12 Things (and more) to Look Forward to in Season 3 of “Portlandia” on IFC

IFC’s wonderfully clever sketch comedy series Portlandia, starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein as an assortment of characters from Portland, Ore., returns for its third season on Jan. 4, 2013.

You can catch up with the first two seasons during a 24-hour Portlandia marathon that begins on IFC at 6 p.m. Eastern on New Year’s Eve; plus, the special Winter In Portlandia airs three times over this weekend.

What can we look forward to in the third season?

For one thing, more of a structured narrative. The third episode of season three, “Nina’s Birthday,” is a full 22-minute storyline.

Armisen said this season, he, Brownstein and their fellow writers/producers were “trying to find, trying to do more things that are a little bit beyond the surface of what we’ve been doing already. Not just repeating ourselves, but finding a new angle, trying to make it seen fresh and new to ourselves.”

Added Brownstein: “Yes, I think just finding ways of making the characters more multi-dimensional, figuring out who they are and how to write for them is a challenge.  But it also becomes easier as the seasons go on because as we figure out what makes these people tick and what their essential traits are or their essential characteristics. It’s easier to put them in conflict with the environment and to create situations for them that kind of bring to the surface who they are.  So it’s challenging, but it’s becomes more rewarding to create the world through these characters and stories for them.”

Other things to look forward to in season three of Portlandia include:

  • A new protest anthem for unemployed millennials.
  • If you enjoy living in the 1990s with Fred and Carrie’s Portland, Ore., then you’ll absolutely have a blast in the past with three former MTV icons in the second episode, “Take Back MTV.”
  • Behind the scenes on how streets in Portland get renamed. For more on this, buy the companion book, Portlandia: A Guide for Visitors
  • Fresher, healthier alternatives to milk and deodorant
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to pitch a tent
  • Pedicab sales pitches
  • Jeff Goldblum as owner of a doily shop (as seen above)
  • Chloe Sevigny as a Seattle resident charmed so much by Fred and Carrie that she becomes their roommate!
  • A Yelp review for Women & Women First Bookstore
  • More Kyle McLachlan and Kumail Nanjiani, plus Patton Oswalt, Roseanne Barr, Jim Gaffigan, Bobby Moynihan, Martina Navratilova, No Doubt, Matt Berry, Rose Byrne, George Wendt, Juliette Lewis, J. Mascis, Bill Hader and ???
  • A sketch with spoilers about Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Dexter, True Blood, Homeland, Downton Abbey, The Wire…and on and on…with a helluva callback, but I don’t dare spoil it for you!

Well, on the other hand…SPOILER ALERT!

You can watch this “Food Coma” sketch, however, as it’s timeless. Especially if you’ve just had or are just about to have lunch. Enjoy!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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