Portlandia: Season 1 (2011)

Season 1

Critics Consensus

Portlandia's peculiar brand of humor might not be for everyone, but there's no denying the singular delights of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's comedic chemistry.



Critic Ratings: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 139

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Air date: Jan 21, 2011

Comic vignettes chart the lives of offbeat fictional Oregonians. In the premiere, a couple get way too involved in ordering a restaurant meal. Later, two store employees deal with a man (Steve Buscemi) who uses the restroom without making a purchase; and Portland's Adult Hide-and-Seek League stages a competition in a college library.

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Air date: Jan 28, 2011

The mayor (Kyle MacLachlan) of Portland gives Carrie and Fred a special assignment.

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Air date: Feb 4, 2011

Carrie and Fred are surprised to learn that singer-songwriter Aimee Mann is moonlighting as their maid.

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Air date: Feb 11, 2011

Carrie and Fred hunt for the mayor, who has disappeared.

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Air date: Feb 18, 2011

The town is excited about a new music and film festival.

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Air date: Feb 25, 2011

The mayor has big dreams about bringing a big-league baseball team to Portland and recruits Carrie and Fred to help.

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Portlandia: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Season 1 of the comedy series finds co-creators and stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein lampooning the culture of the Pacific Northwest city in a series of sketches that include guest appearances by Steve Buscemi, Kyle MacLachlan, Aimee Mann, Aubrey Plaza, and Jason Sudeikis.

Critic Reviews for Portlandia Season 1

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (10)

Hilarious send-up of Portland, but Corvallis, Salem and Eugene may well see themselves in this rip as well.

Jan 19, 2011 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Portlandia is an interesting show to pay attention to, if only for the conversations it can spark.

Jan 11, 2021 | Full Review…

I think the show was struggling to find its footing here with a few excellent moments in otherwise slow-to-start sketches.

Jan 21, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Portlandia is further proof not everyone deserves a sketch comedy showcase.

Jan 19, 2011 | Full Review…

It has its moments, and the good news is that no Portlanders were harmed during the making of Portlandia.

Jan 21, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Often Ms. Brownstein, wide-eyed and sincere, gets the best of Mr. Armisen, who's been exaggerating characters for so long on Saturday Night Live that it's tough for him to capture the understatement of these caricatures.

Jan 20, 2011 | Full Review…

Portlandia is not to everyone's taste, but it's an eccentric, surprising little microbrew of a show.

Jan 21, 2011 | Full Review…

Unlike so many SNL creations, the performers don't get up in your face and demand to be laughed at.

Jan 20, 2011 | Full Review…

A more ambitious extension of the occasional videos that Armisen and Portland resident Brownstein have posted online over the past few years under the name ThunderAnt.

Jan 21, 2011 | Full Review…

The brilliance of Portlandia, and part of what I imagine will be its staying power, is that the jokes work both as insider cultural reference and rank absurdism.

Mar 2, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Portlandia: Season 1

  • Mar 21, 2020
    One of the most steadily entertaining looks at hipster culture, if not particularly scathing or deep. A great cast of rotating guest stars keeps the skits fresh, but it's Armistead's and Brownstein's delivery that you can count on for consistency.
  • Jan 04, 2017
    It's whimsical. It's absurd. Even spot-on, in its caricatures of modern Portland inhabitants -- hippies, hipsters, and beyond. All that this show needs is a full-fledged joke.
  • Nov 25, 2016
    Original and hilariously funny.
  • Aug 24, 2016
    Portlandia is an amazing show with clever humor and funny Portland stereotypes. Pros. Random but clever humor with good jokes and Portland stereotypes. Also people from Portland don't take it to personally please. Cons Humor sometimes gets so random it's not funny.
  • Jun 14, 2016
    Yet another "comedy" series that takes a handful of great talent and produces outright drivel. I for one will be delighted when this epidemic of stupidity/absurdity as comedy has run its course...
  • Dec 16, 2015
    Although it might not be as consistently funny as one might hope, "Portlandia" shines due to the creativity of its skits and the likability of its two stars.
  • Jan 09, 2015
    A biting (but loving) satire of Portland weirdness that rightly became an instant classic.
  • Apr 10, 2014
    Funny and quirky, two things I really like about a show

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