The other day I was in an Urban Outfitters, trying on sale-rack jeans, as I have done intermittently for the better part 15 years. But this time, something was f. In these jeans, my legs didn’t look like my legs, or at least how I understood how my legs looked. Did they not fit? I couldn’t tell you. It’s more that my legs felt out place. That’s what watching the final season Portlandia has felt like. Same legs; different jeans. Same show, with the same interests, tone, and priorities; different cultural moment.
My feeling shopping that day, and my feeling watching Portlandia in 2018, is connected to the same four-letter word that’s actually a seven-letter word, and it’s “hipster.” Portlandia was the king the once-mighty genre hipster comedy, but like with skinny jeans, there is no longer a market for it. To quote one the show’s most famous sketches: It’s over!