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Shopping List

10 Fictional Stores We Want To Shop In

Visit Portlandia's Femimart Thursday at 10P on IFC.

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Warner Bros.

Have you ever wished you could hang out in a magical toy store? Or maybe score some records from the surliest music store clerks of all time? We spend so much of our lives with characters from our favorite shows and movies, it’s only natural to want to take that relationship to the next level. To get you ready for Portlandia‘s new Femimart, check out a few fake stores we wish we could visit in real life. No coupon clipping necessary.

10. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Sometimes movies don’t need to be perfect to create a perfect place. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium sits at 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, and yet we’ve never been able to shake the shop that Mr. Magorium runs in the movie. Anything can happen there. Want any toy in the world? Just write it in the ledger and it will appear. Turn a doorknob and rooms will magically transform. The store — one part Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and one part Pee-Wee’s Playhouse — is a living thing, willing to fulfill your wildest fantasies, or throw a massive tempter tantrum. Plus, the checkout girl looks remarkably like Natalie Portman.


9. Championship Vinyl

Working Title Films
Working Title Films

Championship Vinyl is in a Chicago neighborhood that attracts the bare minimum of window shoppers. It caters to young men looking for The Smiths singles and rare Frank Zappa albums. If you want crap like “I Just Called To Say I Love You,” you can cart your butt back out to the mall. Shop owner Rob Gordon (John Cusack) compares the records he sells, which he calls fetish properties, to porn. The employees here are true blue, dyed-in-the-wool music snobs just like in the good ol’ days when people actually left the house to buy music. This is a store where opinions are as good as facts and mix tapes are a reason to get out of bed in the morning. (Well, in the afternoon.)


8. The Magic Box

20th Century Fox Television
20th Century Fox Television

Life in Sunnydale isn’t the easiest. Demons and vampires are constantly trying to kill you, and all the cute boys are either attached or have decomposing, unattached limbs. But there is one place of refuge, and that’s The Magic Box. Whether you’re a layman looking for a love potion, or an experienced Wiccan looking for that hard-to-find spell, The Magic Box is a one-stop shop for all your occult needs. And if you have some free time between sales, feel free to crack wise with Xander, train with Giles or make out with Spike. Just be careful with the musical spells.


7. Mr. Hooper’s Store

What kid didn’t want to hang out with Big Bird and the gang at Mr. Hooper’s Store, Sesame Street’s premiere supplier of cookies and whatever it was that Mr. Snuffleupagus eats. Whatever you need, kindly old Mr. Hooper could supply it. Oh no. We just remembered the episode where Big Bird finds out Mr. Hooper died. Can’t talk…curling into fetal position and crying for mommy…


6. Bill’s Candy Shop

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

If you’re a kid, a kid at heart, or just have a horrible diet, there’s no place you’d rather while away the hours than inside Bill’s Candy Shop. Whether you’re in the mood for a piece of Fickelgruber’s hard candy, some Slugworth’s Sizzlers, or a Wonka Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar, there’s only one place to satiate your sweet tooth. No matter your craving, Bill has it, and he knows to save it just for you. See, Bill isn’t some new school candy slinger, who just sells his wares to anyone with a dime and a dream. Bill knows his customers by name, and has just the right bit of sugary goodness ready for them when they walk in the door. He isn’t afraid to just start tossing candy in the air, as he sings little ditties about “The Candy Man.” Come on behind the counter, kids. Help yourself. Come to think of it, Bill really needs to start charging or he’s going to go out of business.


5. The Leftorium

20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

For the left-handed among us, there’s one store that’s always held a certain allure. The Leftorium is a business as simple as it is brilliant. Why not have a shop for left-handed folks? Give the rest of the world a taste of what it’s like to have everything backwards. Thanks to Ned Flanders, this is just the store for all your leftie shopping needs, whether its a left-handed ruler, poster or Statue of Liberty figurine. Just try and remember not to mention the Southpaw Superstore that opened up nearby.


4. Empire Records

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

While the snobbishness may be dialed down at Empire Records, at least compared to Championship Vinyl, the staff is no less a family. They stick together through thick and thin, especially when their store is on the verge of being sold to a conglomerate and turned into a bland franchise outpost. But that’s not what bumps this shop so high up on the list. And no, it’s not the morality plays the staff puts on to make sure none of them get hooked on drugs, as fun as those seem. What makes this shop stand out is simple. It’s filled with gorgeous, young people who seem very down to have sex and/or break into song and dance. Sure beats browsing iTunes in our underwear.


3.”Be Kind Rewind” VHS Rental

Focus Features
Focus Features
There was a time when an outing to the video store was a full evening. You’d peruse the aisles, digging through the new releases until finally settling on renting City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold for the 15th time. Sadly, those days have passed. But what if there was a shop where you could still riffle through your favorite titles? And what if all the movies were homemade remakes starring Jack Black and Mos Def that possessed the raw, unadulterated love of cinema that made you fall in love with the medium in the first place? Well, there is such a place in Be Kind Rewind, and all you have to do is remember the title before bringing the video back. Sounds like a fair deal to us.


2. The Chinatown Antique Shop From Gremlins

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

When you’ve searched high and low for a birthday gift for your son only to come up empty handed, it’s time to start thinking outside the box. That’s how Randall “Rand” Peltzer found himself digging through the ancient trinkets and cobwebs of a nameless Chinese antique store, and finding a Mogwai that he would pay any price for. Just imagine what other treats must lay behind the tattered curtains and hazy candlelight of this mysterious shop. As long as you bring cash (and the owner isn’t looking), you may walk out with something truly one of a kind. Just remember not to feed it after midnight.


1. TRAX Record Store

If we had a time machine, we’d forgo the whole killing Hitler thing and just go back to in time and hang out with Iona, Duckie and Andie at the record store in Pretty in Pink. Oh also our time machine can go to fictional eras.

Visit Portlandia’s Femimart!

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

IFC_CC_Neurotica_Series_Image4

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

Neurotica_series_image_1

IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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via GIPHY

Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

via GIPHY

And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.