the overreaching inane sarcasm and unrealistic interactions between humans entertaining - You know; weirdos.
  • stratus_phere19 February 2018
    I've watched half a dozen episodes. Yes, it's funny. But it's also repetitive. You can only make fun of hipsters so much until it runs out of steam. The main problem - for me - is that there is no plot, no running situation for these characters. It's all sketches. Sure, it works well for SNL, and maybe that's what you want. This rating is just from my viewpoint, that most people probably want something more from a series than one unrelated sketch after another.

    I think the current IMDB rating of 7.2 reflects that fact that the sketches are funny...but in the end that's all they are - sketches. For me, the former doesn't make up for the latter.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I didn't have the highest hopes for this show since SNL is not that funny anymore. But I gave it a shot. The first episode wasn't funny at all, which lead me to believe this show isn't a comedy. Is it? I mean, the beginning part with the singing was so long and not humorous. Then the characters were flat and in the bookstore, in took me awhile to realize Fred Armisen was playing a woman. See, if you watched a Kids in the Hall skit, you would instantly know a guy was playing a female. In this, I didn't. If there are jokes in this show, I must be missing them all. Wait, there are no jokes.

    It's a hodgepodge at best. Trying to be That 90's Show crossed with more topical sections, like when the two leads meet a bigamist cult that is like Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Overall, it doesn't make sense since that was in Texas and this is in Portland. I get the angle they were trying to create, but it is a lukewarm idea backed up with no spirit.

    I don't think the two leads, Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, who was more funny when she was in the band Sleater-Kinney than this, aren't very intriguing. There is something off with their delivery. I guess the side by side Portlandia and Black Books viewing would stand. You can do comedy straight but it has to be funny. This is not.

    I struggled through the second episode because I am a Kyle MacLachlan fan, so I fast forwarded to his sections. He actually breathed some life into the show for a brief second. Maybe it is because he knows how to act serious yet funny. He gets it. Then in bounded Aubrey Plaza from Parks and Recreation, a show I actually like and that I think is funny. But she always seems to play about the same character...still her scene in the bookstore was more inspired than Steve Buscemi's who played a guy who had to use the bathroom in the store and then ended up frustrated because he had to buy something. Having worked in a few indie bookstores myself, you would think this would bring up a chuckle or too. It didn't.

    There is no magic to Portlandia. I wanted to see some of the other cameos, but I can't even stomach it enough to fast forward to those cameos. I have no interest in any of the characters either of the leads play. It's like watching a whole episode of SNL that isn't funny at all (I am looking at you Russell Brand, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro and Bryan Cranston hosted episodes...hard to make all that talent unfunny but somehow SNL currently does it...with only a few of the show like the Dana Carvey and Jim Carrey ones being actually funny) yet disappoints even more than "not funny" does. It's an odd accomplishment to make a show devoid of humor and isn't even interesting in style beyond that so I can get through a 20 minute show. Crazy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    THIS ONE MIGHT HAVE SPOILERS! "Portlandia" - It's not for everybody. That's the first sign you might find it good viewing. The second sign is it may take time to grow on you. It takes you out of your viewing comfort zone right away and a lot of people don't like that. My wife can't watch it. The first thing you'll notice is "Portlandia" is really the "Fred and Carrie show". These two mesh though, so they can pull it off. And they aren't concerned at all about looking ridiculous or even idiotic for a laugh. Sometimes the formula of straight absurdity just doesn't work - but it works enough of the time to keep me tuning back in.

    SPOILERS: Every episode Fred and Carrie play multiple characters. They have many recurring sets that sometimes even overlap - logic has no place in "Portlandia" - So be prepared for them to appear as old people, two female book store owners, two homeless people, there is no limit and so don't even bother keeping track of the names - trying to tell someone "about" this show who hasn't seen it, is next to impossible so i don't even try.

    The roles they will play and what will happen, are totally unpredictable and this is probably what a lot of people like (or hate). On the Fred-and-Carrie-show, characters appear from nowhere, disappear, and then reappear again at random. The characters always have a motive and the motive is always something ridiculous. Something always gets resolved during the show - a question, an issue, a problem, an invented crisis, a cause or belief that is very silly, again, always about matters completely absurd. So don't be surprised when Fred and Carrie reverse sexes (Carrie plays a guy named Lance and they slow her voice down, which i find hilarious) while Fred puts on a dress to play Nina (speeded up voice) and of course, these two are a couple. Their gender role changes are some of the funniest of the show but you gotta be ready for all the weirdness, because there's plenty of that in "Portlandia". If you don't do weird this show might not be for you.

