January 14 was declared 'Portlandia Day' at the sold-out Hollywood Theater Friday, by Mayor Sam Adams, among the honored guests at the grand premier for the Independent Film Channel's new series.
A quick run down the "red carpet" upstairs had writer Carrie Brownstien and director Jonathan Krisel intimately facing the throngs, okay ... half-dozen media amid the bright lights.
The mayor did a fine job with his proclamation, likely having his acting chops boosted from appearing in the show itself, as the assistant to the mayor (Kyle MacLachlan). After some stand up we were treated to the first two episodes. Brownstein says there are six ready to go before the option to get picked up for another season.
Steph Stricklen's interview with Carrie is here
And without giving away any of the jokes, she and Armisen have a fantastic chemistry that, if you weren't paying attention, makes you look past the inside-Portland jokes and references, to remind you the show is really about being funny. It's sketch comedy -- Portland is the stage and the backdrop.
I've heard too many critics of the show, stung by the fact that anyone could dare mock the delicate sensibilities of Portlanders. The stereotypes can't be denied (that's why they're stereotypes) but have some fun, Portland. It's cool when big shots like Lorne Michaels can add to your chorus of civic pride.
Of course there's some cringe-worthiness. Because a lot of us could recognize parts of ourselves and our neighbors. That's what makes it so enjoyable.
The TV premiere is on IFC Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM.
You can watch it online here.