'Portlandia' Season 5 Needs to Take These 4 Lessons from Season 4
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein have taken Portlandia to even weirder heights in Season 4, which ended Thursday night. They enlisted the help of celebrity friends like Steve Buscemi, Jason Sudeikis, and Olivia Wilde to keep the funny going, and for the most part they made real Portlandians proud. Even though I've been a longtime watcher of the show, and thought the Season 3 finale was as funny as it would get, I was still surprised by the simultaneously bizarre and sarcastic way Portlandia can capture the hypocrisies of hipsters, yuppies, aging hippies, and fictional celery marketers.
Although this quirky season has ended, it laid the groundwork for an even zanier Season 5, complete with guest stars and musical numbers. Since the Fred and Carrie on the show are constantly called in by the mayor to improve Portland, I think they can learn a lot from this season that will improve Portlandia.
You Can Never Have Too Many (Famous) Friends
Season 4 raised the already-high bar for Portlandia cameos by adding A-list guest stars like Wilde, Buscemi, Kirsten Dunst, and Sudeikis. It also felt like this season's cameos focused on the guest's strengths: Buscemi got to play an oddball celery marketer while Dunst portrayed the stereotypical horror movie blonde.
Although the film stars and musicians dominated the cameos, one groundbreaking group finally made their way onto the Portlandia screen: the Portland Trailblazers. One of the best moments of Season 4 was Damian Lillard's snappy retort to feminist bookstore owner Candace. I sincerely hope that next season, they'll go even crazier with the cameos, and maybe even recruit some of the Portland Timbers to join in the fun.
It's Time to Ditch The Dogs
Remember the days when the increasingly bizarre Portland Milk Advisory Board would interrupt Portlandia to describe a new kind of milk? In Season 4, they seemed to have been replaced with the Portland Pet Haven, which doesn't have the same passive aggressive charm.
Although a dog-themed segment sounds like a good idea, the Pet Haven rarely can squeeze a laugh out of its 30-second spot. I think it's time to scrap this dud, in favor of something less cute animal-dependent.
More Peter and Nance, Less Nina and Lance
I love the Nina and Lance skits, but I think Fred and Carrie may have done all they can do with drag, stereotypes, and the phrase "pull-out king." It might be time to park the Harley and find more cross-country adventures for Peter and Nance.
Maybe the Bahama Knights can even have another reunion tour.
Candace and Toni Will Run the Show
The season finale confirmed that Candace and Toni are the best duo on Portlandia. They've come a long way from heckling Buscemi about bathrooms, and I love watching them embody every feminist stereotype in the book.
Next season, Candace and Toni should have their own show. Forget Portlandia, let's start rooting for a Women and Women First pilot.