There's a moment in the movie The Saddest Music in the World when Isabella Rossellini's character announces, "If you are sad and like beer, I'm your lady." If the city of Portland, Ore., could talk, that's what it would say, perhaps adding something like, "Don't forget to recycle your tears." But that last part wouldn't be a joke.
The Independent Film Channel's new six-episode sketch-comedy show, Portlandia, was created, written by and stars Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live) and Carrie Brownstein (of the band Sleater-Kinney).
In one skit, Armisen astutely observes, "Portland is a city where young people go to retire."
It's not uncommon in the City of Roses to discover that someone you've never met lives on your couch. It's constantly raining, which makes it difficult to determine if the residents are wet or still crying over the Bush/Gore election results.
It's a magical place where the hobos hand out hugs and every tattooed stereotype comes true. Nobody ever goes home, because if you click your heels three times, your ankle piercings will just get entangled and make you trip over the rusted Ralph Nader campaign signs.
Everybody has a band in Portland, but nobody makes any money from it, because, well, that's just so Midwestern.
Bathrooms are offensive because they encourage "labels"--specifically, they "label" people as having to go to the bathroom.
The city also has a slight gang problem, but they can usually be bribed away with crystals and foot massages.
See how easy it is to make fun of Portland? That's why the show is funny but also why it could run out of material faster than a delusional relativist can declare fluoride to be the new fascism.