User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 63 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 63
  2. Negative: 4 out of 63

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  1. Jan 21, 2011
    2
    I was really looking forward to this series. I love Fred Armisen. However, the first of six episodes ended with a thud and not much promise. I shouldn't watch this much comedic talent in one show and not even crack a smile.
  2. Feb 25, 2011
    10
    Absolutely hilarious. If you are a fan of Two and Half Men or most CBS sitcoms, you probably won't care for this show. I have a new respect for Fred Armisen. One of the best shows since The Upright Citizens Brigade.
  3. Jan 5, 2012
    8
    How could you not laugh at this! This is like Tim and Eric but reigned in just a tad and pointed towards everything that is great about Portland. I especially love the Women and Women First skits. I could see some of the material could get old but as long as they pump out fresh material I will continue to enjoy this show.
  4. Jan 22, 2011
    10
    I'm from Portland, and I LOVED it. From assessing how much free range the chickens have to the Hide and Seek League and the unironic feministas - wonderful. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Can't wait to see what happens next!
  5. Jan 24, 2011
    6
    Damn, I so wanted to like "Portlandia." Like some other reviewers, I live in the Pacific Northwest, and the culture here truly is hilariously contradictory: idealistic on the surface but judgmental beneath, earnestly zany, educated but anti-intellectual. For me, though, the first episode kept forcing the humor. The musical number was wonderful, but the sketches would start as satire then grow more and more absurd until they became just random collections of improbabilities. If the writers were to observe more and contrive less, the show would be both funnier and sharper. I'll keep watching for a while, though my daily bus ride offers more amusement than "Portlandia," so far. Expand
  6. Feb 19, 2011
    10
    This show isn't the funniest show, but the reason I give this show a 10 out of 10 is because of the great cast and the great humor of this show. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are a great duo! The first episode wasn't the best, but ever since, it's been building up steam.This Show is a definite must watch for indie comedy and any kind of comedy lovers out their!
  7. Nov 14, 2012
    6
    If you are from Portland or have spent much time there, definitely watch this show. If you have no connection with Portland, eh, you can probably just skip it. By far the funniest thing for me are the myriad references to Portland culture, since I used to live there, this show is very nostalgic for me. But besides that, the laughs are sporadic. I love the fact a show was made based around Portland though, that makes me happy. Expand
  8. Jul 28, 2013
    7
    A pretty addictive show but gets tiresome after a couple to few episodes of watching. Some skits are completely unfunny while others are entertaining. It's a hit-and-miss show but keeps you hooked with its entertainment factor.
  9. Feb 23, 2011
    5
    Should be funnier(?). The more I think about that statement, the more confusing it becomes. Why should it be funnier? The cast is great. Well, okay, that's well and fine, but if Hollywood has taught us anything, it's that a cast can't save bad writing, or in this case, okay writing. Independent is supposed to = better, right? They could do a whole skit on that: Annoying snobs (from Portland) comment on how everything independent is better than everything that's what, dependent? That would be so funny, to someone else. The problem with Portlandia is simple, it's one great big [not very funny] inside joke. If you haven't been to Portland (Oregon), then you might not realize how many people in Portland are like the people they fun of in this show, and I don't use the word realize lightly here. Of course you realize that they're making fun of annoying Portland people, but only on an academic level. Can you recount specific instances of interacting with stupid hippies, organic food nazi's, or d***heads on bikes, in Portland? Sure they're everywhere, but the nature of the mockery in this show just leaves you annoyed, and not laughing. It feels [too much] like Saturday Night Live, and we know how long ago that particular ship sailed... Please try harder guys! Expand
  10. Feb 3, 2011
    10
    I kind of trailed off in my first review, and I meant to rate it higher than a 5! So this review is to fix that. In fact, Portlandia is over the top, but this compensates for the way the Pacific Northwest is usually depicted in pop culture media, which is either not at all (as if it didn't exist) or very little. Let's face it, as far as comedy goes it's as if the universe ends at the borders of the New York metropolitan area (Friends, 30 Rock, SNL--need I go on?). As for the West Coast, take your pick between Seattle (Frazier--which basically took place largely in an apartment and a simulated radio station studio) and various sketches set in L.A. It's great to see a show that depicts sort of a Northwest zeitgeist. In fact, that's what Portlandia seems to be aiming at. Expand
  11. Jun 7, 2011
    7
    This show's pretty hit and miss. The first two episodes show lots of promise, especially wit the feminist book store. After those episodes, it starts to go downhill. I laughed a couple times per episode, but not nearly as much as the first couple episodes. I'm really not sure how the next season will turn out. However, with seeing how hilarious this show can be, I definitely recommend it.
  12. Jan 29, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. soo good!knkjjj jkn kjn jn kjn kjn kj on jn ijn ijn ijn in in in n u ininin inijni inijnin injnj ybyby ybybyb ikk9 uunun unhnu ununun uniunin inini iuniuniun Expand
  13. Apr 18, 2011
    9
    I lived in Portland for two years, and LOVE this show. It takes all the many nuances from a place that really hasn't surpassed the 90's and throws it freshly back in your face. I would not know how to push it on to anyone who hasn't been to Portland for a lot of the jokes are "inside jokes" with the city and pacific NW; such as the bike Fred Armisen plays who is annoyed with the bar being "so over" . But it's neat and clever and there is nothing like it. Expand
  14. Mar 14, 2014
    5
    Portlandia is a comedy sketch show in which Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein play a variety of different characters, all of whom (unsurprisingly) live in the city of Portland.

