DID YOU READ

It’s Portlandia versus The Sun

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There are a lot of things to love about the city of Portland: It’s eco-friendly, dog friendly, fashion friendly and just plain friendly. That said, the weather (especially in winter) can sometimes leave something to be desired:

Portland is a wonderful city that just happens to not see the sun very often, especially in winter and fall and sometimes spring, too. That doesn’t mean we don’t love the fair City of Roses, in fact all that rain is why it’s called the City of Roses. However, when the sun does come out, while we are happy to see Mother Nature shining down on us, it can be a bit daunting:

In this clip from last Friday’s episode we once again saw the brave citizens of Portlandia (as portrayed by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein) doing their best to cope with the sun. Watch now and be sure to tune in for a brand new episode of Portlandia on Friday at 10/9c:

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Want the latest news from Portlandia? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@ifcPortlandia and use the hashtag #portlandia.

Portlandia airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

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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.

Portlandia’s Fred Armisen and Out There’s Ryan Quincy are taking over MacWorld on Friday

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As anyone who has seen this Portlandia sketch could guess, Fred Armisen loves technology:

Fred is a huge tech nerd. A real nerd. So it makes sense that on Friday at 9 a.m. PT he’s heading to MacWorld/iWorld to talk with Macworld senior editor, Chris Breen, about how he uses Apple technology to empower his creativity and tell the world which products he can’t live without.

If you’re at MacWorld/iWorld, you’ll want to stick around for a special sneak peek at our new animated series Out There. Lucky panel attendees will hear from Emmy-winning director and producer Ryan Quincy, and members of his creative team, including Animation Producer Craig Hartin and Executive Producer Tony Gama-Lobo, as they share all the gory details about how their new animated series, Out There, evolved from a kernel of an idea into a a full 10-episode season coming soon to IFC. Out There’s awesome staff will share video outtakes and clips and discuss their behind-the-scenes creative process followed by an audience Q&A. Sounds great, right? Wish we could go! Get more details here.

Since we can’t go to MacWorld/iWorld and we hear that pouting gives you wrinkles, let’s all watch a full episode of Out There right now, because laughter cures all:

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Want the latest news from Portlandia? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@ifcPortlandia and use the hashtag #portlandia.

Portlandia airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c; Out There kicks off February 22 at 10:30/9:30c

Meet the Portlandia Co-Op: In Other Words

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As you know, the third season of Portlandia is underway with a new episode airing each Friday at 10/9c. To celebrate the return of Fred Armisen’s and Carrie Brownstein’s sketch comedy show, we are yielding control of the @IFCportlandia Twitter feed to a few lucky, talented members of the Portlandia Co-Op, a community where fans can join together to support their favorite show. Each week we have been taking a few minutes to introduce you to our guest tweeters, but this week our guests need no introduction, because you already know them (or at least their doppelgangers) very well: Portland’s very own In Other Words feminist bookstore is (wo-)manning the @IFCportlandia Twitter handle this week.

While you may know them better as their Portlandia alter-egos Women & Women First, we know them as the kind souls who let Portlandia take over their bookstore every season to shoot Toni and Candace in their natural environment. There are some distinct differences between the wonderful world of Women & Women First and the real feminist bookstore In Other Words. For example, no one would ever give In Other Words a bad Yelp review:

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The staff of In Other Words are undoubtedly much more helpful than Candace and Toni:

And we’re pretty sure that the staff at In Other Words doesn’t believe in the hard sell for vagina pillows or anything else in the shop:

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However, their bathroom might be for customers only, too:

Want to support In Other Words with their mission? Donate here.

Want the latest news from Portlandia? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@ifcPortlandia and use the hashtag #portlandia.

Portlandia airs on IFC on Fridays at 10/9c

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