Posted in TV | comedy | music on January 20, 2012

Portlandia show in Chicago (more by James Richard IV)
Portlandia

Via Gawker:

These sketches are the white subcultural equivalent of a minstrel show, that while perhaps intended as a charming homage to oddballs, has in fact drummed up a sentiment best summarized as "it's about damned time someone put those weirdos in their place."

By labeling the show Portlandia, instead of Hipsterville U.S.A., it gives the erroneous impression that these are isolated phenomena and the hateable characters portrayed are somehow representational of all Portlanders.

...

[W]hen laughing, it's important to stop and ask yourself if you're laughing for the right reasons. And there's a good chance you aren't." [Boise Weekly]

Portlandia brings their live show to Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight and Bowery Ballroom tomorrow. Check out pictures from the show in Chicago.

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Comments (73)

I do not think the show is offensive. It is simply not funny. Big difference.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 5:46 PM

offensively not funny

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 5:51 PM

That's a really moronic article.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 5:58 PM

that critique falls prey to its own typical hipster, ass backwards, double meaningless irony sarcasm stuff 99 percenter cat pics washed out soundtrack meat is murder.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 6:02 PM

The show is hilarious at times because it's so damned rooted in truth. This Boise clown clearly fears that there are people out there who might laugh derisively rather than with the affectionate intent of Fred and Carrie, but too fucking bad. I don't think anyone could possibly enjoy the show unless they intimately know and understand the subculture involved, so comparing it to a minstrel show is positively moronic.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 6:05 PM

It's about damned time someone put those weirdos in their place.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 6:07 PM

If anybody living in Boise thinks he/she knows what hipsters are all about, well now THAT is the funniest thing I have heard in quite some time

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 6:09 PM

Agree with the guy or not, he has put a damn fine writing there!
Especially when compared with the sub par writings on this blog here...

Posted by ME | January 20, 2012 6:09 PM

people actually laugh whilst watching this show?

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 6:15 PM

Its true a lot of things can apply to lots of other hipster towns but you need a central location for a show... also I;m sure there a lot of things Fred & Carrie make fun of that they like and actively participate in...

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 6:26 PM

Carrie Brownstein is so Hot!! What is the name of that ugly lady she does Portlandia with?? I forget..

Posted by anonymous | January 20, 2012 6:29 PM

what's a hipster?

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 6:32 PM

I don't think hipster is the right categorization for these peeps. It has sort of spread, but the Pacific Northwest has its own quirky kind of dementia.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 6:36 PM

I think this guy is pretty right.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 6:41 PM

He must be a metal head or something cause he cant laugh at himself just like rightwingers and hipster metal heads.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 6:58 PM

Well, it isn't just that it pokes fun of these people, but that it shows how completely ridiculous their existence is. Who likes being mocked in that way?

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 7:18 PM

Has anyone seen that one episode where they are all eating hummus?

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 7:36 PM

Carrie is more convincing as a dude than Armisen is. I guess being a switch hitter comes in handy for an actress.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 7:39 PM

Boise has alway envied Portland

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 8:20 PM

How's the hummus in Portland? I bet it's organic at least right?

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 8:27 PM

Jewish people are pretty offensive in general.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 8:53 PM

ron paul does not like jewish people

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 9:11 PM

The hummus is on the platter. The artisanal beer is chilled. Just moments until Portlandia!

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 9:52 PM

Fred Armisen - The New Luckiest Guy in Showbiz.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 9:59 PM

If you could make hummus from potatoes, Boise would be the next Billyburg.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 10:59 PM

What's the difference between Idaho and Iowa? This is not a joke, I'm serious.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 11:02 PM

Go wank a dick #Idaho.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 11:05 PM

All I know about Boise is that their clown college has a blue football field.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2012 11:18 PM

whatever with this reviewer guy, but if you're wondering about Boise, it's actually a pretty cool town

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 12:26 AM

i know of a place that makes the best hummus in the usa, maybe the world. my lebanese neighbor (who is now dead) said they mixed potatoes into the hummus.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 1:11 AM

this show sucks, people who like it are stupid, this christopher guest bullshit is not humor. soul fascists

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 1:29 AM

It did kind of suck tonight. But I'll get over being called stupid for liking it. To show that there's no hard feelings, I'll start leaving an extra quarter in your tip cup when you serve me my coffee.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 1:43 AM

1:29- you are the reason shows like Cougatown exist.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 1:44 AM

That...that's a little extreme isn't it?

Posted by Bob Newhart | January 21, 2012 2:23 AM

IMO, IFC at least tries to put up new programming other than the shit fest cop shows, reality shows, and slandered political bullshit on other channels.

Posted by Sam | January 21, 2012 3:24 AM

IFC is a mere shadow of its former self.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 7:59 AM

This just in ....
Boise man finds remote control, then changes channel. He is now transfixed by lemurs climbing vines on The Discovery Channel.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 8:42 AM

williamsburg denizens have serious portland/boise envy

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 8:55 AM

8:55 has some serious black cock envy, ever since his GF left for the dark sausage. Silly white man.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 9:28 AM

Christopher Guest rules, don't front.

