Portlandia, Season 3, Episode 8: Bed and Breakfast Soft Opening, Review

Where have all the real men gone?

The pressures of creating a welcoming atmosphere overwhelm Nancy and Peter in the latest episode of Portlandia, “Bed and Breakfast Soft Opening.” Earlier in the season, Peter and Nancy decided to get into the Bed and Breakfast business and now they realize that you actually have to accommodate your guests according to the brochure.

There has been no shortage of creativity in Portlandia this season, but “Bed and Breakfast Soft Opening” leans on the inability of Peter and Nancy to be reliable hosts for the majority of the laughs in the episode. Stu and Donald (Stu’s Stews) and an elderly Black couple are the B&B’s first guests. That helps move along when some of the episodes other skits fail to stick.

Portlandia’s character development has been strong all season and the more we see of a character helps the show weave stories together to build a fuller city.  We continue to see Peter and Nancy return to main roles and in this episode they come undone. There is something magical about seeing someone tightly wound unravel and when Peter and Nancy panic, we bear witness to the comedy that has made Fred Armisen big time.

Characters of the Week:

Peter and Nancy make a mess of the opening of their B&B but you have to give them credit for sticking to their all-inclusive brochure. Having to rub down Stu and Donald with oil makes Peter a trooper. We’re confident they will improve their B&B skills in future episodes.

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Catch Phrases:

“When you look at the North Star remember us!”

“Truth is stranger than fan fiction.”

Underrated Skit of the Week:

I’ve tried to stay away from using superlatives, but the opening skit of the episode was easily one of the most random in the series. A little boy named Matthew devises this massive mousetrap like game utilizing trash from his garage. When his big brother comes home to seal the deal with his lady friend, he picks up Matthew and accidentally sets off the contraption called the Rube Goldberg Machine. It has nothing to do with the rest of the episode but Matthew is adorable and his calculations proved to be impressive. The little guy is indeed an underrated talent.

Hipster Moments:

What embodies a real man these days? Anyone can grow a fearsome beard but gone are the days were men busted out the tools and built furniture from scratch for their women. Portland Monthly looks for a real man to grace the cover of their “man” issue and they find Caleb, who is revered by the women of Portland for his handiwork.