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Portlandia Influences a Google Patent on Spoiler Prevention (We Assume)


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More offensive than lying, cheating, and assault combined, the worst thing you could do to somebody is spoil a TV series they’ve just started. Destroying months — or even just a binge-filled weekend — of a fan’s main source of entertainment is akin to allowing Dexter to become a lumberjack (i.e. both unforgivable). Which is why Google is reportedly developing tech that will prevent our cherished and unfinished TV shows from being spoiled while browsing social media.

According to Mike Murphy at Quartz, Google’s newly awarded patent will block key information to shows, movies, and books from appearing in your feed. Exactly what gets blocked will be automatically determined by a progress tracker which detects where you are in a story and flag any plot revelations that appear afterward. (Murphy likens this to Netflix’s Facebook integration that posts the content you’re viewing onto your feed — a risky option depending on your viewing habits. It’s a one-way ticket to your friends wondering why you watch so many Jem and the Holograms episodes.) The system blurs the content and a pop-window appears asking whether the user wishes to view, say, [SPOILER ALERT] Oberyn Martell getting his head squashed by The Mountain on Game of Thrones, hereby saving us hours upon hours of staring intently at our HD screens.

But where did Google get the idea for this patent? If it was our guess, we’d have to say that it was from Season Three of Portlandia where Carrie and Fred bicker with another couple over the best way to discuss a show that others haven’t seen. Everything from Breaking Bad to The Wire to Boy Meets World are forbidden from even being mentioned lest somebody lets a major plot revelation slip. And in true meta fashion, the sketch does spoil quite a bit of binge-able shows. So be forewarned: Here there be spoilers!

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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