Portlandia started out as an oddball experiment between SNL alum Fred Armisen and Riotgrrrl rocker Carrie Brownstein. The whole point was poking fun at the countercultures that have hit the mainstream in the PDX. Every character skewers a local stereotype — from “eat local” obsessives, to sexual experimenters, to BIKE RIGHTS! advocates.
Over the years, the stable of characters has grown as Fred, Carrie, and friends take us into a world where lifestyle is an exaggerated absurdity — but only barely exaggerated, allowing the show to cut deep and hit some great truths about modernity, nostalgia, and trends. As Shakespeare put it in Macbeth, “Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Or in Portlandia terms, #Carrieiswoke.
Portlandia‘s writer’s room has always tackled food and drink trends with a nice dollop of cynicism, so we went back through the last six years of the show to find our favorite food and drink sketches. Here are our picks.
Don’t get mad yet. This isn’t exactly a food or drink related sketch, per se. But Nina’s need to have a safe word for sex is a classic skit with a foodie edge since Nina picks ‘Cacao.’ As the skit progresses Nina uses the word to the point that Lance can barely speak or move without Nina’s bullet delivery of ‘Cacao.’
COFFEE SHOP MANIFESTO
Poor baristas are always having to deal with asshole customers and jittery nerves from all that coffee. This is a classic the-employees-strike-back sketch that sees a ridiculously well bearded Armisen lose his cool (from way too much coffee surely) while a group of disgruntled barista’s pen a manifesto on coffee house conduct … that’s immediately ignored.
Word to the wise, don’t bother knocking on the bathroom door.