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Tag: Portlandia (1-8 of 8)

This Week's Cover: 'Downton Abbey' keeps our Winter TV Preview classy

It’s the biggest PBS phenomenon since Sesame Street, and might very well be the classiest thing you do every Sunday night. Yes, Downton Abbey is returning on Jan. 5, and Entertainment Weekly was on the set for season four of the British TV phenomenon. Creator Julian Fellowes’ wildly popular period drama about life on a decadent English countryside estate shocked viewers last season with two major character deaths (we’ll never forget you, Matthew and Sybil!), and the show’s anticipated fourth season promises to be nothing short of shocking, exciting, and traumatic — which is just what we’ve come to expect of the Grantham and Crawley clan. Even guest star Shirley MacLaine was floored by the show’s drama: “When Matthew died I nearly threw a chair at the television. I thought, what is Julian Fellowes doing? It took me a few days to get over it.” READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Comedy-nerd all-stars Fred Armisen, Marc Maron, and Scott Aukerman unite at IFC panel

IFC has made a mission of promoting up-and-coming comedians as part of the network’s growing lineup (in between the odd documentary or random indie flick from the ’90s, of course). Their poster child is Fred Armisen — along with Carrie Brownstein and their show, Portlandia — but the channel has also fostered new shows from comedians Marc Maron (whose upcoming show Maron grew out of his popular WTF podcast) and Scott Aukerman, whose Comedy Bang! Bang! show launched recently on the network. At a panel today, Armisen, Aukerman, and Maron discussed the transition from alternative comedy to television series.

Below, some highlights from the hour-long talk…
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Fred Armisen to imitate Ira Glass for an hour on 'This American Life'

Portlandia just exploded into a cloud of artisanal doorknobs and twee glee.

This weekend, This American Life will have a very special guest host: SNL star Fred Armisen, who’s still on his winter vacation (he’ll start work on the sketch series’s first episode of 2013 on Monday).

But Armisen won’t be narrating quirky tales using his own voice. According to the program’s website, the comedian will spend the entire hour doing an impression of someone coyly referred to only as “a public radio personality” — which almost certainly means regular This American Life host Ira Glass. Armisen says that he developed the impersonation for Saturday Night Live, but ultimately decided that “the public radio personality isn’t quite famous enough to be mocked on network TV.” You can, however, get a taste of the impression in this clip from an SNL dress rehearsal in 2011:

If you like Fred Armisen and Ira Glass, this radio show will be the best thing since Moonrise Kingdom. If the whole thing seems way too precious for you, might we suggest looking at these new stills from big-budget blockbuster Catching Fire?

Read  more:
Justin Bieber to host ‘Saturday Night Live’
‘Portlandia': Fred Armisen gives you 15 esoteric hints about season 3
Fred Armisen and ?uestlove have a drum-off on ‘Fallon’ – VIDEO

PopWatch Planner: A Dick Clark tribute, 'Downton Abbey' returns and more

This week, we’ll ring in the new year and three shows will have their third season premieres — including the highly anticipated Downton Abbey. Find out what else is on our PopWatch planner below!

READ FULL STORY

'Portlandia': Pickling, mixology, and SoCal. Will making fun of hipsters ever get old?

Just when I thought there was no hipster stereotype left unskewered on Portlandia, they went after mixologists and home pickling on the season 2 premiere last night.

IFC’s hit starring Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen has been making a buzz around the Web for its tidbits of sketch comedy that are shareable, easy to watch, and hit the nail on the head in grasping what makes hipsters everywhere, and Portland residents in particular, tick.

The new episode opens with our fearless pair pickling everything from eggs to a broken high-heeled shoe. Guess if you can’t put a bird on it, you can pickle it. Or maybe you can put a bird on it – and then pickle it. I’ll admit to having friends whose cupboards are a rainbow of pickled delights from the farmers market. These friends all live in Brooklyn.

