I am a recent transplant to PHL from PDX. I am a die-hard PDX fan and falling more and more in love with PHL everyday–or after every chicken parm and neighborhood walk. I feel I have a place to comment on Portlandia vs. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Sunny).
At first I was a little irked by Portlandia because it does not represent MY Portland. MY Portland is Beverley Clearly, Portlandia–the statue, driving I-84 in the winter, The Big Bang (the store), sailing the Columbia, and Powell’s Bookstore (yes some guys ashes are in the column outside).
But my Portland is the Portland of the 1990s. Portlandia is the Portland now (aka everywhere elses 90s) and I still love it. I love all the things they make fun of. Apparently a lot of Portlandians don’t.
Let me say here that this whole essay is W’s fault. We started talking about it in a bar, not unlike (maybe a bit nicer) Patty’s Pub. Let me say I have not researched this AT ALL- straight up hearsay from the gossip mill and I read Steven Humphrey’s dislike to the show here. BUT from what I hear there has been a slight miffed feeling about the show. People’s feelings are hurt.
We were discussing this reaction with Philadelphia’s reaction to Sunny. So we JUST moved here. I have no idea how Philly felt (and as I said- did NO research) about the show at its inception. However–from what I’ve heard people are pretty proud of the show and love it when it films here and love the bar that Mac started. I hear Philadelphians either love Sunny, or have a grumbled response of ‘So?” (think Mac’s Mom) while downing another cheesesteak and beer.
BUT, you say, BUT Sunny is just set in Philadelphia its not only about the stereotypes. The show may be a bit more on the D.L. with regard to stereotypes because it has plot arcs but they are barely veiled and the stereotypes are much, much worse: incest, trash (part literal, and part people), empty gross bars, mean self-centered people who drink to much but are FUNNY.
SO I guess what I am saying–and this would be a bit more clear if I actually researched or didn’t write this in 5 minutes, is that the perturbed Portlandians need to not care so much. Its FUNNY- a roast! Its awesome that such an amazing city is getting some publicity. And you do paint BIRDS on EVERYTHING! STOP DOING IT!!!
Much like Sunny, Portlandia is a great show set in a great city. Makes me miss home and the new one I’ve come to love.