    Armisen and Brownstein are undoubtedly fine comic actors and they slip effortlessly between the eclectic group of characters they both play, unfortunately however the sketches themselves are far too hit and
    miss. I personally found that only about half of the sketches were particularly funny and even some of those were dragged out for longer than they need to be.

    Unless you perhaps live in Portland I'd give this a miss.
    Expand
  15. Feb 7, 2012
    8
    Portlandia is a very charming show. It's consistently more socially interesting than it is funny, and that's a good thing. The supporting cast, and indeed the leads give it their all. Having seen every single episode so far, I think it's getting even better at the halfway mark of season 2. I look forward to more visits to Portlandia.(Portland, Oregon is a great America City. The show really isn't that far off...which is funny unto itself). Expand
  16. Feb 15, 2012
    9
    This show is amazingly funny when they make fun of the people of Portland Oregon and how weird they are too taking real life situations and over exaggerating them. The cast couldnt be better for this show they are witty and clever. My only problem with it is when they over over exaggerate things. Like when carrie goes to get a job and then she goes though like dodge ball rooms and parties which i thought was funny but then she goes into like a blimp made out of wood and starts flying in the air which i thought was stupid. all and all this show is very funny for the most part and i recommend this to anyone Expand
  17. Apr 16, 2012
    9
    My 13 year old son and I came across Portlandia on Netflix and I told him that I bet he would like it (having seen a clip of it myself). He was not enthused at first, but I said, come on, give the first episode like10 minutes. Just 10 minutes! He loved it and so did I. Then we watched a few more episodes and thought they were great. We were a little unsure of what was happening at first but then realized Portlandia is kind of in the same vein as Little Britain in terms of sketch flow. Not to say that it's identical or even made to be like that - it's just recurring characters that are revisited throughout the show. Fred Armisen has been a favorite of mine since I first saw him on SNL and it's nice to more of him, as there isn't enough of him on SNL these days. Carrie Brownstein (whom I was not familiar with, nor her music) is equally brilliant in her characterizations and is a great together with Armisen. Having never been to Portland, you'd think I'd be out of the loop comedically in regards to the satire, but alas I lived in Vancouver, BC and from what I can tell, it's Portland's spiritual sister/brother. As with any sketch comedy shows, it's going to be hit and miss. Not everything can be hilarious to everyone, but there is comedy gold here and more than enough to keep me interested to continue watching. Thanks to Netlix and Youtube, these shows are given a chance to catch an audience and become favorites even if we don't watch them when they air (as I don't get IFC). Special mention goes out to theme song, Feel it All Around by Ernest Greene which hits me on a level so deep, I enjoy it almost psychically, which makes me as much of a flake as the Portlandians stereotypes skewered in this biting satire - but the theme song is hauntingly fantastic. It's like I've heard it all my life and yet never - try and explain that one. Anyway, watch this show. As someone already stated in their reviews, Portlandia isn't for the Two and Half Men or Big Bang Theory crowd, so if you have an adverse reaction to those shows, you might just love this. Expand
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Phillip Maciak
    Mar 3, 2011
    88
    Knowing but not pretentious, snarky but not sneering, Portlandia succeeds both as farce and as faithful representation of a population for whom the dream--of the '90s or anything else, for that matter--is still alive.
  2. 75
    Is this hipster-lampooning sketch show a little too cool for school (or, more appropriately, too cool for postgraduate-juggling studies)? Maybe. But there are funny moments, too.
  3. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jan 21, 2011
    70
    While the first two episodes of Portlandia are hit-and-miss, its good-natured satire generally hits, as they say, pretty close to home.