Didja catch Friday night's ep of Portlandia? Huh? Didja? Huh? Didja? Huh? Didja? Huh? (Sorry so annoying, but that Portlandia style of comedy is really growing on me!) Anyway, if the week before last was "really, really, REALLY bad" and last week's was a "three laffer," this week's episode was... ummm... just kinda weird. My recap—FILLED WITH DREAMY PORTLAND MUSIC SCENE STARS!!! EEEEEEEEE!!!!!—after the jump.
So this episode didn't depend as much on "Comedy of the Annoyance" as previous showings—probably because this one starred a bunch of Carrie's friends, and she didn't want them to come off as pretentious assholes, right? After all, SHE KNOWS THEM. And insulting her friends isn't what this show is all about!
The unifying thread was a Portland music/film festival called "Blunderbuss"—I don't get that, but I'm sure you do, and will insult me for not understanding the reference. Have fun! Anyway, it's obviously based on the WW sponsored MusicFest NW. [Fun fact: On the posters, it says that the festival is put on by the Mercury—read into that what you will.]
Sketches included a fictional super hot indie group named Echo Echo checking into an overly precious boutiquey hotel (Hello, Ace) presided over by a starstruck and sycophantic Fred and Carrie. Guest stars: Corin Tucker, Colin Meloy, and James Mercer. Here's the clip if you haven't seen it already.
Okay, not funny, except for Fred's star struck stare (which I assume is real, and probably what got him involved in this series in the first place), and the manager riding in on a skateboard. That nearly cracked me up! However, I will say this episode is a real departure from the others, as F&C weren't trying quite as hard to be hilarious. Everything had a weird, dreamy, dark vibe not unlike something David Lynch would do, if David Lynch was less funny. Part-time Decemberist/Portland musical mainstay Jenny Conlee had a recurring role as a spacey sweet musician who keeps getting slagged by the Blunderbuss staff and groupies, and director Gus Van Sant dropped in to facilitate a film discussion of an awful indie movie starring Selma Blair. Nothing was worth a belly laugh, but again, that didn't seem to be the point this time around. This was the "student art project episode" starring all of Carrie's pals, and when viewed in that light, wasn't awful, and was even occasionally watchable. However, it also wasn't the skewering of the indie rock scene that I had hoped for—the barbs were reserved primarily for doormen and groupies, because, as mentioned earlier, COLIN, JAMES AND CORIN ARE HER FRIENDS, GUYS! They're famous after all, while the little people are named "little people" for a reason. (Psst. They're little.)
IMPORTANT PROGRAMMING NOTE! Next week is the season finale of Portlandia! Here's the description of the episode, entitled "Baseball", from TV Guide:
The mayor has big dreams about bringing a big-league baseball team to Portland and recruits Carrie and Fred to help.
Naturally, this is a great opportunity to skewer Portland's out-of-control "Soccer vs. Baseball" battle royale from a couple years back—though they had a similar opportunity with the "mayor's scandal" episode and didn't take it to the hoop. On the other hand, this show is ostensibly for viewers across the nation, not just inside baseball-playing Portlanders. On the other, other hand it is called Portlandia, isn't it? OWWW!! This makes my head hurt.