'Portlandia' fever: Are they laughing with us, or at us?

'Portlandia' fever: Are they laughing with us, or <i>at</i> us?

Check out Episode 1 of 'Portlandia' below the story text

PORTLAND(ia), Ore. - A new series debuting on the Independent Film Channel will shine a bright, satirical light on Portland's quirks and foibles beginning Friday night.

While some would say there's no such thing as bad publicity, local residents might pause at the Portlandia skits that show the city as overly-PC, caffinated, tattooed, Internet connected, hippifed and, in general, weird. Or at least behind the times (or perhaps stuck in time) compared to other cities.

The series, which at this point stands at six episodes, stars Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen and former Sleater-Kinney band member Carrie Brownstein. Long-time SNL producer Lorne Michaels is the executive producer.

Armisen and Brownstein change their look multiple times in the series, from hippie shop owners to overly-pierced cyclists to punk rockers to overly-concerned environmentalist diners.

Notable guest stars include indie film favorite Steve Buscemi, local movie auteur Gus Van Sant, 'Til Tuesday vocalist Aimee Mann, Twin Peaks star Kyle MacLachlan, movie stars Heather Graham and Selma Blair, and many more.

Local talent includes appearances by Portland Mayor Sam Adams and members of the band The Decemberists, among others.

In Episode One, the series begins with the song "The Dream of the 90s (is alive in Portland)" which features a wide range of Portlandish characters and cliches.

Armisen and Brownstein are in Los Angeles when Armisen, playing a charcter named Jason, tells Brownstein how Portland is stuck in the 1990s, where "young people go to retire." The pair relocate to the City of Roses.

From there, skits take on organic farming, professional hide-and-seek tourneys, alt-culture shop owners and other topics locals are sure to recognize.

Also recognizeable are locales in and around the city, all labeled with correct location names.

The series officially begins on the IFC cable channel Friday night at 10:30 p.m., but full episodes are already available on the IFC website.

Is the series good for Portland? Will it drive tourism - or will it drive people away? Be sure to take our poll on our home page.

Watch Episode 1, including the theme song: