‘Portlandia’ is back, now with more ‘Battlestar Galactica’


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The Season 2 premiere of IFC’s ‘Portlandia’ airs on Friday, but you can watch it online in its entirety today below (including a skit about ‘Battlestar Galactica'-obsessed fans who attempt to track down show creator Ronald D. Moore).

We’ll have an interview with the show’s stars, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, later this week, but here’s a snippet to tide you over.


How much does the weather in Portland, Ore., affect the spirit of the city and the sort of things you explore and satire?

Carrie Brownstein: One interesting thing about the Pacific Northwest in general — it’s definitely specific to Portland — is that there’s a real coalescence between internal and exterior landscape. I think people’s moods and creative spirit are really affected by the weather. A lot of the music that comes from the Northwest has this underlying ruggedness to it or bleakness. I don’t think our show is bleak, but I do think that the weather informs the look of the show and the earnestness of the show — because you’re striving for this optimism that you have to have inside you when outside it’s not sunny all the time. You have to nurture that optimism and try to override the cynicism in Portland. Plus, Fred and I just love to layer our clothing.

Fred Armisen: Which actually helps, because wardrobe and costumes can really define a character. There’s more opportunity, because it’s a little chillier, to have that one jacket that says more as opposed to just a T-shirt, you know, if we had to shoot, like, in Miami.

Many of your characters have a common desire to do things right, to live a good a good life, in a moral way, that often goes very wrong; they become really stressed or annoying in the process. Do you see those impulses in yourself?

Carrie: I definitely feel that I struggle with that. I want to be well-meaning; that’s always my inclination. But I’m often, like our characters, flummoxed by this set of esoteric rules that it’s not just enough to be good, you have to be good in a specific way. And I think sometimes that turns me into a contrarian, where I just have to do the exact opposite of what I’m supposed to do. Like, if I’m at a coffee shop and they have eight different recycling bins, I just want to put everything in the trash, ‘cause I just can’t stand there for 20 minutes and figure it out. I think those kind of internal battles exist all the time. And then on top of that there’s the awareness of, ‘Is this really what is worth fighting for and thinking about?’ There’s that bigger picture of, ‘Is this actually of value or a good way of being in the world?’ I think a lot of our characters grapple with that existential crisis.

Fred: And it’s something that people in less fortunate countries don’t even have to deal with. They’re just trying to survive and eat; they have a different set of problems.

Carrie: It’s mock epic.

‘Portlandia: The Tour’

‘Portlandia’ puts a bird on it

— Robert Lloyd