'Portlandia' live chat with Kristi Turnquist: noon Friday
11:53
The Oregonian: 
Welcome to our live chat. Kristi will join us at noon, but you can go ahead and send in your questions and comments now. There will be a short delay between submission of questions/comments and their arrival in the chat.
Friday January 11, 2013 11:53 The Oregonian
12:02
Kristi Turnquist: 
Good afternoon, I'm here and ready to talk about "Portlandia." Season 3 started last Friday with two new episodes, and another one is coming up tonight. Have you watched the new episodes? Or are you catching up with Seasons 1 and 2?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:02 Kristi Turnquist
12:02
The Oregonian: 
Hello Kristi. If you live here, the show’s humor sometimes seems so specific to Portland culture that you wonder why people from other places would find it funny. Why do you think “Portlandia” connects with people around the country and even overseas?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:02 The Oregonian
12:03
Kristi Turnquist: 
Yes, the show has obviously caught on all over the place. There's been a ton of media coverage about it, and I was interviewed by a British journalist after the first season about it. I think every city, maybe every sizable town, has a group of people similar to what we see in "Portlandia."
Friday January 11, 2013 12:03 Kristi Turnquist
12:03
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Which bits and characters are your favorites?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:03 Guest
12:04
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, I like a lot of the stand-alone bits from the show, like last season's "Allergy Pride Parade," and this season's "Spoiler Alert" sketch.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:04 Kristi Turnquist
12:05
Kristi Turnquist: 
In terms of characters, I have a soft spot for Toni and Candace, the feminist bookstore owners. They're so humorless, they make me laugh.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:05 Kristi Turnquist
12:05
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
The show is so all over the map. It could benefit from some structure, maybe follow the same characters rather than being a sketch show.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:05 Guest
12:06
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, What you suggest -- about following the same characters -- is exactly what they're doing in Season 3. Tonight's episode, for example, is all about a birthday party for Nina, the female character Fred Armisen plays, and how her boyfriend, Lance (the male character Carrie Brownstein) plays, reacts to it. The comedy comes more from their personalities than from satire.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:06 Kristi Turnquist
12:07
[Comment From KK: ] 
What's the secret to landing a spot as an extra on the show?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:07 K
12:07
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi K, I'm not sure. I know there are a couple of casting agencies in Portland who do that sort of work.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:07 Kristi Turnquist
12:08
[Comment From SuburbiaSuburbia: ] 
So hard to keep up with the show in a non-ifc zone. Where's the best place to watch for us out of the IFC loop?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:08 Suburbia
12:09
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Suburbia, Thanks for that question. The show has been interesting, in that they make a lot of clips available online, at the ifc.com Website. In terms of watching the entire episodes, they're available on iTunes and Amazon On Demand, for a couple of bucks per episode.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:09 Kristi Turnquist
12:09
The Oregonian: 
Some of the bits are spot-on, others don’t make any sense at all (what was the deal with the Sparkle Pony sketch?). You've interviewed Armisen and Brownstein, right? Do you get the sense that they have a clear vision for the show – or are they just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:09 The Oregonian
12:12
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Oregonian, I don't remember the Sparkle Pony sketch all that well, so I guess it wasn't one of the stand-outs for me. I think Armisen, Brownstein and director and co-writer Jonathan Krisel like to mix it up a bit. There's a lot of improv that happens when they work, and a lot of editing of what comes up during that process. I think that may be why sometimes the tone feels very different from sketch to sketch, episode to episode.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:12 Kristi Turnquist
12:12
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
The series increasingly seems to be doing sketches that don’t actually have anything to do with Portland – or only peripherally so. Wasn’t there a long sketch set in L.A. last season, something about a theme restaurant with a ridiculous menu? Assuming it keeps going, do you think the show’s going to evolve into a general sketch show and not really be about Portland per se but about the hipster/slacker aesthetic?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:12 Guest
12:13
The Oregonian: 
All lines are open. Send in your questions and comments now!
