Portlandia in New York
January 4, 2012 Leave a comment
Margaret Talbot has an article entitled “Stumptown Girl” in the latest New Yorker and it’s about indie rocker Carrie Brownstein and her TV show Portlandia.
Talbot approaches the show from the outside, calling Brownstein’s involvement in the comedy surprising, in part because Brownstein “is the epitome of the indie culture that the show sends up.” I’m unclear who Talbot thinks the audience for the show is. Who is expected to understand all of the myriad references in the show? Isn’t the central audience for Portlandia that very same indie crowd, not taking themselves too seriously?
Here’s a 3 minute sketch entitled “Feminist Bookstore” that demonstrates that those being mocked can take (and enjoy) a joke, as it’s filmed in an actual feminist bookstore, In Other Words.
Talbot does gradually spot the connections between life and art. She notes how some of the show meetings have been held in Director Gus Van Sant’s loft, with his dog wandering in and out, and a microbrewery below. “The closer I looked,” writes Talbot, “the harder it was to see the dividing line between Portland and ‘Portlandia.’” I’m not sure that this is so unusual when it comes to television comedies. I certainly don’t think Talbot would be surprised to discover that married people with families have been involved in sitcoms such as Everybody Loves Raymond.
This confusion of mine aside, the article itself is a pleasant read which gives particular insight into the relationship between Brownstein and Armisen. If you enjoy Portlandia, check it out.
You can also watch the entirety of this Friday’s episode if you “like” Portlandia on Facebook.