"Remember when people were content to be unambitious, sleep till 11, just hang out with their friends, have no occupations whatsoever, maybe working a couple hours a week at a coffee shop?" Fred Armisen asks Carrie Brownstein during the song "Dream of the '90s," which opens the first episode of their new IFC show Portlandia.
"Right, I thought that died out a long time ago," responds a perplexed Brownstein, former guitarist of Sleater-Kinney and current guitarist of Wild Flag.
"Not in Portland," Armisen, a Saturday Night Live veteran, snaps back. "Portland is the city where young people go to retire."
It's just one of countless lighthearted, but nonetheless true, jabs at Portland's diversity that turns the half-hour show--made up of sketches that feature Armisen, Brownstein, and guest stars as outlandish characters--into a must-see for any Pacific Northwesterner.
Episode two featured the first guest appearance by Yakima native Kyle MacLachlan as the mayor of Portland. It turns out MacLachlan's character is ridiculously jealous of Seattle, and in a future episode will ask characters played by Armisen and Brownstein to bring a Major-League baseball team to Portland. Another will guest-star James Mercer of the Shins, Colin Meloy of the Decemberists, and Brownstein's former bandmate Corin Tucker as an indie-rock supergroup.
Plus, there's still plenty of time to catch up on the zaniness--only two episodes of the initial order of six have aired. The show airs on Fridays, but if you don't get IFC at home, episodes are available "On Demand" for Comcast customers and can be downloaded on iTunes and Amazon.