Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Peter Giles- Photo Credit: Augusta Quirk/IFC

Carrie's On

10 Awesome Things Carrie Brownstein Did in 2015

Carrie Brownstein returns to Portlandia starting January 21st at 10P on IFC.

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Writer, producer, actor, and bonafide rock star Carrie Brownstein has had an amazing year. Overstuffed with creative projects and lauded collaborations that span music, literature, comedy, and yes, even matrimony, 2015 has seen Carrie’s work explode and disseminate throughout the pop culture landscape with overwhelming critical acclaim. Heck, she’s even an emoji.

Here are Carrie Brownstein’s 10 best moments of 2015.

1. The goth-tastic fifth season of Portlandia

Portlandia goth

Wrapping up their fifth season in March and gearing up for the sixth next month, Carrie and comedy cohort Fred Armisen continue to earn praise from fans and critics for their incisive and hyper-literate skewering of hipster culture and beyond. Few social commentators truly nail the quirks and foibles of modern society quite like Portlandia.


2. Releasing her memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

Riverhead Books

Released in October, Carrie Brownstein’s memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl covers her complicated relationship with her parents, her whirlwind life on tour, and the co-creation of the Peabody-winning series Portlandia. The book has garnered rave reviews and offers a glimpse of a person who’s accomplished so much.


3. Sleater-Kinney’s long-awaited No Cities to Love album

As if the accolades for her TV and non-fiction work wasn’t enough, Carrie ensured yet another spot on year-end “best of” lists with her band’s latest release No Cities to Love. A decade since their last album, Sleater-Kinney once again wowed fans and critics with 10 raw, emotional tracks and was honored by 40+ outlets for releasing one of the best records of 2015.


4. Her role in Todd Haynes’ acclaimed film Carol

Carrie’s unstoppable work continued with the universally praised independent film Carol. Directed by venerated auteur Todd Haynes, the film is set in 1952 New York City and focuses on a young woman’s infatuation with an older woman going through a divorce. As Genevieve Cantrell, Carrie fills the supporting role with aplomb and rounds out the cast of a movie that’s already earned dozens of awards, over a hundred nominations, and is listed at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.


5. Her live Q&As with Questlove, Amy Poehler and more

Portlandia Q&A

The whirlwind book tour for Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl took Carrie across the country, where she talked about her memoir and career with everyone from Gaby Hoffmann to Amy Poehler. Her Brooklyn stop at Saint Vitus bar featured a lively Q&A with Questlove from The Roots and The Tonight Show, where the duo bonded over Madonna and the TV show The Affair.


6. Hanging out with Gaby Hoffmann on Transparent

As Amazon’s most acclaimed series, Transparent joins the ever-growing number of online programs that push the boundaries of scripted entertainment. So, of course, Carrie’s a part of it, too. As Syd Feldman, she plays Ali Pfefferman’s (Gaby Hoffmann) acerbic lifelong friend and source of comfort amidst her turbulent family.


7. Her appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

In October, Carrie dropped by the Ed Sullivan Theater as a guest on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show to chat about her memoir and offer up a selection from her true passion, traditional English folk ballads. In the clip above, the singer croons her way through a cripplingly maudlin tune about death and sorrow.


8. Officiating a wedding alongside Amy Poehler

Appearing at a live Q&A led by comedy dynamo Amy Poehler, Carrie was asked by two audience members if she could officiate an impromptu wedding. And she, being an ordained minister, was happy to oblige. Even with no speech prepared, Carrie still pulled off an amazingly heartfelt ceremony in front of a crowd who witnessed firsthand that this woman can do anything.


9. Getting miniaturized on Archer

This year, FX’s hilariously loopy animated series Archer welcomed the Portlandia star as a guest voice for a special two-parter season finale. Carrie plays Dr. Sklodowska who, along with the rest of Archer’s crew, is miniaturized and injected into a Russian defector’s body in a surreal parody of Fantastic Voyage. In the clip above, Carrie’s character is warned that warming up to Archer isn’t the wisest choice unless supplied with a heap of antibiotics.


10. Covering The B-52’s with Fred Armisen

Closing out 2015 with a string of live shows in New York City, Sleater-Kinney’s performance at Terminal 5 ended with a surprise appearance by Fred Armisen, who led the band in a pitch-perfect rendition of The B-52’s new wave hit “Rock Lobster.” Joyful and infectious, it was a beautiful topper to a year filled with amazing accomplishments for the Portlandia star.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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