Posted by K. | January 21, 2012 10:37 AM

had no idea minstrel meant blackface

portlandia is not entertaining

ptm otoh

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 10:52 AM

I wonder why anyone gives a fuck about what Gawker has to say about anything these days. It really went to shit when Denton took a more active role in editing it and that was years ago. I don't need a bunch of 20-something careerist little pricks trying to break everything down for me. Whenever I see an excerpt from a Gawker post someplace it is exactly the same as this one: "Here's how you should understand this. Here is us trying to historicize some thing as it is happening." Which is maybe not inherently stupid, but their collective voice is deeply stupid, small-c-conservative, relentlessly self-mythologizing and self-promoting, and I don't see why it's of any interest to anyone other than creeps who work in PR and like to live vicariously through having panic attacks about their clients.

That said, I agree Portlandia is just not funny. It's too self-conscious. They clearly think they are very funny. Ruins it for me.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 11:56 AM

Portlandia is on the cutting edge of '03 humor. At this point they're just throwing shots at easy targets. Armisen is a hack so I guess that makes sens

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 12:41 PM

He also created a character to satirize hair metal in 2007! That Armisen is really bleeding edge.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 12:52 PM

The show isn't very funny considering how easy to ridicule the subject matter is.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 1:15 PM

A minstrel show? Really? Way to inject race into a discussion where race and racism is not an issue. If you want to talk about minstrel shows on BV, I'm sure there are some hip hop threads on here where that would be more appropriate. I think there was one a few posts up -- a group with an album called Back $elin Crack. I bet that's a better place to discuss minstrel shows.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 2:23 PM

Nobody can take such hyperbole seriously. A minstrel show has a tradition within American racial supremacy that simply cannot be applied to a show like Portlandia. I sort of get what he is saying in terms of white people parodying other white people, but the racial dynamic is simply not correct. A minstrel show involves whites or blacks in blackface performing skits that show blacks as buffoons. The other really needs to have a deep think on how that applies here and why he feels the need to make such an extreme, absurd, and offensive analogy.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 2:29 PM

The problem with him likening Portlandia to minstrel shows is that the former is rooted in truth. So the construction of his commentary is only logical if he's a stupid racist. Otherwise, he's just stupid.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 2:41 PM

"what's a minstrel show?" every BV commentor before heading down here to write their shitty comments.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 2:46 PM

^ Except for you, right? Because against all evidence, we're supposed to think that you're smart.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 3:07 PM

Dear Boise:

This is a minstrel show:

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2012/01/main_attrakionz_1.html

Now do you you understand the difference between a minstrel show and Portlandia?

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 4:05 PM

no time to scrap with the vegans

just got laid

portlandia rules

i rule

you rule

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 4:07 PM

4:05 makes a good point.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 4:11 PM

Boise has a smelly cunt.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 4:17 PM

As is the problem with Portlandia...if blacks had just learned to laugh at themselves, minstrel shows would not have gotten such a bad rap. Everyones so sensitive.

Posted by TheSloot | January 21, 2012 5:04 PM

It isn't so easy to keep a sense of humor about these things when the lie becomes an accepted truth. Fortunately, in the case of Portlandia, these people are infinitely bigger losers than the show suggests, so no harm done with the exaggerated scenarios.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 5:26 PM

As always, kudos to the hard-working conservative BV commenters, who can take a post on nearly anything, and use it as a spark to hurl racist invective.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 7:44 PM

Does your Lebanese neighbor ever have dinner parties? I'd like to sample his exotic blend.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 7:47 PM

LOL at the fool who thinks liberals aren't racist.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 8:57 PM

Just about to say the same thing. I don't consider myself either...but of course there was never a racist liberal. Politics are no place for hypocrites.

Posted by TheSloot | January 21, 2012 9:02 PM

PORTLANDIA IS OVER!!!

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 9:02 PM

PUT A BIRD ON IT!

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 9:22 PM

PUT SOME HUMMUS IN IT!

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 9:32 PM

"Jewish people are pretty offensive in general."

And so are you.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 9:56 PM

Yeah...

...because the skit in the phone store and the hide and seek club skit are just the pinnacle of hate mongering, offensive propaganda aimed at undermining subcultures everywhere.

Really, dude from Boise?

Keep Portland Weird.


Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 11:14 PM

Keep Portlandia weird


Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2012 11:15 PM

30 Rock is also really contrived and forced making it not funny at all.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2012 1:33 AM

I can pickle that

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2012 5:53 PM

jeez BV, still with the hummus jokes?

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2012 6:49 PM

It just you haven't been there... You will find it funny

Posted by MissHipster1000 | August 10, 2012 4:50 AM

Now if only they could portrait the inherent discrimination of non-white ethnic groups that exist deep within the Portland subculture and then make that funny...then we'd have a show.

Posted by Anonymous | June 12, 2013 2:55 PM

big fan of bob

Posted by jordon | August 7, 2013 7:25 PM

Idaho is offensive. White supremacy paligamist potato heads

Posted by Anonymous | March 26, 2014 11:27 AM

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