    I give it 8 of 10, it took me 3 or 4 episodes of chipping at this show before i felt comfortable enough watching it. And not every episode is a gem either (because they can't all be) but all in all, good show and worth your time.
  • I like intelligent, witty, weird even sarcastic humor. This is none of those. I didn't make it through an entire episode. It just makes fun of stereo typed hippie/hipster people. It treats everyone like a moron. It is stupid, offensive and not remotely funny. I have been to Portland many times, I had family that lived near there, and while I will admit the folks in Oregon tend to be a little different, they are not the idiotic boobs that this show portrays. This show is painful to watch and a complete waste of time.
  • Portlandia is a sketch comedy show that contains two main characters played by Fred Armisen of SNL fame and Carrie Brownstein of popular band Sleater Kinney. These two come up with rad skits in which they play Hippy Vegans, Cult members, Cos Play characters, and Yuppies just to name a few. Every episode contains famous actors, which add to the fun!!

    Port goes stageless! SNL, and Kids in The Hall take place on stages or sets. Port does not. This gives it a more authentic reality show feel which makes it more accessible and less artificial.

    This show makes me feel like I know these people or grew up with them. They make fun of things me and my friends make fun of. Everyday young adults, who understand punk, politics, indie rock, college life, and getting over all of that will relate.

    Portlandia is a 9 1/2 star show yet it's not over the top. It's not pretentious. This is why Port is for now. This generation. It's almost like a consistently funny SNL. An SNL that doesn't make fun of pop culture but rather everyday life. Therefore it's easy to laugh at again and again.

    Though it's great Port lacks just little in two areas rewatchability and characters. If they could just some more stable characters and focus a little bit more on consistent relationships (non sketch stuff) to give the audience something to look forward to than maybe next season it will be a 10.
  • I'm not from Portland, but I live there now. Portland is a beautiful place to live. Breathtaking scenery, an excellent public transit system, awesome restaurants, great beer and coffee, close proximity to mountains and the ocean. There's a lot to like about living here. Sure, it rains a lot, there are a lot of homeless people, and hipsters are pretentious douchebags, but most people are hard working, friendly and inclusive. Some people get annoyed by the "small town" locals and some people get annoyed by the "yuppies for California." I think most people are good people in this city. IFC plays on many of the Portland sensibilities in their satire sketch comedy show "Portlandia".

    I enjoyed the show when it first started, but my enjoyment has dipped since then. Maybe it's because when it started it was still a place for young people to retire. Now, not so much. It's a booming economy, a lot of new money pouring in, and things are changing, I think mostly for the better, but that's not how everyone sees it. Rent has increased, so has traffic, and some of the charm has disappeared. I guess you can look at it both ways, positively and negatively. Also, jokes about hipsters, weirdness and more grow stale after being told over and over again.

    Overall, I enjoyed it when it first started, but maybe it's time to let it go. Like one of their famous sketches suggests, it's over.
  • Started watching Portlandia because I was drawn to the variety of sketches that were clever with the occasional celebrity appearance. Lots more to watch. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein have great chemistry together and can be silly at times. Who cares - you can tell that they are having a lot of fun. Continues to entertain.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I often find myself more interested in writing a highly critical review, mostly because I'm irritated by a film that cost a lot of money yet was awful, but this TV show deserves some commentary. Now don't get me wrong, this show has a lot of "misses." And it's not for those with a more traditional sense of humor, or who mostly enjoy crude, low-brow humor apparently meant for the teen crowd. However, I like absurd, bizarre humor, especially if it's got some social commentary, and at times Portlandia is very funny.

    For example, in one scene the main characters (a couple) talk about how people throw so many good things away, and then proceed to "dumpster dive." There's nothing of value to anyone in that particular dumpster, except perhaps a half full bottle of vinegar. Undeterred, they decide that most of the trash in that dumpster possesses value. The man finds a tiny shirt (which was his, shrunken by a dryer, I think), and decides to put it on, though of course it fits horribly and looks ridiculous. I guess I enjoy this sort of thing because it exaggerates what we all know some people do, though they may not do it in a dumpster.

