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It’s about life in hipster enclaves, and the self-consciousness that makes hipsters desperately disavow the label. entrepreneurship, in which people reject office jobs in favor of becoming, say, an appliqué-pillow designer with a page on Etsy.Many of its characters are caught up in the prideful culture of D. (This season, a couple launch a business based on the catchphrase “We can pickle that!“His name was Colin.” Peter seems appeased: “He looks like a happy little guy who runs around.” But then he wonders if the animal had “a lot of friends—other chickens as friends?” The waitress, who finds this a reasonable question, admits, “I don’t know that I can speak to that level of intimate knowledge about him.” “Portlandia,” which débuted last winter, on the Independent Film Channel, and returns on January 6th, is the rare sketch-comedy series that has a sustained object of satire.There are a lot of people here who can afford—financially but also psychologically—to be really, really concerned about buying local, for instance. It’s like Alexander Pope’s ‘Rape of the Lock.’ I was standing in line at Whole Foods, and the guy in front of me says, ‘I really wish you guys sold locally made fresh pasta.’ And the cashier says, ‘Look, we do.’ And the guy says, ‘No, no—that’s from Seattle.’ Really? ” “Portlandia” presents a heightened version of the city’s twee urbanity: a company sells artisanal light bulbs, a hotel offers a manual typewriter to every guest, and a big local event is the Allergy Pride Parade.
(Four acres.) The waitress excuses herself and returns to the table with a file folder and a photograph.“Here is the chicken you’ll be enjoying tonight,” she says, with therapeutic solemnity.Peter, played by Fred Armisen, asks if the hazelnuts, too, are local.Nance, played by Carrie Brownstein, needs to know the size of the parcel of land where the chicken roamed freely.
,” brining everything from eggs at an urban farm to a broken high heel found on the sidewalk.) “Portlandia” is an extended joke about what Freud called the narcissism of small differences: the need to distinguish oneself by minute shadings and to insist, with outsized militancy, on the importance of those shadings.
Brownstein, who is also one of the show’s writers and producers, told me, “In general, things in a place like Portland are really great, so little concerns become ridiculous.