By Lauren Edwards
Schitt’s Creek has become a Netflix must watch and was a perfect accompaniment for the lengthy intermittent lockdown that was thrust upon us over the last year. There was something quite ironic about watching a family mostly confined to their two adjoining motel rooms when you’re in the middle of a pandemic.
The Canadian grown show centres around the wealthy Rose family who lose their fortune and are forced to relocate to the town of Schitt’s Creek, a place that the Dad, Johnny Rose, bought for his son David for a joke but soon becomes their haven. Along with Mum Moira and daughter Alexis, we follow the foursome as they adapt to their new life, as residents in the local motel.
I don’t skate through life David! I walk through life, in really nice shoes.Alexis Rose
The family are intentionally unlikeable at first, and to begin with, I just could not warm to them. So, I walked away from it, thinking it wasn’t for me. However, everyone kept talking about the show. They spoke about it with such affection, describing how hilarious and addictive it was. Then it swept the award shows, picking up seven major comedy awards at The Emmy’s and setting a record for winning all four major acting categories for lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor and supporting actress.
So, I decided to give it another shot, and it wasn’t long before I was hooked and willingly watched the Rose family as they started to evolve in their unique situation. The other Schitt’s Creek inhabitants soon became fond additions, and it was impossible to not visit them all on a daily basis.
The acting is superb, and you can’t help but become invested in the characters. Eugene and Dan Levy, who play Johnny and David Rose, are real life father and son and are also the creators of this much-loved show. Anne Murphy had almost given up on acting before landing the part of Alexis and the hilarious Catherine O’Hara delivers a unique crazy charm in Mum Moira with her bizarre slightly English accent, incredible couture monochrome outfits and her family of wigs she refers to as ‘the girls’.
If airplane safety videos have taught me anything, David, it’s that a mother puts her own mask on first.Moira Rose
What is clever about the show is that despite Schitt’s Creek being considered a ‘backward town’, it embraces some very modern storylines. The relationship between David and Patrick is heartfelt and as a gay union shows a refreshing lack of any kind of homophobic reaction.
SPOILER ALERT: Following a one-night stand between David and motel receptionist Stevie, the couple decide to become friends and then find themselves in a ‘throuple’ with a shared boyfriend. When Stevie quizzes David about his sexual orientation, using a wine analogy, she asks if he drinks red or white wine, and David replies, ‘I do drink red wine, but I also drink white wine… And I’ve been known to sample the occasional rosé. And a couple summers back, I tried a merlot that used to be a chardonnay, which got a bit complicated. I like the wine, not the label.”
Fairly ground-breaking stuff for a sitcom, yet it is delivered with such subtlety that you feel exceptionally proud of them. My teenage daughter and I quickly binge watched all six seasons and, like many other fans the world over, felt bereft as we cried and laughed our way through the show finale.
The writing is top notch, and you will find yourself laughing out loud one minute and moved to tears the next. Sarcastic wit followed by heartfelt prose plus two incredible, very different, covers of Tina Turner’s The Best that I instantly rewound and watched again.
It’s just one long string of really bad luck and I don’t know what kind of carnage I inflicted in my past life to deserve it. I must have been Dracula or a spin instructor or something.David Rose
The irony is that it almost wasn’t made. Dan Levy pitched the show to American networks but to no avail and eventually had to take it home to Canada to finally sell it to the state run service CBC. Thankfully, Netflix picked it up in 2017 to huge success, but Levy always ensured that the show would demonstrate human drama first and comedy second and that his ultimate goal would be that the Rose family would realise the value of love over money.