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IFC announces new TV series ‘Portlandia,’ featuring Carrie Brownstein

Brownstein and Armison as part of Thunderant

The world’s love affair with quaint little Portland continues as the Independent Film Channel swoops up SNL’s Fred Armison and local guitar goddess Carrie Brownstein for a new show taking place in and shot locally called Portlandia.

Brownstein and Armison have been working together in a comedy project called Thunderant for awhile now parodying some very Portland-esque characters. Initially I was underwhelmed with mediocre skits lackadaisically making fun of feminist bookstores or bicycle protests, but I’m hopeful a new infusion from collaborators and writers has inspired them to grow beyond the obvious. And IFC execs wanted a cohesive setting to pull these divergent sketches together.

“It’s the fact that Carrie is from Portland and that it’s such an uber-liberal community, very crunchy,” Senior vice president of original programming Debbie DeMontreux says. “A lot of the characters and sketches are based on the world of Portland. The characters are very crisp in this world and it’s just a cool, unique, fresh take on sketch comedy.”

To lend credibility, and probably because it’s much more fun to film here than a stuffy LA studio, all six intro episodes will be filmed on location over 19 days. They’re even still looking for crew members.

And while Brownstein’s queer street cred comes mostly from her seminal punk band Sleater-Kinney, Portlandia should also include plenty of locally flavored gaydom and gender confusion such as the punk rock couple, sketch wherein Armison plays the woman and Brownstein plays the man.

Stay tuned for its early 2011 release.

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