Yeah, this is nothing like Hollyhock

Diners on the hunt for ethical chicken – a scene from Portlandia

When I first saw the amazing Dream of the 90s video from the new cable TV program Portlandia, I just about fell out of my chair. Needless to say I had to find this program at all costs when it debuted last Friday night. While the reviews seem to have been tepid for the first episode, Portlandia tickled my cerebral cortex just enough that I was laughing out loud.

After the opening scene which features the above 90s Dream sequence, we arrive in a restaurant where a couple drill the server on questions about the origins of the chicken they are about to order off the menu. Was it free range? Did it eat organic food? Who were its owners? What was its name? And so on…

To me this is sort of a Vision Vancouver world on steroids. If free range politics and backyard chickens are da bomb for you, Portlandia allows you to guffaw at what we seem to be experiencing here in Vancouver City Hall.

Of course, Portland is kind of considered as a southern capital of Cascadia (with Vancouver being the northern). A pronounced embrace of alternative culture is one of the city’s many charms. It’s delightful that the show’s creators have found a way to have some fun with it.

The scene above is the same couple from the restaurant, but now they are out at the farm where the chicken – named "Colin" – was allowed to roam before winding up on a plate (see the video). Colin’s homestead was so much like Hollyhock, Cortes Island, and everything it seems to stand for (minus the polygamy, of course), I couldn’t resist sharing this bizarre bit of TV with our readers.

Another side-splitting scene in Portlandia episode one features actor Steve Buscemi trapped inside a feminist bookstore, his punishment for using the washroom without buying something first. The program cast features Fred Armisen, a Saturday Night Live alumni, and the wonderful Carrie Brownstein, who is best known for her post-punk sounds in Seattle’s Sleater-Kinney band.

We’ve not talked much lately about our oil export-protesting pals situated 150 kms off the coast of Vancouver, but you can be sure that Hollyhock will continue to be a traditional topic of discussion here on during 2011.

- post by Mike

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