IFC's Emmy-nominated sketch comedy hit Portlandia returns to TV on Jan. 21 for its sixth season. Fans can tune in at 10 p.m. Eastern for the televised premiere, or head to IFC's website to watch the live stream.
For the show's 2016 run, creators Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen are reviving many of the well-known characters from seasons past, while experimenting with blended story lines and longer sketches. There will be guest stars aplenty and new trails blazed in season six, but the gently mocking Portlandia vibe remains intact.
"I think of it as a show set in a mindset that could be anywhere," Brownstein told the Seattle Times. "Almost anywhere you travel there are pockets of preciousness and people trying to live a certain way by certain progressive ideals and being thwarted by their own fastidiousness."
What pockets of preciousness lie ahead in the show's sixth season? Here's what we know so far.
Guest stars: There will be plenty of famous faces in this Portlandia cycle. Comedian Louis C.K., Kyle MacLachlan of Twin Peaks fame, Workaholics' Jillian Bell, Mitchell Hurwitz and Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development, Zoe Kravitz (most recently seen in Mad Max), Kroll Show's John Levenstein and Natasha Lyonne from Orange Is the New Black are among the actors scheduled to appear in Portlandia's sixth season. There will be guest stars from the music world — Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips, along with artist Glenn Danzig — and from radio (think NPR's Kai Ryssdal). And, of course, fans can expect Steve Buschemi to pop in, too.
Plot lines: Season six will see intriguing, inventive twists in familiar story lines: According to Armisen, they'll be doing "more of the long-form story lines" that have done well in previous years. What to expect? The weirdos will go to the beach. Phantom noodles will venture forth from refrigerators. Fred will go gray. Drones will chop man-buns from the heads of locals, as the official trailer indicates. "We also mixed and matched some of the characters," Armisen said. There will be a two-part episode in which his character moves to Austin, and a "very graphic" Brownstein-Armisen sex scene. "Genital to genital," Brownstein said; "as close as can be," Armisen added. That won't be the only steamy romance for the show's staple characters: Feminist bookstore co-owner Candace will bare all to her new flame Claire (of Doug and Claire). All this and so much more.