Friday January 11, 2013 12:13 The Oregonian
12:13
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, I think the vision for the show has always been a mixture of content that is inspired by Portland but also has relevance to other places. We may pick up on specifics (the street re-naming sketch, for example) that remind us of PDX, but the people the show spoofs aren't exclusive to Portland.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:13 Kristi Turnquist
12:14
Kristi Turnquist: 
And to continue that thought, a lot of the characters aren't hipsters or slackers. There are earnest, middle-class married couples who are completely square but wish they were hip, and so on.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:14 Kristi Turnquist
12:14
[Comment From SuburbiaSuburbia: ] 
I think it's interesting the way the show is working the neighborhoods. So funny how Spoiler Alert spotlighted the sparkly side of NW PDX and the anthem bit looked straight out of the burbs. Seems like they're getting around.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:14 Suburbia
12:15
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Suburbia, Good point. The anthem bit was filmed in the suburbs. I think they have a good eye for the characteristics of different parts of the city and the attitudes represented by those neighborhoods.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:15 Kristi Turnquist
12:16
[Comment From GasbagGasbag: ] 
The actors are great entertainers, but I have a visceral reaction to this show. It does not—by any means—portray the best part or face of Portland.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:16 Gasbag
12:17
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Comcast & Time Warner cable have the shows free the next day On Demand.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:17 Guest
12:17
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Gasbag, and compliments on a great screen name. I think some of the sketches are meant to make viewers squirm, because we either recognize some of the more silly attitudes or extremes they represent, or we get a glimpse of ourselves. I don't think it's meant to be negative about Portland. Certainly, Armisen and Brownstein both talk often about how fond they are of PDX.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:17 Kristi Turnquist
12:18
[Comment From KK: ] 
Any idea how the show's ratings are in the Portland metro area? I'm noticing a love/hate vibe around here but NW outsiders seem to rave. Or is that just me?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:18 K
12:19
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi K, I think that's a really interesting point. Last time I checked, Portland was the top market in the country for the show in the ratings -- as you'd expect. I haven't asked about the ratings in a while, but I suspect that probably hasn't changed. But I've noticed the same thing about people from elsewhere going gaga for the show. I think it's part of the point that Armisen and Brownstein have made -- the people and behavior they're spoofing aren't exclusive to PDX.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:19 Kristi Turnquist
12:19
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What's Carrie Brownstein like? Down to earth?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:19 Guest
12:20
The Oregonian: 
Kristi's going to be with us for about another 10 minutes. Send in your questions or comments...
Friday January 11, 2013 12:20 The Oregonian
12:21
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, Carrie Brownstein strikes me, based on talking with her in interviews, as an extremely intelligent person. She speaks in entire paragraphs of well-reasoned, well-thought-out observations. It amazes me every time. So obviously, she's thoughtful. She does seem down to earth, and very comfortable in Portland.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:21 Kristi Turnquist
12:21
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
The show hasn't tackled the more buttoned-up folks in the city who really, really hate the alternative vibe of Portland. Damn hippies!