    Sometimes, I don't really understand what they are trying do, if it's meant to be humorous, or if it's just incoherence for the sake of it, but I just go with it, and sometimes it does turn out to be funny, sometimes because after a while I find that I just have to laugh at it (such as a female musician who keeps dreaming of a pony, though it's not clear why). I also think that some right wing folk really think that there are a lot of Americans who are actually like this, mostly on the coasts, I guess. Was Obama really born in the USA? Well, if you don't think he was, you might actually believe that the Portlandians are real and represent millions, the left wing barbarian horde seeking to destroy baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet, presumably. A worthwhile absurdist comedy for an absurd period in US history, I guess.
  • I started watching PORTLANDIA one night when I couldn't find anything else and thought "Why not see what this is all about?" I am so glad I did.

    This is one of the most original sketch comedies since KIDS IN THE HALL from the 1980's. Armisen and Brownstein have created a zany collection of well-meaning oddballs, politically correct, former hippies and smug yuppies all occupying a quirky universe within the confines of Portland, Oregon.

    This is intelligent, satirical comedy that requires the viewer to notice the eccentricities of each new character they encounter, from the city's Reggae-loving mayor to the two militant feminist that run the "Women and Women First" bookstore. Both observational and situation gags abound! I personally have enjoyed it and I'm finishing up Season 2. Can't wait to see what new characters are introduced in the next few seasons.

    If you're a fan of sketch comedy or if you're just looking for something a little different, give it a shot. Great stuff!!
  • Okay, this is something you either love or hate or get or don't get. It is so completely strange and its sense of humor is bizarre, dry or awkward. Not sure which one. All I know is that I love it. These 2 come up with some pretty original, funny stuff! I can't get enough of it. There are some skits I like better, but overall, I really enjoy it. It is so different from what is out there, which is a nice change. Nothing short of genius, in my opinion to come up with these skits. It is not one boring storyline with stale characters and a laugh track. It is a collage of characters and funny as heck skits. And, I would have to disagree with some of the posters who say that it is a show for a certain demographic. I am a 46 yr. old conservative Republican from Texas and I get it and I love it. Almost makes me want to go live in Portand! The show makes fun of Portand in such a funny way. I know some people just don't get it and it is usually the Y generation who like this, but that is not the case with me. I loved all seasons, but I think season one may have been better than season 2 and season 3 better than 2. I would think they would run out of fun ideas, but they don't. I would sure love to be at their table when they are coming up with these ideas. I laugh so hard, but my husband doesn't get it, so again, your brain is either going to be wired to like this or not, but at least give it a shot. Good job cast! Oh, "cacao!"
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This show is Golden. I discovered Portlandia in March of this year when I caved and purchased a Netflix Sub. This, naturally, caught my eye. Having foreground on the culture and mainstays of Portland, I found this series to be a profound satirical whimsy of the rustic town. There's a beautiful vibe to this show, I can't quite voice as it eludes me. Nevertheless, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein(admittedly new to their acumen) do an exemplary job of gunning laughs from the audience while punching subliminal character to each skit-piece performed. Some of my personal favorites are the cacao, drone-concert watching, spike the hipster, Hunk vs Nerd, Mayor McSpermInACryogenicCoffeeCan, Portland vs Seattle, and The Wedding scenes. I do believe you have to have an outlandish sense of humor to truly grasp every slurp of this amazing show, and I know most of my peers wouldn't find this humor too attracting. This is a show I can put on at any time, and still laugh my butt off. The new season is fresh, and hasn't lost any momentum from the beginning. For me, this show is a breath of fresh air, much like you'd find in the beautiful woodland town of Portland.
  • If Portlandia was Game of Thrones the city would be High Garden. A wonderful comedy sketch show with a running theme, the theme being the irony of real world city Portland.

    I asked some American guy if Portlandia was anything like the real Portland. And the told me that he actually lives in it and he didn't want to talk about it.
  • 😂Ha. Every scene is sarcastic humor. This show is so much fun to watch. You are literally never bored watching this. You can start anywhere because there virtually isn't a plot. This is a "sitcom". "Situation comedy".

    I laugh in every single scene. I feel somewhat sorry for people living in Portland because it seems to make fun of the city.
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