Blu-ray Review: Portlandia (Season Two)



Who knew there was so much to make fun of in Portland? Apparently Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein do. Because Portlandia is back for a second season. Ten more episodes of biting Portland and hipster commentary.

Season Two is pretty consistently laugh-out-loud funny with classic sketches. Carrie falls for a local Mixologist (Andy Samberg), but he moves to SoCal and she has to go after him. Fred and Carrie become obsessed with Battlestar Galactica and track down the wrong Ronald D. Moore to write a new episode (with appearances by the real Moore, Edward James Olmos and James Callis). As well as the epic “Brunch Village” episode where Peter and Nance are waiting in line to go to a popular new brunch spot. Fred and Carrie are also waiting in line and holding a stop for the mayor (Kyle MacLachlan) who is running late.

Season Two isn’t all hits, some of the sketches don’t invoke as many laughs, but even the worst sketches are better than most things on TV. This season also goes to some really strange places that season one didn’t, sometimes in a good way, sometimes not. Also, this season is rife with great celebrity cameos. On top of those mentioned above you’ll see Jeff Goldblum, Miranda July, Ed Begley Jr., Tim Robbins, Penny Marshall, Kristen Wiig, Greg Luganis and more.

As someone who lives in San Francisco, a lot of the people that are poked fun of in this show I’ve seen around here. And I guess therein lies some of the appeal of the show. Sure, it’s primarily based on people from Portland, but the humor is very universal and just about anybody can relate to it.


 


This show is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. This is a fantastic looking show. It’s very well shot and edited with great sound.

Commentary: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and producer Jonathan Krisel talk about four of the episodes. These are pretty entertaining. You get some good insight, but more often than not they are just amused by there own jokes. But to be fair, they are really funny. “Portlandia The Tour: Seattle” Special: (3 min.) Fred and Carrie doing stand up in Seattle. Meh. “Inside Portlandia” Special: (22 min.) A great look at how Fred and Carrie each got into comedy and met and became best friends and how that eventually evolved into Portlandia. Deleted Scene: (3 min.) Another scene from the women at the Feminist book store. This time, they are outside the store! “Brunch Village:” The Director’s Cut: (45 min.) An extra long extra hilarious cut of this episode. Excerpt from “Portlandia: A Guide for Visitors”

Portlandia is a hilarious unique sketch comedy show and season 2 is a very strong outing. At four more episodes than season 1, it’s a little longer. The jokes don’t always hit as strong, but when they hit, they hit hard. This is a great ten episodes of television and totally worth checking out.

IFC presents Portlandia (Season Two). Created by: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel. Starring: Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. Running time: 220 minutes on 2 discs. Not Rated. Released: September 25, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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