Portlandia is back this March, and this clip featuring Tessa Thompson as a personal trainer who promises freedom from a constant news-saturated reality is the most real thing the series has ever offered to me.
Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen play two people who are deeply immersed in media, who have turned to exercise just to give themselves something else to focus on. Have you been reading my diary, Portlandia? Thompson quickly determines Armisen doesn’t have the physicality to escape his life, but Brownstein shows potential. The only thing standing in her way is a hatred of sustained physical activity—the usual issue with getting fit.
Anyone who has tried to sweat out the agony of the daily news cycle on a treadmill will relate to how Brownstein is taken in by Thompson’s strangely sensual promise of a runner’s high: It’s the one thing that erases all outside turmoil, melting away stress and worry, like “magic.” Until Twitter tells you a turkey died, or whatever. Man, I can’t wait to go to the gym.