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'Portlandia' send-up of the 'tiny house' movement

Kaid Benfield

Posted March 29, 2013

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  still from the video Here It Is (The Small House Portlandid Video)

I’ve often written about the cottage lifestyle, featuring small homes usually set around a common.  It makes a ton of sense for some parts of today’s downsizing market.  Carried to an extreme, “tiny houses” provide minimal space for people who don’t need or want much, in exchange for ridiculously low prices that enable owners to maintain a low-budget lifestyle or spend their dough on something else.

The video below is a wicked send-up of the movement by an independent film crew for the Portlandia Film Festival, and is itself basically a send-up of the Porlandia TV show, which continually caricatures and skewers the oh-so-sensitive and -sustainable lifestyle in and around Portland Oregon, and does so with a wicked combination of gentle affection and stinging satire. 

Like so many creative comedies on cable TV these days (Lisa Kudrow’s The Comeback and Web Therapy; Laura Dern’s Enlightenment; Larry Davis’s Curb Your Enthusiasm), Portlandia makes you laugh and cringe at the same time.  It’s a sketch-based series in which every sketch stars the same two actors, Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen and lead guitarist/singer for Wild Flag, Carrie Brownstein.  It is shown on the Independent Film Channel (IFC).  This film is so much like the actual show that I thought it was from the show.  (Thanks to Steve Davis and Lloyd Alter for the correction.)




Watch 269 curated videos about sustainable communities on NRDCcommunities’ Vimeo and YouTube channels.

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Kaid Benfield writes about community, development, and the environment on Switchboard and in other national media.  For more posts, see his blog's home page.  

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Steve DMar 29 2013 09:46 AM


Though actually, that was an independent video from a local film festival (also known as Portlandia) — not the IFC show. Still great, of course!

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit

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