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A frakking awesome sneak peek at “Portlandia” Season Two: “Battlestar Galactica” comes to town

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We are so excited about the second season of “Portlandia” and like kids on Christmas we can hardly wait to unwrap the shiny new episodes and watch them in glee. Luckily we are grown ups now and don’t have to wait for mom and dad to wake up to open our presents. In fact, we can do whatever the heck we want. And you know what we want? More “Portlandia,” right now. In fact, we want “One Moore Episode.” What’s that you ask? Why it’s the much rumored “Battlestar Galactica” inspired episode of “Portlandia.” It’s so frakking awesome to have “Battlestar Galactica” and “Portlandia” together at last that we’re not waiting any longer. Instant gratification is the best, right? But if that’s not enough for you and you want even more “Portlandia,” just head over to the Portlandia Facebookpage and make sure you “like it.” Because soon we will be unveiling an entire episode from the second season of “Portlandia” just for our Facebook fans.

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Want the latest news from the land of Portlandia? Like us on Facebook and follow us on @IFCportlandia and use the hashtag #Portlandia.

The second season of “Portlandia” kicks off on January 6th at 10 p.m. ET

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As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

That’s So Portland

That’s So Portland (photo)

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What makes Portland so Portland?

Is there a definitive recipe, an indie cocktail of farm-to-table ingredients that definitively sets it apart from the other subcultural meccas of North America? Sure, San Francisco’s got the Burning Man enthusiasts, L.A. has ample macrobiotic eaters and yoga kooks, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has its share of bearded hipsters, but it’s not about the quantity of underemployed twentysomethings in bands, nor the volume of food trucks‒it’s something more ineffable.

See, sometimes I hear about a new happening in town‒a vegan version of Iron Chef, for example, or a zombie prom ‒and I think, “only in Portland.” As an earnestly corduroyed individual at the farmer’s market entreats me to join this weekend’s charity mushroom hunting foray, I think, “this is so Portland.” What that means, exactly, is something I’m still trying to define; like modern art and pornography, ya know it when you see it.

And in the Rose City, you see it all the time. Often, in fact, it seems as though Portland is one giant, endlessly regenerating parody of itself. In its perfectly postmodern way, Portland itself is “so Portland.” Like a too-cool-to-be-aired episode of the Real World, it stops being funny. And starts being real. You get to a point where you don’t even flinch anymore when your neighbor’s response to why they’re having a yard sale on a Tuesday instead of the weekend is, “Because I don’t believe in linear time.”

Not to be pejorative, mind you. Though perhaps impossible to completely define, “so Portland” is a perfect storm of many confluent factors, none of which are negative, necessarily: earnestness, zeal, a joyful disregard for mainstream culture (especially its linear time), and a desire for uniqueness, sustainability, and self-reliance. Even the snobiness that Portlandia so lovingly lampoons‒our local baristas’ withering disdain for Starbucksisms, the guy at the pizza shop’s refusal to play anything other than O.G. Scandinavian death metal on the stereo‒comes from a high cultural premium placed on taste and a fierce commitment to building a better world, a better community.

Sometimes Portland is so insular that we forget, kinda, that most of the country thinks a macchiato is something with whipped cream and caramel in it. And, like, that’s delicious, but it’s not a macchiato, you know? In Portland, at the grocery store, a person can feel like a pariah when they forget to bring their shopping bag from home. A person can be lambasted by their friends for admitting a preference for restaurants with walls and bathrooms, as opposed to bicycle drive-through windows and food carts. And don’t even get me started on the shame of being the sole car driver in a posse of transit commuters and cyclists. The shame!

To be honest, it’s as enervating to be on the receiving end of that energy as it is fun to dish it. You either get into it or you don’t. Portlandia’s already-iconic “Dream of the 90s” sketch gets this perfectly: sure, we’re ridiculous, but have you tried jumping right in? Within no time you’re flanneled to the nines and hanging out with crusty-punk clowns.

Then, suddenly, without warning, you’re So Portland. And is that such a bad thing?

Put a Pickle On “Portlandia”

Put a Pickle On “Portlandia”  (photo)

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Dear Pickle Lovers and “Portlandia” fans:

We know you already have a lot in common, but now IFC has launched an interactive “pickling” web site and now you can spend hours together, holding hands, and pickling all your favorite websites and family photos.

The site (wecanpicklethat.com) lets Portlandia fans (or anyone, but who isn’t a “Portlandia” fan?) to “pickle” any website they choose by pasting the URL of the site they want to “pickle” into the toolbar on the page. Why? Because it’s fun! Tune in for the second season premiere of Portlandia on Friday, Jan 6th at 10pm ET/PT to find out what Fred and Carrie are pickling. Apples, maybe?

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Want all the latest news from the fair city of “Portlandia”? Like us on Facebook and follow us on @IFCportlandia and use the hashtag #Portlandia.

Remember: More Likes, More Portlandia. As we build our online fan base, we’ll unlock an entire episode from season two on Facebook.

Have fun and see you in Portlandia!

Love,

IFC

The second season of “Portlandia” starts Friday, Jan 6th at 10 p.m. ET

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