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The Birthday Boys: Chris Recaps “Helpful Tips”


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by Chris VanArtsdalen

If you’re anything like me, you hate television shows. They’re too bright and flashy, and they’re too loud. On the other hand, if you’re like me, you love online recaps of shows.

So here’s a summary of The Birthday Boys‘ episode “Helpful Tips.” If I’ve done my job right, this recap will tell you everything you need to know without actually watching the episode (which you could easily find on an illegal site by Googling “watch The Birthday Boys”) And hey, this recap will cover every plot point and joke as well as–or better than–watching the show itself.

“Helpful Tips” opens on a beautiful shot of a pint glass, perfectly lit from behind so the light filters through the delicious amber lager. Irish drums and bagpipes ring out, and a hand swirls the glass. Delicately. Analytically. Whose hand? Perhaps we’ll find out as the story unfolds! Sure enough, the shot pans to the right revealing the discerning face of one of The Birthday Boys. It’s not important which one. A narrator’s voice is heard, and the scene begins.

Shot number two. This shot will “throw you off” a little at first because it’s just an abstract blur. But it quickly comes back into focus revealing some sort of tube and a gauge. If you were watching the episode, you might not notice exactly what the gauge is, but I can tell you: It’s a thermometer.

The scene is really picking up momentum now. Hands sift through a barrel of hopps. Bags of malt are stacked on each other. The raw ingredients of the beer we saw in shot one? Surely.

And now we see our narrator: Brewmaster Arthur Pinkus. He’s standing in front of some beer-making stuff.

Ok, there you have it! Thanks for reading, and tune in next week for more “comedy” from The Birthday Boys!

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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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