American Satire at its finest
The independent film channel's sketch comedy show "Portlandia", which not surprisingly takes place in Portland, OR, is a simply crafted yet refined and hilarious work of comedic genius. I must confess that it is easily one of my favorite T.V. shows still airing today and in 2012, won a very deserving peabody award.
The show consists of the dynamic and charming duo of Carrie Brownstein and former SNL cast member Fred Armisen, who together, effortlessly and subliminally poke fun at a range of American ideals. From local farming to neo feminism, Fred and Carrie will easily make light of any topic through the delightful use of satire.
One particular issue that comes to mind when talking about American culture is the obsessive use of technology, and yes, Fred and Carrie have already created a couple of sketches for that same issue. During one of these particular 5 minute long sketches, Fred becomes overcome by the use of his shiny iphone. He is completely engulfed by the mind numbing effects of responding to text messages, watching netflix and reading emails. In the end, the only way Fred can break this spiral into technological hysteria is to look at a picture of his high school self, and continually remind himself of the time when "people went outside". Even though the show focuses on a range of issues, I thought this one to be really poignant. In America we have glorified technology and all the great things it is capable of doing. We seem to believe that not having the newest, fastest, or most updated version of something somehow makes us lesser, so I was really glad that the show decided to make a sketch pointing out to us how we really behave when we are plugged into the technological and social media filled world.
All in all, "Portlandia", through the use of smart writing and clever improv, beautifully pokes fun at and makes us conscience of a whole slew of American issues and cultural ideals, all the while making us cry of laughter.