Blu-ray Review “Portlandia: Season Two”

Directed by: Jonathan Krisel
Starring: Carrie Brownstein, Fred Armisen
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: Video Services Corp.
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Running Time: 220 minutes

Season: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Between me and you (and all of our readers), I was never a big fan of “Portlandia”.  I am a big fan though of sketch comedy series (besides “SNL”, sorry Fred).  This show is  created, written by and starring Fred Armisen (“SNL”) and Carrie Brownstein (“Wild Flag”, Sleater-Kinney vocalist/guitarist). I though the first season really delivers more laughs and better skits.  But I still like the idea of these character-based shorts all taking place in this dreamy and absurd rendering of Portland, Oregon raining with 90’s culture and political correctness.  This season new guest stars include Jeff Goldblum, Sean Hayes, Penny Marshall, Tim Robbins, Andy Samberg, Amber Tamblyn, and Kristen Wiig.

Season two synopsis: Some of Portlandia’s most loved and notable characters from Season One return for Season Two including Portland’s trusty but sometimes misguided Reggae bass playing Mayor (Kyle MacLachlan), Peter and Nance, an overly eco-­conscious couple caught up in the organic and local food movement; Bryce Shivers and Lisa Eversman, an arty, obsessive couple who find a new trend to explore; and Toni and Candice, the former activist shopkeepers of the feminist bookstore Women and Women First. New residents have also moved in for Season Two including Doug and Claire, a couple whose lives spin out of control when they run out of new episodes of “Battlestar Galactica” and a struggling band who finds itself with an all too enthusiastic fan.

The Blu-ray comes in a very slim paper case with a slip sleeve. It seems very easily to be crushed and I am not a big fan. The video looks sharp enough though it is a indie comedy series. The audio track also works well with the dialogue and music. The special features are impressive and should satisfy fans. There is a behind-the-scenes Portlandia Live tour footage, which I never knew happened (would have been cool to attend). There are various commentaries from the creator of the series, There is a bonus scene surrounding the feminist bookstore, “Brunch Village: The Director’s Cut”.  There is an excerpt from the new book “Portlandia: A Guide for Visitors”.  Lastly, there is a documentary special called “Inside Portlandia”.  All around very impressive, which the season could have wowed as much.

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