Portlandia : Season 1

Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 82 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 82
  2. Negative: 8 out of 82

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  1. 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 aroundIf 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
  2. 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 thenDamn, 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
  3. 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 (fromShould 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
  4. Apr 26, 2014
    4
    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
    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 remotely 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.
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  5. May 26, 2015
    4
    This show actually gives me a headache. I understand that they are making fun of the people who act like their characters, but they spend too long with some of the skits and it gets a little frustrating.
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.