Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 79 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: The comedy set in Portland, Oregon stars Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein.
  • Genre(s): Comedy
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 20, 2011
    100
    Brownstein and Armisen move so effortlessly between characters, then execute their riffs, tics, styles and voices with such skilled abandon that before long this doesn't seem like satire any longer but a fun house mirror reflection of intensely real people.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 20, 2011
    80
    The series is a better-heeled, better-paced and, within the bounds of its own Portland-ish modesty, a more ambitious extension of the occasional videos that Armisen and Portland resident Brownstein have posted online over the past few years under the name ThunderAnt.
  4. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 18, 2011
    70
    Like any sketch comedy show, IFC's Portlandia has hit-and-miss sketches, but when they hit, they do so with a laughter-inducing amount of comedic force.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Jon Caramanica
    Jan 20, 2011
    70
    Often Ms. Brownstein, wide-eyed and sincere, gets the best of Mr. Armisen, who's been exaggerating characters for so long on "Saturday Night Live" that it's tough for him to capture the understatement of these caricatures.
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 20, 2011
    30
    Portlandia, a vanity project from "Saturday Night Live's" Fred Armisen that plays like an awful night at the Groundlings, or worse, a collection of the most uninspired sketches from "SNL's" final half-hour.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. 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 respectAbsolutely 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. Expand
  2. 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 thisThis 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! Collapse
  3. 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). HeMy 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
  4. 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, itThis 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. Expand
  5. 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 areA 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. Expand
  6. 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 hilariouslyDamn, 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
  7. 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 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. Expand

See all 19 User Reviews

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