But I digress. All that pickling must have made Carrie and Fred thirsty, because soon they are hanging out at a new bar, where their mixologist, played by Andy Samberg, creates a special concoction for Carrie:

“That is a ginger-based bourbon drink infused with honey lemon and chard ice. Then building off of that base, we’ve got cherry tomato, lime zest.  I actually made the bitters myself at home. We’ve got egg whites, eggshell, egg yellows.  Rotten banana.”

I’d probably drink that. But sadly, their cocktails are shortlived; Andy is on his way out of Portland, moving to the mysterious land of SoCal. Being an Angeleno, my favorite part of the episode is when they show the map of California and don’t mark L.A. – just “downtown SoCal.” A flurry of LA stereotypes get the hit this time around – the big club, no public transportation, and the theme chain restaurant.

Tubing, our favorite lesbian bookstore (Women & Women First), and summer camp songs also get their due on the first episode. If last night’s show is any indication, we can look forward to seeing some old friends, some special guest stars, and some deep insight into the anthropology of the Pacific Northwest in the new season.

But how long can the joke go on? Will making fun of hipsters ever get old? Tell us what you want to see made fun of on Portlandia in the comments below.

If you missed it, catch the new episode online.

Follow Laura on Twitter @laurahertzfeld.

Read more:
Fred Armisen talks ‘Portlandia,’ duets with Fallon as Elvis Costello
‘Portlandia’ season 2 episode available online. (But you probably already knew that.)
Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein take on the dog park in new season of ‘Portlandia’ — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Fred Armisen talks 'Portlandia,' duets with Fallon as Elvis Costello. Whose impersonation was better?

Portlandia, Portlandia, Portlandia. Boy, this Portlandia is all anybody’s talking about. The New Yorker, our very own EW… the IFC series is finding itself everywhere these days. Including on late night — star Fred Armisen stopped by Jimmy Fallon to talk about the popularity of the series, partner-in-crime Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, and how the people of Portland have treated him since the show first hit the air last year. (Apparently, they enjoy packing him full of carbs. Which is why I need to join the Portlandia cast.)

Though the Saturday Night Live star’s chat about how Portlandia was created was interesting — his jam sessions with Brownstein simply turned into video sketches — the highlight of his interview comes when Armisen and Fallon duet on “Happy Birthday” as Elvis Costello. So who’s impression is better? I’d have to go with Fallon — Armisen may already have the glasses, but do I detect a hint of Randy Newman? Video of the interview — and a bonus sketch with Armisen — after the jump. READ FULL STORY

'Portlandia' season 2 episode available online. (But you probably already knew that.)

If last night’s pilot episode of the dreadfully out-of-touch sitcom Work It failed to resemble any sort of believable reality, than the upcoming season 2 episode of the cult hit Portlandia pulled off the opposite feat: Hitting a little too close to home.

While the episode titled “One Moore Time” hasn’t aired on IFC yet, it’s already available to watch on IFC.com. (If you’re already a fan of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein‘s astute comedy, then you probably already learned of that news days before it was cool to know it.)

The episode, which you can watch in its entirety below, featured bits that ranged from the amusing (an allergy-pride parade which featured, among other sufferers, a clown who can’t wear make-up) to the downright absurd (a couple builds a quaint fire pit, but envision doing some other fiery things with it). READ FULL STORY

'Portlandia' is everywhere!

Making fun of hipsters (and especially hipsters making fun of hipsters) is a favorite pastime of so many, particularly on the Web. Who can resist classics like the Hipster Olympics or the recent Ryan Gosling NPR Tumblr? So it’s no surprise that the IFC show Portlandia, starring hipsterdom royalty — SNL’s Fred Armisen and ex-Sleater-Kinney frontwoman Carrie Brownstein — is a hit with beard-donning bike riders in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene and coffee nerds in L.A.’s Silver Lake. But how has it started to reach watercooler status everywhere else? READ FULL STORY

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