The 25 Best TV Episodes I Saw This Year (#18)

Portlandia - Pilot

“Portlandia” is an odd beast, an uneven mishmash of sketches that start normal and get strange, and other sketches that start strange and get stranger. SNL’s Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney singer Carrie Brownstein are an odd but effective pairing – their comic sensibilities are obviously right in line with each other, though certainly Armisen is a good deal broader. While much of the first season was memorable (I especially liked “Put a bird on it!”), nothing matched the highs of the premiere episode, which featured a continuing storyline where Brownstein and Armisen go to a restaurant for chicken and eventually end up sister wives to Jason Sudekis’ creepy cult leader (don’t ask).

The best sketch, however, is the one that announced the show and explained the reason for setting a comedy show in the Great Northwest.