Every so often, we stumble upon a piece of work that takes us. Definitely, I was late to the Schitt’s Creek party, but that won’t stop me from celebrating it in all its warm, affecting, knee-slapping glory.
The Canadian comedy, masterminded by father-and-son duo Eugene and Dan Levy, tells the story of the Rose family’s fall from grace. Johnny (Eugene Levy), formerly a video store magnate, and his wife, Moira (Catherine O’Hara), a once celebrated soap opera star, together with their spoiled and clueless kids, Alexis (Annie Murphie) and David (Dan Levy), must now navigate a life of poverty they have never known before. With only one asset left, a remote town called Schitt’s Creek (which they had bought years before as a joke), the Roses move into two adjacent rooms at a run-down motel and restart their lives the best they can.
It’s easy for such a premise to become just another run-of-the-mill riches-to-rags sitcom, but there’s a magic within the titular community that will convince even the most skeptical to keep an open mind. It could be the setting’s unassuming provincial appeal, the colorful cast of characters’ effortless chemistry, the show’s overall wit and warmth, or all of the above.
Throughout the show’s six seasons, the Roses learn their lessons and humble themselves, somehow without losing their, dare I say, lovable bougie attitudes. Filled with both wisdom and wisecracks, they take us through a journey that’s just as interesting and exciting as the destination.
Long-time collaborators Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara couldn’t be a more perfect pair, and individually, they do absolutely no wrong too. Levy’s Johnny holds his own as he tries to revive his fallen family’s glory, all while juggling dealing with his eccentric wife’s dramatic meltdowns and teaching his children some overdue life lessons. O’Hara’s Moira, admittedly my favorite of the bunch, is an absolute delight, from her wigs to her accents, but more importantly for her impressive character development. Perhaps the most resistant to change (to the point of delusional) in the Rose family, Moira opened herself to forming relationships in and even serving the community.
As for the siblings, Dan Levy’s David and Annie Murphie’s Alexis embark on their own journeys too. From out-of-touch and pretentious, David blossoms into a (still pretentious) savvy and independent business owner and also meets the love of his life. Beautiful and bored, Alexis first busies herself with romantic affairs, but then turns inward and pursues being her own person.
Through all that, we’re accompanied by the hilarious ensemble that completes the winning Schitt’s Creek formula: Stevie (Emily Hampshire), who becomes David’s best friend but not before becoming his friend-with-benefit first; the town’s mayor, Roland (Chris Elliott), who may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but will have your back when you need it; Jocelyn (Jenn Roberston), just the sweetest, purest lady you’ll find in town; Twyla (Sarah Levy, Dan’s sister in real life), who’s like the best friend we all need; and many more talented cast members.
All that talent paired with stellar writing, Schitt’s Creek has easily become one of today’s most beloved sitcoms. And while it’s a shame the show’s over, it ended when it should, allowing all of us to savor the magic.