Schitt’s Creek is a show where the main character talks to her many, many wigs. It is a show which manages to make a storyline about bedwetting genuinely romantic. It is a show that’s set the record for most Emmy wins for a comedy in a single season. It is a show that you need to be watching right now.
Co-created by Eugene Levy and Dan Levy, who are father and son both on and off screen, Schitt’s Creek begins with the formerly ultra-rich Rose family moving into a motel room in the titular small town, bought by Johnny Rose for his son David as a gag gift (as you do). It delivers on the crude comedy its title promises. The Roses are great at being socialites, but not so great at being good people, or at being a family. The process of them working on these things is really, really funny.
Catherine O’Hara as matriarch Moira Rose is a revelation. Exhibit A: her eccentric accent, which is both a source of laughter and a subject of actual linguistic analyses. Exhibit B: everything she says in that accent, like her nuggets of parental wisdom (“Gossip is the devil’s telephone. Best to just hang up.”) and advice about posting nudes online, (“Never! Never without good lighting!”)
More than anything, Schitt’s Creek is kind. It’s kind to its characters. As easy it would be to reduce the Roses to caricatures, they are portrayed as human (or at least, as trying their best to be human). They’re relatable (even despite the fact that David, a grown man, thinks that the minimum wage is $45/hour). But the joy of the show doesn’t come from watching the Roses do crazy things and thinking to yourself, “What planet are they from?!” It comes from watching the Roses do crazy things and make mistakes and learn to be kind to eachother, all while staying true to their eccentric selves. Like when Alexis shows up to her brother’s wedding in a wedding dress (“This is not a wedding dress! It’s a white full-length gown!”) and walks him down the aisle, which is simultaneously sweet and also borderline incestuous – a brand of funny that only Schitt’s Creek could pull off.
And the show is, I think, one of those rare gems that is more than just a comedy and is really, actually a WAY OF LIFE. And not in the way that I tell myself The Office is to justify watching it for the millionth time. What Schitt’s Creek does better than any other show on television is make you look at the world with kinder eyes. It blesses us with David and Patrick, the couple at the heart of what is hands-down the best love story on television. And gives us a revolutionarily casual depiction of a community without homophobia. This depiction is meaningful because it doesn’t moralise – it shows us what life could be like. Dan Levy perfectly articulates the magic of this: “If you put something like that (homophobia) out of the equation, you’re saying that… shouldn’t exist.”
If you watch just one episode, it has to be Season 4, Episode 6: “Open Mic.” It starts with Moira finding her co-workers’ sonogram on her desk and responding as any mother/long-time benign neglecter of her children would, by asking, “Who put a picture of a ghost on my desk??” More funny stuff is said and then we get to Patrick, who suggests hosting an open mic night, much to David’s horror. But when Patrick serenades David with Tina Turner’s “The Best”, you can see the mortification on David’s face melting into tenderness, and then David is tearing up and his mother Moira is tearing up and so are you. Schitt’s Creek will win you over. It is, quite simply, the best.
Art by Emma Hewlett