Portlandia Season 7 Episode 1 Review

by Ali Libertella

As a super fan of Armisen-era SNL and lover of Sleater-Kinney’s music, Portlandia is my dream combination of a TV show. This joins my love of extremely dry, sarcastic, humor as found in Wes Anderson films with the quirky/hip population of characters of Portland, Oregon. This oddly specific “yuppie” type comedy sketch show never fails to make my day better. The show is coming to an end soon, and this season will definitely leave old and new fans wanting more.

The episode titled “The Storytellers” opened with two familiar faces (or at least they share a similar audience), of rap group Run the Jewels. This first sketch started the season well, with Fred and Carrie pitching ideas to Run the Jewels on the best way to release their new album as a surprise (they actually did drop an album without notice on Christmas).

The title of the episode comes from the three sketches including Fred and Carrie needing help with storytelling. At dinner, Fred has failed attempts at explaining a boring story- ending ultimately in an uncomfortable dinner. They hire an acting teacher to coach them in story-telling, rehearsing how to speak at dinner parties.

Another sketch included the beloved weirdos, Fred and Carrie as goth Vincent and Jacqueline, making a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond. They needed a vacuum, because they have not cleaned their apartment in years and have relied on the magic of decorative witch’s brooms set in their livingroom. These characters are a classic, and bringing them into a Bed Bath and Beyond asking for a pan “to cook blood” was clever.

SNL’s Vanessa Bayer starred in the next skit with Fred as an extremely uncomfortable hotel concierge. This sketch came up twice in the show. First, Fred slowly explained every single item in the room, instigating Vanessa as to if anyone was visiting her. Then, he brought her room service and stayed in the room unwrapping everything on the tray, followed by Vanessa asking him to exit, with no response.  I could feel the awkwardness through the screen- a common feeling with this show.

Portlandia is continuing to impress me with every episode I watch; one funnier than the other. Season 7 is off to a great start.

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