DID YOU READ

Let The Portlandia Activity Book Teach You How to Write an Online Review

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The upcoming Portlandia Activity Book is chock-full of good, old-fashioned, Wi-fi-independent fun by the combined publishing and television powers of McSweeney’s and the IFC sketch comedy show Portlandia. Read an excerpt below, and pre-order here.


ONLINE REVIEWS FOR THE FLEDGLING CRITIC

Critique is no longer an activity reserved for mothers and journalists. Today we’re all critics capable of turning our subjective experiences into incisive, factual data. The Internet is the critic’s playground, providing ample free space for brutal overshares and expository tales of health-code violations. As a critic on a quest to preserve truth, your writing skills will serve you more than all the other skills you list on your resumé. Here, we’ll concentrate on the various approaches to a successful online review.

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The Enthusiastic Self-Promoting Review
MY MOTHER’S KITCHEN
★★★★★

My mother’s the best and I love everything she makes. The meatloaf—amazing. The casserole—forget about it. And her Bundt cake! That’s the only thing that matters. It’s been three months since I graduated from college and I’m not sure about anything these days but when I’m alone with that Bundt cake and my childhood toys, I don’t need anything else. I don’t mean to sound like I’m doing marketing for my mother’s kitchen, but I can’t help it. And since I’m here, if anyone out there reading this is hiring, I would give up the Bundt cake for full-time or part-time employment.

The All About Me Review
STARDUST LOUNGE
★★★★✩
Last Tuesday I was doctor shopping when my big toe started to hurt (I figured it was trench foot). I was near the Stardust Lounge and wanted to check it out for a while (before WebMD diagnosed me with leptospirosis) so, I stopped in. I ordered some jalapeno poppers, thinking the Vitamin C and antioxidants might soothe my glandular phrenitis, which started to throb a little that afternoon. While I waited for my food to arrive, I got one of my migraines (my mom says it’s Epstein-Barr, but I’m not sure). In the end, the jalapeno poppers made my migraine disappear (however, I did get a weird rash that evening, though it might have been a mosquito’s concentrated attack on a three-inch area on my neck). No major developments on the trench foot so far.

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The Strictly Hypothetical Review
BILLY’S ORIGINAL BURGER JOINT
★★✩✩✩

I have not yet stepped foot into Billy’s Original Burger Joint but the walk-by vibe I got was, to put it nicely, less than welcoming. Assuming Billy is an actual person and not someone’s idea for making a crappy restaurant seem more personable, would it kill Billy to fix that awning? The g in Original seems to have peeled off. I’m not sure what exactly is original about that place. Is it the first joint in Billy’s hamburger franchise, or is it the joint itself that’s original—I’m not sure. I don’t have much time or patience for misplaced modifiers, and I’m not sure what that says about the integrity of the ground beef patties. Smelled delicious, though, and I will recommend it to friends.

The Wrong Website Review
SAFEWAY ★★★★✩

I saw you in the parking lot the other day. You were wearing all black, so it’s likely you’re goth. I couldn’t tell if it was, like, a laundry day type of thing or if you’re in mourning or if it was a lifestyle choice. Anyways, watching you unload groceries into your trunk, I couldn’t help but notice your canvas bags, which made me think we share a moral platform? I don’t know if you remember me, but you turned to me and said, “Can I help you? What are you staring at?” I’d love to get coffee with you sometime. Please message me if you’re interested.

Illustrations by Joana Avillez

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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

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It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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