As fans of the show are probably aware, Portlandia is in its eighth and final season. The finale airs March 22, and once it’s gone it will leave a weirdly shaped hole in our hearts – and our TV schedules. Fear not, friends, for while there may never be a perfect replacement for this perfect adventure in sketch comedy, there are other shows out there that achieve a similar feeling.
While there may never be another duo quite as legendary as Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, there are shows out there that emulate certain elements of the series. And these five shows might just be able to tide you over after you’ve exhausted all eight seasons of Portlandia:
Okay, so it’s not a sketch show, but the situations that Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana (Ilana Glazer) can reach similarly ridiculous proportions. Broad City captures the absurd elements of a different urban landscape. Sure, Abbi can act like a regular person sometimes, but Ilana is hardly touched by the realm of reality. Plus, the duo has an amazing onscreen chemistry and rapport, which is one of the most enjoyable parts of Portlandia.
New (Untitled) Show Starring Chris Lilley
Australian comedian Chris Lilley, who has starred in shows such as Summer Heights High, Ja’mie: Private School Girl, and Jonah from Tonga, has a new series coming soon to Netflix. There’s not much information about it currently available, but Lilley is wonderfully weird and plays characters that are more than a little out there. He isn’t for everyone, but if you like the weirdest Portlandia sketches, you’ll enjoy his sense of humor.
If you haven’t already binged this on Netflix, you absolutely should. Plus, the show has been revived a few times by Netflix so we might be getting more from this insane family. Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) is the straight man of the series, attempting to hold his family together after his father (Jeffrey Tambor) goes to prison. Michael might be fairly regular, but he’s where any sense of normalcy ends: Buster (Tony Hale) is an incurable momma’s boy to bitter alcoholic Lucille (Jessica Walter), Gob (Will Arnett) is an egotistical magician, and Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) has the most dysfunctional relationship of all time with closeted never-nude Tobias (David Cross). Plus, early episodes of the show reveal Michael Cera’s awkward start, which is a treat.
Key & Peele
If your favorite thing about Portlandia is the formatting, watching reruns of Key & Peele will satiate your need for sketches. While Portlandia tends to target “woke” white people, via the Candace and Toni characters, or the “Portland So White” sketch, Key & Peele takes on race relations from a different angle. From flipping stereotypes via an inner-city substitute teacher who can’t pronounce white students’ names to soul food competition, the show takes on what it means to be black in the United States without losing the fun. The duo’s commentary between sketches is lighthearted and it’ll make you feel even more proud of Jordan Peele’s Oscar.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Viewing New York City from the perspective of somebody who was in a cult for 15 years is a rare premise for a show, and yet it works without being depressing. If unusual characters are your favorite part of Portlandia, you’ll enjoy streaming this Netflix original. In addition to Kimmy (Ellie Kemper), who is trying to adjust to regular life, there’s her roommate Titus (Tituss Burgess), who provides pop culture references sprinkled amongst his erratic neuroticism. Lillian (Carol Kane) is their wacky landlord, who always has some scheme brewing. The show somehow makes perfect sense and no sense at the same time – and you’ll find yourself quoting it without even meaning to.