‘Vancouvria’ spoofs Oregonians’ views of The Couv

By Courtney Sherwood, Columbian freelance writer

Published:

 

On the Web

“Vancouvria” videos:

http://youtube.com/Vancouvria

“Vancouvria” Facebook updates:

http://www.facebook.com/Vancouvria

If “Portlandia” is a TV spoof about life in Portland, what do you call a Web-based spoof about life in Vancouver? “Vancouvria,” apparently.

A video by that name debuted Sunday at “Attack of the Flix,” a Portland-based monthly film competition. Now it’s generating buzz on YouTube as well.

Created by Brighton West, a Portland filmmaker, the short video — online at http://youtube.com/Vancouvria — puts to music a number of stereotypes that Oregonians have about Southwest Washington. It claims that “Vancouver’s like an alternative universe” — one where people can get groceries bagged in plastic, drive in a bike lane without getting a ticket, and where traffic on the Interstate 5 Bridge warrants a bigger bridge that Portland should pay for.

“The dream of the suburbs is alive in Vancouver,” a group of singers intones from a Walmart parking lot. That song mirrors one familiar to viewers of “Portlandia,” a six-episode show that aired on cable channel IFC earlier this year and poked gentle fun at Portland stereotypes. That show, which has been renewed and will begin airing new episodes in January, featured the lyrics “The dream of the ’90s is alive in Portland” in one of its early episodes.

Though “Vancouvria” seems unlikely to reach the same large audience as the show that inspired it, the video posted Sunday quickly went viral, attracting 300 hits its first day, then 20,000, then close to 60,000 views by Wednesday morning.

That far surpasses the several hundred views of “Salemia,” an earlier spoof of “Portlandia” that looked at life in Salem, Ore.

Filmmaker West said that more episodes of the Vancouver show will be forthcoming.

Online reaction to “Vancouvria” has been largely positive, with many commenters on The Columbian’s website posting amused remarks, though a few took issue with the I-5 bridge jab. A speaker in the video seemed to spread the misconception that Oregonians would bear the bulk of the costs of building the Columbia River Crossing replacement bridge. According to current estimates, Washington and Oregon will make roughly equal contributions to the bridge, with more than half of its costs coming from federal funds and tolls.

“I liked it until they jabbed us in the end with the bridge crack,” Chris Stevens wrote.

West said he hopes that viewers see the videos for what they are — a joke.

“It’s really meant to be fun, kind of like how ‘Portlandia’ pokes fun at some of the stereotypes of Portland,” he said. “I was poking fun at some of the stereotypes of Vancouver.”