In its four consistently solid seasons, Portlandia has had a slew of hilarious guest stars: Steve Buscemi as the guy trying re-brand celery, Jason Sudeikis as an organic farmer/polygamous cult leader, Kumail Nanjiani as the Around the World in 80 Plates waiter (and everything else). The show's off-kilter perspective lets everyone who comes on really tap into their weirdness. (Seriously, just look at those roles I mentioned again.)
But no matter how good Kyle MacLachlan is as the Mayor, the IFC show's stars will always be Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein and the long list of characters they play. The tag-team duo morphs into everything from punks to squares to over-the-hill hipsters in carefully crafted takedowns of pop culture and society's clichés. Over the past four seasons Armisen and Brownstein's creations have gone from tools of commentary to fully realized characters, some with deeply personal backstories and anecdotes that explain how they got so damn idiosyncratic. Portlandia started as a series that appeared to be wholly reliant on one-off sketches, but now it's clear that it's really just a handful of sitcoms shoved into one.
With the fifth season kicking off tonight, it's time for ranking of our favorite Portlandia duos. Admittedly, this was really hard, and if you asked me to do it again, the ranking would probably be very different. That's just how good all of these characters are.
Andrew Gruttadaro is the Pop Culture news editor. Every morning, he has the Cup of Joe, Side of Dough (99 cents) for breakfast. He also tweets here.