Portlandia: S08E09 “Long Way Back” Review

Not every episode begins with a musical number, but when it does, it’s usually a sign of magic. This musical number is the answer when you feel as though you have too much weight on your shoulders… just give up. That’s it! That’s basically the theme of the episode, just giving up, or settling as it were. It’s a weirdly, and unfortunately relatable song, that gives examples of how people can give up, and it’s so funny. Special shout out to the Keurig brewing company for you’re enabling.

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It might be cruel, but I can’t stop laughing at this (Picture Source: IFC)

Giving up also means settling to the place you’re going to live in. During apartment hunting, the realtor decides to show the future homeowner a more affordable place than a bachelor apartment. A car. Think about it, the chair reclines into a bed, you get a kitchen in a cup holder to hold your… cup, and a dashboard to hold your sandwich that you buy from the store. The windshield wiper fluid is your new shower, and you can spy on people for entertainment! It works! It’s affordable, and just good for the economy… but not good for your sanity.

How early should you start your kid on a career path? According to this pediatrician, right away. Parents come to this Pediatrician worried because their kid doesn’t have any bits. They tried to get him to do prop humor, imitation bits, and other things, but the kid isn’t being funny. It’s not a great sketch, but the pediatrician scores some laughs describing how other infants are funny.

Gif Source: Giphy.com

Another part of giving up is to find the easiest job, and stick with it. Fred and Carrie are at a kindergarten class, in a “bring your parents to work” type thing, explaining their new job at working as part of a gig economy, where you apply at an app, and you do whatever the job tells you to do. Or digital nomads, is how they described it. These kids have interesting, even mature questions about their jobs, and how sustainable something like it is. It’s a fine sketch, but the best part is the button on in the sketch, where we find out the next person writes television show recaps on the internet. Unfortunately, my cameo was cut.

The next sketch is a Peter and Nance sketch, where they stop themselves from opening a virus email. They then dwell on the fact that they’ve never been hacked, and they feel left out because of it. They realize that they are boring people, and have nothing worth hacking. So they do the only logical step so they can get hacked, they take several weird and awkward nude photos of themselves. It’s a super weird scene, where these incredibly naïve, and innocent people, want to not waist the hackers time with boringness, when they finally get hack. It’s a clever scene, made hilarious by its absurdity.

Finally, we have a through line, “Long Way Back”. Back in 2011, goths Vince and Jaquelin lose their garbage can, and we follow on its adventure, and the goths investigating where it went.

The goths follow the trail for a little while (well, they ask people if they saw something strange, and add no context to it), they follow it to a house that has a family. A mother, a father, and a daughter. The daughter is afraid of the dark, but the mother thinks that she should be able to sleep in the dark by now, so she makes the daughter sleep with the lights off. Unfortunately, there are a couple devil worshipers looking beyond the fence that terrify her. The greatness of the sketch lies with the imagination of the child thinking the worst of these two, like how they are actual demons. Really funny sketch.

As for the garbage can, it’s basically a tour throughout the entire series through the perspective of the garbage can. We see a lot, from the song that began the entire show (Dream of the 90’s), Peter and Nance make an appearance, Spike, Dave and Kath, and more people than I can count. It’s a wonderful celebration of the show, that if you would have told me that it was the last sketch of the last episode, I would have believed you. I’m looking forward to seeing

Author: Devin Melnyk

I'm still trying to figure out how the internet works.

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