August 15, 2012

Putting a Bridge on It

With their web series Brokelandia, comedy duo Eric Silver and Sue Smith show that even the coolest place on earth has its flaws.

Cat Wolinski

Most reading this have experienced “white people problems.” (Or, if you prefer your hashtag more politically correct, #firstworldproblems.) Not getting cell phone service, running out of bucks on your Starbucks cards, searching fruitlessly for a pharmacy within two blocks; such are the indignities of the leisure class. Others, however, suffer still worse, struggling with difficulties as horrid as—god forbid—not knowing if the chicken they’re eating was grass-fed.

Media response to such, shall we say, "spirited" types has popped up in the form of books, blogs, and memes. It was only a matter of time, however, before TV responded to the lifestyle choices of vegan feminist hippie bookstore owners and bird-obsessed arts-and-craft fiends. And so, Portlandia was born. White, awkward, and hopelessly complacent, Portland, Oregon made an obvious target (and a successful one; a third season of the sketch comedy series, with 12 episodes, will premier in January 2013), but as any member of the young-and-educated clique knows, self-satisfaction knows no geographical bounds. There is Austin, Texas, San Francisco, California and of course, Brooklyn, New York—the coolest borough city in the world.

Unsurprisingly, Brooklyn-based comedians Eric Silver and Sue Smith saw more than a bit of their own home reflected in the funhouse mirror of Portlandia. This past January, the duo released the first episode of their Brooklyn-style spoof, Brokelandia. A twist on the Portlandia skit "Did You Read?", in which protagonists Fred and Carrie race to "finish" the news, Smith and Silver's version, "Did You Eat It?", ridiculed the pissing contests in city foodie culture.

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- Comedy
- posted on Aug 29, 12
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Article by Cat Wolinski

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