PORTLAND, Ore. – During a recent visit to Portland's downtown area - where Fred and Carrie of “Portlandia” fame really live - a hand-made sign was spotted asserting: “We’ve got the best TV show in America!”
The budget for the first season of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s IFC network cult TV show “Portlandia” is reported to be “less than $1 million for six episodes;” but that’s changed thanks to a growing television and Internet fan base and Portlandia winning a Peabody Award for a “satiric sketch comedy television series.” And, the view from locals in Portland is “we couldn’t be happier,” says a local named “Bear” who claims he lives near “Fred and Carrie,” when pointing to a karaoke stub autographed by the Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen. In turn, Bear explains how the Portlandia producers were “checking out the karaoke band scene” at Portland’s "Tiger Bar" on North West Flanders Street “when Fred signed this for me,” explained Bear as a blush of pleasure rose to his cheeks. Although Portland locals are not “really” as quirky as Portlandia makes them out to be; many Portland locals say the show offers a “wonderful sense of going home.”
“Portlandia” gives voice to Portland’s wistful side
People who call themselves “Oregonians” - from the Portland and this region of northern Oregon – really seem to enjoy Portlandia’s tour of the “hot spots” in this indie-rock paradise that’s become the muse for Fred & Carrie to simply have fun.
For instance, such Portland landmarks as the Roseland Theater, Music Millennium (the oldest record store in the Pacific Northwest) and the famed Doug Fir Lounge are featured as some of the backdrops for this Friday's, July 20th airing on IFC of what’s been hyped as "The Brunch Special," that's an hour-long “summer special of Portlandia” with the show’s co-creator Fred Armisen saying it features a director’s cut of the second season finale with plenty of those quirky behind the scenes footage.
In turn, "The Brunch Special" also airs on Saturday, July 21, on IFC with the network saying to check your local cable listings for times in your area.
Moreover, this special wakes up Portland from a somewhat long wait for more “Portlandia” episodes after IFC aired all of the second season’s 10-episodes earlier this year; while the IFC network recently announced the good news that its renewed Portlandia for a third season that starts in January with reruns of the classic episodes airing until then.
Also, for those not familiar with either the show or Portland, the name “Portlandia” refers to a huge statue of the same name that hangs over the famed “Portland Building” in downtown Portland on Fifth Avenue. This sculpture appears in Portlandia’s opening TV shot, and then opens to Fred & Carrie mucking about with Portland folk "doing nothing," in the same vein as the old Seinfeld television sitcom.
Fred Armisen tells Letterman about “Brunch Special”
Fans can hardly wait for what’s been dubbed as “Portlandia’s” July 20 summer TV special - simply called “The Bruch Special” – that its website reveals as featuring “special people;” including the show’s executive producer Lorne Michaels (creator of Saturday Night Live), Bobby Flay, Tim Robbins and Kyle MacLachan who sort of mess about with the show’s co-creators and stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Browstein.
Moreover, Armisen told David Letterman on CBS “Late Show” July 10 that the Brunch Special is simply about one of Portland’s favorite pastimes and that’s “standing in a long line at a brunch.”
In turn, Letterman said: “Oh, my God, this is just the right kind of strange,” when sharing with Armisen that he’s a big fan of Portlandia; with Armisen revealing how he now lives in downtown Portland.
“I just had a couch delivered, and the delivery man refused a tip,” explained Armisen during his Letterman interview; while then explaining how that’s the kind of place Portland is – “it’s where people hand you bread when you’re walking down the street, and nobody seems to have a job there.”
Also, Armisen said the response from people in Portland has been most positive by saying: “They’re so nice about it,” and “the city of Portland lends itself to it.”
Armisen then told Letterman that he visited Portland for years “little by little,” and then decided to move there because, among other things, Armisen says “it rains all the time but it’s nice because I like rain and wearing jackets.”
In a separate interview, Armisen explained how he and friend Carrie Browstein first met in Portland back in 2000 and “began collaborating on a comedy series for the Internet in 2005 under the title ‘Thunderant.’” Thus, he said these sketches turned into something “increasingly Portland-centric,” and hence the show Portlandia was born.
Also, “Portlandia,” fans can check out the show's “Nerdist Podcast” with Fred & Carrie explaining how they come up with ideas for Portlandia.
More “Portlandia” now on DVD and coming in September
There are very few TV shows these days that are as quirky as “Portlandia,” and thus local Portland fan named “Bear” thinks that’s a “good thing” because he told Huliq during a recent interview how “the show offers a very different worldview with no hassles, and just back-handed jokes.”
For more “Portlandia,” check out Season One now out on DVD and Blu-ray; while the IFC network’s website recently announced that Season Two is set to be released nationwide in September; with Season Three now being filmed in downtown Portland for a January debut on IFC TV.
In addition, a flash to fans in the Portland and Oregon coast region that producers are “musing over” future episodes that also capture the “quirky nature” of this Portland region where such things as “strange metal boxes” were reported by local UFO “watchers” along the coast. Stay tuned to Huliq for more details on where Fred and Carrie may wind up during filming for Season Three of “Portlandia.”
Also, Season Two DVD “special features include: "Portlandia: the Tour: Seattle" Featurette, "Inside Portlandia" Featurette, "Feminist Bookstore" Deleted Scene, "Brunch Village: the Director's Cut,” and a special excerpt from the new “Portlandia” book with audio commentary by Fred and Carrie who are very funny, indeed.
Image source of Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, stars of the hit cult TV show “Portlandia” on the IFC network. Photo courtesy Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portlandia_(TV_series)