Portlandia—Season 2

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun series

Not for everyone


Battlestar Galactica is back!!! I mean Portlandia…

Portland has never seemed better!  Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are still pushing the city with their friends like the Women & Women First bookstore owners, Peter and Nance, Spike and Iris, and others.  Stop by Portland and remember the ’90s…the 1890s.

Portlandia–Season 2 aired from January 6, 2012 to March 9, 2012 on IFC and continues to develop a cult following.  The series was liked by critics and has already been scheduled for a longer third season.  The season received Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series (“One Moore Episode”) and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series.


Do you want to eat my cauliflower?

Portlandia is a fun sketch comedy show.  The series is a great, fast moving blend of recurring characters and recurring themes that allow the viewer to get over the bad sketches (which are few and far between) and easily enjoy the next sketch.  Some of the characters don’t work, but Carrie and Fred are so into their portrayals that even obnoxious characters are fun.

Another great plus of Portlandia are all the fun guest stars.  Sean Hayes, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jack McBrayer, Eddie Vedder, Jeff Goldblum, Andy Samberg, Edward James Olmos, James Callis, Kristen Wiig, Amber Tamblyn, Greg Louganis, Ed Begley Jr., Tim Robbins, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Penny Marshall all stop by sometimes playing characters and other times playing themselves.  Kyle MacLachlan returns as the “so cool” mayor and hangs out with Carrie and Fred.


Hey, that’s Tim Robbins under there!

Despite loving this series, I did enjoy season 1 more than this season.  I thought some of the theme episodes in season 1 were more fun, and I loved the odd guest stars in the first season who were taking a bigger chance by appearing on an unknown show.  Even though I’m critical of it, I still love Portlandia.

Portlandia is one of those shows that you like or dislike.  I don’t think there is much middle ground on this one.  For me, Portlandia nails it and is my humor, but I honestly could see how it would annoy and not be funny to some.  With a longer second season, season 3 is planned for an even longer run…whether that will help or hinder the series is unknown.

Portlandia—Season 2 Complete Episode Guide:



2.1       Mixology Airdate:  01/06/12

Bryce (Fred Armisen) and Lisa (Carrie Brownstein) encourage pickling.  A mixologist (Andy Samberg) makes a special drink for Carrie and Carrie decides to make a mixed tape…but it could mean a trip to SoCal!!!  Dave and Cath prepare for canoeing but wish they brought that camera.  In SoCal, Carrie and Fred find ordering harder than they thought.  The Women & Women First Bookstore finds their air condition broken and Candace and Toni have demands for their air condition repairman.  A kid trying to ban plastic bags finds a difficult customer despite his parents help.  Carrie has to remind the mixologist about his life in Oregon when she finds he has gone SoCal.


“One Moore Episode”

2.2       One Moore Episode Airdate:  01/13/12

Linda Lawrence and Marc Gemmer help Portland celebrate Allergy Pride with a parade.  A decision to watch Battlestar Galactica—Season 1 by Doug and Claire leads to an obsessive watching marathon.  The Knot Store and his owner (Jeff Goldblum) find new customers for a house party.  A fire pit by Malcolm brings out the kinky in himself and his wife Kris.  An Eddie Vedder tattoo turns off Carrie but the real Eddie Vedder might have drawbacks.  An attempt to get more Battlestar Galactica episodes brings back Edward James Olmos and James Callis.


“Cool Wedding”

2.3       Cool Wedding Airdate:  01/20/12

Carrie’s dropping of her iPhone brings back the good times she had with it.  Spike and Iris plan their marriage and meet with a wedding planner (Dana Millican).  A stop sign meeting leads to a stand-off.  A grocery bagger and his manager finds a problem when a man (Jack McBrayer) who doesn’t come in with a recyclable bags.  The Women & Women First Bookstore welcome Nelofar Jamshidi (Shohreh Aghdashloo), and Toni and Candace question about the writing…or the printing process.  Spike and Iris rehearse but hit a snag.  Sandra finds her mailman Nick is very into her Netflix viewing plans and the fact she hasn’t seen The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.  Spike and Iris try to divide up their stuff and decide to make the jump.



