'Portlandia' duo Armisen, Brownstein discuss 'Battlestar Galactica' sketch

SHOW PATROL

  • Carrie Brownstein, Edward James Olmos, Fred Armisen, Ronald D. Moore. Jamie Callus and someone who is not Ronald D. Moore on the "Portlandia" set.
Carrie Brownstein, Edward James Olmos, Fred Armisen, Ronald D. Moore.… (IFC )
January 13, 2012|By Curt Wagner | RedEye

Have you ever sat down to watch an episode from a full season DVD set of a TV series, and found yourself still on the couch hours later watching just one more episode?

That was Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's inspiration for the latest episode of "Portlandia," titled appropriately "On Moore Episode." It airs at 9 p.m. Jan. 13 on IFC, but you can see it at the network's web site already.

In the episode, Doug (Armisen) and Claire (Brownstein) get pulled into a days-long "Battlestar Galactica" marathon. When they discover they've watched the entire series, they're so obsessed they want creator Ronald D. Moore to write one more episode.

They search for Moore in Portland, and what comes next is hilarious. Watch a bit of it below. Brownstein and Armisen both are "BSG" fans, but Brownstein admits that Armisen has watched more of it.

"But we both would say we were fans and we were both pretty starstruck when it all came down to it that day," she said, talking about filming the sketch with Edward James Olmos, who played Admiral Adama, and James Callis, who starred as Gaius Baltar. Moore appears too, but not as you might remember him. And some local Portland actor Ken Reynolds takes part in the skit.

Getting the "BSG" alums to appear in the episode was just a matter of asking, Armisen said. Still, it wasn't a sure thing until late in the process.

"We really had our fingers crossed and we hoped," he said. "I think it came together very last minute. It was very like, 'I hope this can happen. There is a good chance.' They kept telling us it might happen and that it might turn into definitely."

The sketch, like all the sketches in "Portlandia," skillfully and lovingly spoofs something that so many of us recognize or can relate to. Who hasn't been sucked into an unintended TV marathon, or into a marathon of web surfing or some other pasttime? The "BSG" sketch just happens not to focus on Portland as much as their others skits. I asked Brownstein if the people of Portland are ever offended by anything she and Armisen do on the show.

"I think that they have a good sense of humor," she said. "I think that Portland is a pretty savvy city. It's definitely an analytical city and a self-reflective city, and also a sensitive one, but I think that for the most part people have just been really supportive and we kind of feel like we're being cheered on as we run a marathon.

"We really work under the auspices of people here. We film in their homes and in local businesses and in government offices and so we kind of need the support of the city and they've really come through with that."

"Portlandia" returned for its second season Jan. 6, drawing about 500,000 total viewers for the season premiere, which was an increase from last season of about 39 percent, IFC reports. See what your friends are talking about and check out "Portlandia" at 9 p.m. Fridays on IFC.

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