Fred Armisen's New 'Portlandia' Character Proves Season 5 Is Already Off to an Awkward, Funny Start — VIDEO
I love how Portlandia manages to satirize the most genuine, well-meaning Pacific Northwest hippies without being mean about it. And after four successful seasons, Fred & Carrie, the Mayor's favorite Portlandians, have returned with even more wigs, funny voices, and thoroughly weird humor. But let's get to the good stuff: IFC released a clip of a new Portlandia character, Ride Share Joey (follow the link for more Joey, who's technically the star of Portlandia's companion web series) and it is hilarious. Fred Armisen doesn't need much more than a wig and one weird physical gesture to turn himself into a totally different person, and while there are some shades of Peter (of Peter & Nance) in his nebbishy soft spokenness, he's just so boring in the role that it becomes an actual character trait.
Carrie Brownstein is playing the straight man (well, woman) to the unbelievably picky ride share driver, Joey, who comes to pick her up and drive to Seattle. Portlandia has always had a fascination with different forms of transportation, so it makes sense that they're turning their focus to the private driving and app market. I'm sure we can expect "Uber for Bike Rides" or "Lyft Driver Who Also Delivers Amazon Packages" or something in the rest of Season 5.
There's already so much to discuss, and there hasn't even been a single episode yet. The best parts of Armisen's Joey character are, in order:
1. His indeterminate accent
2. His boring red midsize sedan, the opposite of the expected, unique to the point of unusable Portland type of car.
3. *presses keys so the car beeps continuously* When that happens.
Carrie does a remarkable job playing opposite him, because Armisen seems determined to step on each and every one of her lines. But even more than this new character, there are a lot of other things that I'm excited to see pop up in Season 5, including but not limited to:
Silicon Valley Takedowns
I love when Portlandia mocks bureaucratic inefficiencies and stagnation. With so many startups, both successful and unsuccessful out there, I can easily imagine that Carrie will be the beleaguered owner of a small gluten-free cooking app who is forced to contend with a ruthless one-star reviewer.
Twin Peaks Jokes
In a city where the mayor is played by Seattlelite Kyle MacLachlan, there should be no problem getting a cameo from David Lynch. If he was willing to appear on Louie and The Cleaveland Show, why not Portlandia? And it's not like Lara Flynn Boyle or Sherilyn Fenn are too busy to show up playing a pair of spooky PTA moms or something.
The Truly Unexpected
In my humble opinion, the best part of Season 4 was the bizarre "Celery Incident" saga, which was basically a short film disguised as a series of sketches. It was a lampoon of Indecent Proposal that also made fun of the nouveau-vegetable trend, crime novels, and Steve Buscemi's sad sack hangdog demeanor.
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