Friday January 11, 2013 12:21 Guest
12:23
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, I hadn't thought of it exactly that way. As I said earlier, there are plenty of sketches about overly earnest, pretentious middle and upper-middle-class people, but they seem so caught up in their own worlds and obsessions (helicopter parenting, demonstrating the excellence of their musical tastes and so on) that they don't notice anybody else.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:23 Kristi Turnquist
12:23
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I find it humorous that some Portlanders think that only they can get the jokes of the show. The funny parts aren't all that tied to the city. They are things common in many large cities.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:23 Guest
12:23
[Comment From GasbagGasbag: ] 
Glad they love our city, but no matter where they get story ideas, it's all labeled under "Portlandia". They have made Portland a national laughingstock. How many people's impression of what Portland is like comes exclusively from this show? Is this a good thing?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:23 Gasbag
12:24
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, I think you have a point about the broader reach of the show and its humor. I agree you find these kinds of folks all over the country.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:24 Kristi Turnquist
12:26
Kristi Turnquist: 
Welcome back, Gasbag! I'm not sure how much people equate "Portlandia" with the real Portland. I tend to notice more often people use "Portlandia" as a shorthand for any kind of overly self-conscious, politically correct conduct. I don't think Portland's image on the national level is likely to suffer from the show. It is comedy, after all.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:26 Kristi Turnquist
12:26
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Portlandia aside, what are you favorite TV shows?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:26 Guest
12:28
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, My favorite TV shows -- a long list! Right now, I'm thrilled that "Justified" is back on, I'm keen on both "Nashville" and "Elementary," I love "Mad Men," and am fascinated by "The Walking Dead." I also think "Homeland" is very interesting, though the second season was really uneven. And I'll admit to a hometown rooting affection for "Grimm." Wish it was coming back before March 8.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:28 Kristi Turnquist
12:28
[Comment From WilsonWilson: ] 
I'm still catching up on season 2, but I absolutely love when there are local guest star cameos! Any good ones lined up for season 3?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:28 Wilson
12:30
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Wilson, In terms of local guest stars for Season 3, I'm not sure. I know they've got a list of guests coming up, including Patton Oswalt in tonight's episode, and beyond, Roseanne Barr, Rose Byrne, Bill Hader from "Saturday Night Live," and more. And Chloe Sevigny is in this season in a recurring role, and she's always interesting to watch.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:30 Kristi Turnquist
12:30
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
At the start of the show, I felt a vibe from Portlanders who seemed upset that they didn't get to vote or something on whether a show could be created with the name Portlandia. If the show was named Portlandia, but shot somewhere else, they could really get mean spirited with the jokes. I don't think the show does that at all now.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:30 Guest
12:31
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Don't forget Norm from Cheers!
Friday January 11, 2013 12:31 Guest
12:31
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, I think you may be right about the suspicious sort of attitude at the start. But I think that dissipated when it did become apparent the humor wasn't mean, and was more gentle.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:31 Kristi Turnquist
12:31
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, Yes, George Wendt is coming to "Portlandia." Norm!
Friday January 11, 2013 12:31 Kristi Turnquist
12:32
Kristi Turnquist: 
I wanted to ask -- how do you all watch "Portlandia"? When it's new, on IFC, or in other ways? I'm curious about that.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:32 Kristi Turnquist
12:34
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I don't think they have covered the Portland Beervana vibe. I guess it would be too predictable to expect "Norm" to be involved in that.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:34 Guest
12:34
[Comment From WilsonWilson: ] 
Netflix- I don't get IFC.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:34 Wilson
12:34
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, I kind of love the idea of Norm and Beervana. Here's hoping!
Friday January 11, 2013 12:34 Kristi Turnquist
12:35
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Wilson, I was looking at Netflix, and it didn't look like the Season 3 episodes were there. Can you keep up with the show as it airs, or is there lag time?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:35 Kristi Turnquist
12:36
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I watch on Friday night. I upgrade my Comcast in Dec. then cancel it when show is done in March. IFC is worthless otherwise.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:36 Guest
12:36
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, That makes sense, to do the temporary upgrade. Without a doubt, "Portlandia" is the biggest thing IFC has got going for it.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:36 Kristi Turnquist
12:36
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Is there any rime or reason to how they choose guest stars?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:36 Guest
12:37
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, I asked Carrie Brownstein about that. I wondered if they wrote stuff for people who happened to be in town, say. She said, no, they wrote the material and talk about who they'd love to get and then try to get them.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:37 Kristi Turnquist
12:38
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I don't think Netflix has ANYTHING that is new, so you can't really expect new Portlandia season to be there. Isn't all their programming available AFTER the DVD sales have been milked?
Friday January 11, 2013 12:38 Guest
12:39
Kristi Turnquist: 
Hi Guest, I'm not sure. I don't do Netflix streaming, so I'm not sure what is available there.
Friday January 11, 2013 12:39 Kristi Turnquist
12:40
Kristi Turnquist: 
So that wraps up our live chat. Thanks to all who participated. Watch for my recaps of "Portlandia" episodes on Oregonlive.com, and please share comments and reactions. Thanks.

Friday January 11, 2013 12:40 Kristi Turnquist
12:40
The Oregonian: 
Enjoy the show tonight!
Friday January 11, 2013 12:40 The Oregonian
 
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