TV Club: Portlandia: “Dead Pets”

In the third season of Parks And Recreation, after observing his first sample of the lunacy that is a Pawnee open forum, town newcomer Ben Wyatt offers a surprisingly positive observation on their behavior: “These people are weirdos, but they’re weirdos who care.” That statement can just as easily be applied to Portlandia, which despite introducing countless farfetched business and personal ideas never judges the people who are coming up with those ideas. There’s no hypocrisy in either the show or its characters, as it allows them to flirt with disaster on such plans as running an illegal dairy operation, pursuing an expansion of drivers rights, or selling bootleg Simpsons merchandise in defiance of Matt Groening himself. It encourages them to experiment and succeed or fail on their own merits, making it clear that while the joke may be on them the laughter is never of a malicious …

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