2.4       Grover Airdate:  01/27/12

Carrie and Fred find everyone is getting into the DJ thing.  Brenden Marston and Michelle Marston prepare their child Grover for preschool and try to get him into Shooting Star Preschool.  Dave and Cath take their tsunami rescue dog Quicksilver to the dog park and try to deal with the other dogs.  A man waiting for a service rep to return is entertained by the waiting music performers the Dial Tones.  Grover prepares for his Shooting Star Preschool audition with his own DVD.  A couple of beggars decide a dog will bring in more money but find even smaller acts make more money.  A scavenger hunt kicks off with Garman and Garman finds his small size helps.


“Cops Redesign”

2.5       Cops Redesign Airdate:  02/03/12

Melanie and Jason meet after Jason’s trip to Portland, and Melanie learns it is like the 1890s in Portland.  Carrie and Fred are called in by the mayor (Kyle MacLachlan) to fix a police force image problem.  A new zero packaging trend excites the rats.  Brendan and Michelle attend a parents meeting and debate the music in the Shooting Star Preschool.  Carrie and Fred introduce their new line of PDX police uniforms.  A couple sets out to meet new people that they don’t know.  A company that supplies bad art to coffee shops gets a new order.  Carrie and Fred test out their new uniforms as they try to shut down a skate park.


“Cat Nap”

2.6       Cat Nap Airdate:  02/10/12

Two Girls, Two Shirts show off their new store but find themselves struggling to get sales.  A band decides to adjust their image by adding a cat.  Jayde tries to get money through a new Kickstart campaign for a video and hits up her father.  Women & Women First has a new intern (Amber Tamblyn) and find her attempts to organize the books are confusing.  Catnap finds new success and discover they even have a stalker named Gathy (Kristen Wiig).  Carrie’s sister starts making jewelry and inspires Fred.  Smooth Moovers work on building their bicycle moving company.  Gathy holds Catnap hostage and Catnap undergoes another change.



2.7       Motorcycle Airdate:  02/17/12

A group of hippies break for the day and try to fit their instruments into a small car.  Peter and   try to give directions and realize they are old. A used clothes dealer picks through a woman’s clothes for purchase.  Nina gets made at Lance for not having a Facebook profile and tries to set one up for him.  Peter and Nance decide they have to modernize their lives and get motorcycles.  Doug gets a sitter when his wife heads out.  Peter and Nance make new friends with their new motorcycles, and Peter tries to remember 9-11.


“Feminist Bookstore 10th Anniversary”

2.8       Feminist Book Store 10th Anniversary Airdate:  02/24/12

Marcus Harris and Madeline Harris update Portland on recycling.  The 10th Anniversary of Women & Women First is celebrated and the original owner Barbara (Penny Marshall) comes with her boyfriend LaMarcus Aldridge. Dave and Kath prepare for a hike in the woods.  Peter and Nance plan to go to their first game and make a sign.  Candace finds she can’t cope with Barbara’s stealing of her bed sweater idea.  A dance instructor prepares to lead a dance class and has to read the rules.  Michelle and Brenden gets a durian tree fruit and question how to open it.  Candace tries to make up with Barbara.


“No Olympics”

2.9       No Olympics Airdate:  03/02/12

A father tries to entertain his child while his mother is away.  Carrie and Fred meet with the mayor in an effort to ensure that the Olympics never come to London.  A performance in the park almost goes tragically wrong.  Lipsey Park is premiered for the legacy of Mayor Lipsey, and the model of the park is shown off.  Carrie and Fred spread their any Olympics message and find Greg Louganis objects.  The Historical Society presents the story of Lewis & Clark, but finds their imaginary Sacagawea refuses to respond to them.  The valet at the bike check goes poorly.  Carrie and Fred decide to reverse their feelings on the Olympics and find they are medal winners themselves.


“Brunch Village”

2.10     Brunch Village Airdate:  03/09/12

Peter and Nance decide to check out a new brunch place and the mayor invites Fred and Carrie to the brunch place.  The line for Fisherman’s Porch stretches and the people wait in line.  The mayor tries to find an alternate route when the bridges are up. The Women & Women First Bookstore discovers people lined up in front of their business. Nance is accused of cutting and taken away where she is confronted by an underworld dealer (Tim Robbins).  A shop owner (Ed Begley, Jr.) tries to get people to go to his restaurant and hijacks Fred and Nance.  Peter tries to reach Nance as their table is called.

Related Links:

Portlandia—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Portlandia—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Portlandia—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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