Portlandia: Season Two

Here, allow me to throw you some examples:
• “We can pickle that.”
• “Cheese boats are dope.”
• “Plastic bags cause pelican cancer.”
• “Ron, get these white people outta my closet.”
• “Don’t touch me, you’re a dirty hippie, you don’t get punk at all!”
• “My sister went to community college, and we haven’t talked in 10 years.”
• “Whose dog is that whose lips are falling off?”
• “I’m a little guy.”
• “‘The Living Years’? That song was poetry!”
• “Two girls, two shirts.”
• “Here’s my impression of someone with an STD.”
• “Oh, my God. Do you live on a banana farm?”
• “He loves reality shows about logging and fishing.”
• “I feel bad losing these fingernails.”
• “You know what keeps you warm? A good book, an idea.”
• “Sacajawea, we’d like a spoon.”

Got it? You will.

Once more, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein appear together in nearly every sketch, occasionally as themselves, such as when they attempt to rally the city against ever hosting the Olympics. Most of the time, they’re playing others, like the recurring owners of the Women & Women First feminist bookstore (where “Queer Horror” is a section) or characters that satirically skewer the snot out of Kickstarter, Pitchfork, Whole Foods, DJ gigs and everything else that hipsters adore.

Armisen continues to hone talents that Saturday Night Live simply does not allow, yet Brownstein — heretofore best-known as half of ’90s riot-grrrl act Sleater-Kinney — shines brightest. She’s got a real comedic gift.

They get help from numerous guest stars, most notably Jeff Goldblum as a knot salesman; Kristen Wiig as a stalker; Andy Samberg as a mixologist; Miranda July (The Future) as the co-owner of the store Two Girls, Two Shirts; Mary Lynn Rajskub (Safety Not Guaranteed) in the two-disc set’s lone deleted scene; Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder as Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder; and Kyle MacLachlan returning as the mayor, but now sporting his new “mayor cape.”

All 10 half-hour episodes are sufficiently solid laugh-wise, with the exception of the season closer, “Brunch Village,” which deviates from the series formula to tell a plot (and is available in an even longer director’s cut in the special features). Other than that, however, I watch with the same reaction as Brownstein and Armisen’s couple discovering Battlestar Galactica: “One more?” —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
The Future DVD review    
Portlandia: Season One DVD review  
Safety Not Guaranteed DVD review    

Rod Lott

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