IFC’s new series Portlandia takes a swing at hipsters; and indie rockers are here to help them do it.
Sleater-Kinney‘s Carrie Brownstein is a regular star of the Portland, Oregon-based show. In addition to co-star Fred Armisen (SNL), this week she was joined by fellow musicians James Mercer (The Shins), Colin Meloy and Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists) as well as former Sleater-Kinney bandmate Corin Tucker on the sketch-comedy series.
Why are these and other celebs (like Steve Buscemi and Aimee Mann!) lining up to appear on Portlandia? This offbeat show lampoons the culture of art-loving, music-listening, organic food-eating urbanites who sometimes take themselves too seriously. Whether mocking aggressive cyclists or hipster design aesthetics (Hint: “Put a Bird On It!“) Portlandia manages to make us laugh at ourselves (c’mon, we all have a little hipster in us).
In one sketch, two Portlandians are in a restaurant and ask if the chicken they’re about to eat is local. Then they take it to the next level by asking what kind of food the chicken ate (sheep’s milk and hazelnuts), what its name was (Colin) and if it had a lot of friends (yes).
No aspect of the crunchy culture is off limits for Portlandia’s humor. In a New York Times article the director of a feminist bookstore in Portland – where a searing scene about feminist bookstores was filmed – says “I’m part of what [Portlandia] is making fun of… There’s a kernel of truth in it, and it’s O.K. to roll with it.”
This one-of-a-kind series, which debuted last month, has already gained enough traction to be picked up by IFC for a second season.
Bottom line: The joke’s on us, but we get it. And, hopefully we’ll get to see more HeadCount artists on the small screen in the season(s) to come.