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September 2, 2014

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TV 101: It's All Good in 'Portlandia'

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Feb 23rd 2011 2:00PM
PortlandiaEverybody has that someone in his life who is principled almost to a fault.

This person only buys clothes from the Salvation Army (and not for the ironic reasons I bought gas station attendant shirts with the name "Roy" on them in the mid-'90s). He will take a swing at you if you dare offer him something that isn't organic, and he always talks about how he liked something before it sold out and went corporate, like the 1980s NBA, hip-hop or coffee.

He's the vintage-collecting, Whole Foods–shopping, hybrid-driving documentary filmmaker who reads McSweeney's and formulates conspiracy theories about Disney while jarring his homemade pickles.

IFC's 'Portlandia' is a little show made for and by hipsters that simultaneously skewers and reveres them and their pious notions of 20-something cool.

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'Portlandia' Series Premiere Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 23rd 2011 12:00PM
portlandia['Portlandia' - 'Farm']

I once drove over a few inches of crosswalk space in Austin, Texas. In protest of this heinous act, a snooty pedestrian shook his fist at me and shot me a nasty look -- the kind of look someone might give you if you had just slayed a beautiful, defenseless unicorn in front of them -- and yelled, "Hell-O! CROSSWALK!"

I'm sure something similar happened to Fred Armisen, probably more than once, in the great city of Portland, Ore. But Armisen's "crime" probably involved driving too close to an angry urban cyclist's precious bike lane ("One f***ing speed!") or snacking on a Quarter Pounder with cheese in view of a vocal vegan café patron. That could explain why the 'SNL' vet is devoting most of his free time these days to skewering the Pacific Northwest city's counterculture in IFC's 'Portlandia.'

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'Portlandia' Star Carrie Brownstein and Four Other Indie Rockers On TV

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 21st 2011 4:30PM
Portlandia, Carrie Brownstein, Fred ArmisenIt's hard not to envy Fred Armisen these days. He's one of the funniest people on 'Saturday Night Live,' he married Peggy from 'Mad Men' (for a while, anyway), and now he's writing and starring in one of the funniest new TV shows of the year, IFC's 'Portlandia.'

Here's another reason to be jealous of the guy: he shares the screen with the awesome Carrie Brownstein, guitarist for the influential Portland indie rock band Sleater-Kinney, in 'Portlandia,' a sketch show that targets organic food-obsessed couples and feminist bookstore owners in the "city where young people go to retire," premiering tonight on IFC.

Brownstein's casting got us thinking about the some of our favorite indie rockers* who have turned up on the tube in bit parts, cameos, reality show judge panels and, in one case, their own eponymously-named talk show. After the jump, watch a searing political rant, listen to some good tunes and to take a trip back to the '90s with our list of 5 Indie Rockers Who Made the Jump to TV.

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Fred Armisen Stars In New Series 'Portlandia'

by Ryan McKee, posted Dec 16th 2010 5:30PM
Most 'Saturday Night Live' cast members begin their careers in the fertile comedy fields like stand-up, The Second City or The Groundlings. But not nine-season veteran Fred Armisen, who began as a drummer in the punk rock band Trenchmouth and then graduated to background drumming in the Blue Man Group.

Now Armisen's good buddy Carrie Brownstein, former lead singer and guitarist of the iconic indie rock band Sleater-Kinney, is attempting to make a similar leap into comedy with his help. The two have been producing digital shorts under the name ThunderAnt, and are now graduating to a TV show on the IFC called 'Portlandia.'

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