|The Decemberists guest starred on The Simpsons S24 E7, but|
didn't, alas, play their weird 20 minute version of the Táin Bó Cúailnge
Portlandia is a loosely related series of vignettes set in contemporary Portland starring Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live and Carrie Brownstein of the 90's grunge band Sleater Kinney. Its an affectionate look at and satire of Portland's hipster culture with the central premise being that Portlanders are so leftie and PC and up themselves that in fact they've become gentle, sodden, quasi fascists, not completely removed from the loopy Roderick Spode of the Wodehouse universe.
...The first episode of Portlandia I saw was episode 2 of season 2, the great Battlestar Galactica episode (in which a couple binge on the BSG DVD box set to the point where it destroys their lives) with cameos from Edward James Olmos, Jamie Bamber, Eddie Vedder and Ronald D Moore - a geektastic introduction to the show. Nothing has quite been as good as that but there are a lot of decent episodes out there (and many fun famous actor and singer cameos) and having now visited Portland itself and done a mini Portlandia tour the whole thing has a lot more resonance. (And on the Greyhound bus back to Seattle I was delighted to see the famous Sleater Kinney off ramp sign on Interstate 5 just outside of Olympia).
When The Simpsons discovers a thing it usually means that thing is already dead (a meta concept S24 E7 actually explored). It was with some trepidation therefore that I watched the much anticipated Portlandia episode of The Simpsons. Armisen and Brownstein guest starred as Portland hipsters (owner operators of a knock off Voodoo Donuts Van) who moved to Springfield and gentrified it (or hipsterfied it if you will) until it looked like a mini version of Portland. I particularly liked the couple's alienated son played by Patton Oswalt who was ironically bored with all of contemporary civilization and who expressed this Weltzschmerz and anomie by having a West Ham United poster on his wall...Nice touch that.