Schitt’s Creek Review: The Feel-Good Comedy We All Need Right Now

Published Categorized as Review No Comments on Schitt’s Creek Review: The Feel-Good Comedy We All Need Right Now
Poster of Schitt's Creek
Poster of Schitt's Creek

Schitt’s Creek is a Canadian/American TV sitcom that broadcasted on CBC Television from 2015 to 2020, consisting of 80 episodes spread over six seasons. The show was created by Dan Levy and his father, Eugene Levy.

It was produced by Not a Real Company Productions and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The concept for the series originated from Dan Levy’s curiosity about how affluent families, often portrayed on American reality TV, would cope with the loss of their wealth. He collaborated with his father to develop the series and pitched it to various Canadian and American networks.

CBC Television acquired it in Canada, and it secured the final funding for production by selling it to Pop in the United States. Although initially not very popular, its availability on Netflix following its third season resulted in a significant increase in popularity, thanks to the “Netflix bump” and an engaging social media presence.

Schitt’s Creek was met with critical acclaim and gained a devoted following, particularly for its outstanding writing, humor, and acting. It has been honored with numerous awards, such as the 18 Canadian Screen Awards and 2 ACTRA Awards. The series also made history as the first Canadian comedy to be nominated for a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Comedy Series.

The show received recognition through 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards, with one specifically for its exceptional performance as an ensemble in a comedy series. Additionally, it received an impressive 19 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, with two of them being for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Impressively, 15 of these nominations were for its final season, setting a record for the most Emmy nominations for a comedy series in its last season. Furthermore, the show’s authentic representation of LGBTQ+ characters garnered it three nominations for the GLAAD Media Award in the category of Outstanding Comedy Series, with the show emerging victorious on two occasions.

Schitt’s Creek Storyline

Poster of Schitt's Creek
Poster of Schitt’s Creek

The Rose family, consisting of Johnny (Eugene Levy), a video store tycoon, his wife Moira (Catherine O’Hara), a former soap opera star, and their adult children David (Dan Levy) and Alexis (Annie Murphy), who have been pampered all their lives, experience a sudden financial downfall after their business manager cheats them.

Their only remaining possession is a small, isolated town called Schitt’s Creek that Johnny had purchased as a gag gift for David’s birthday in 1991. Despite the family’s initial reluctance to settle in Schitt’s Creek, they gradually adapt to their new life and begin to rebuild their fortunes from scratch.

After losing their fortune, the Roses are compelled to relocate to Schitt’s Creek, where they settle into two adjoining rooms in a shabby motel. As the family tries to adapt to their new circumstances, their privileged attitudes clash with the town’s more unsophisticated inhabitants, which include Mayor Roland Schitt (Chris Elliott), his wife Jocelyn (Jenn Robertson), and their son Mutt (Tim Rozon).

Other notable townspeople include motel manager Stevie Budd (Emily Hampshire), town council members Ronnie Lee (Karen Robinson) and Bob Currie (John Hemphill), veterinarian Ted Mullens (Dustin Milligan), and Jazzagal member and Café Tropical waitress Twyla Sands (Sarah Levy).

Schitt’s Creek Review

Poster of Schitt's Creek
Poster of Schitt’s Creek

From the outset, Schitt’s Creek faced significant challenges in winning over audiences. Its title alone, an unappealing pun, set a low bar for the show’s humor. Adding to this, the premise of a wealthy family struggling to adapt to life in a small, rural town was a clichéd and overused trope, making it unlikely that the show would last beyond its first season.

Read:   'Beyond Evil' K-drama Review: Cast, Plot & Streaming

Co-created and starring Dan Levy, who was previously known for his work on MTV Canada, and his father Eugene, who was best known for his role as Jim’s embarrassing father in the American Pie films, the show was initially rejected by both HBO and Showtime. It eventually found a home on Canada’s CBC and a lesser-known US pay-to-view channel, Pop.

Even the show’s standout star, Catherine O’Hara, was initially lukewarm about taking on the role of Moira, the Rose family’s self-absorbed matriarch, citing her own lack of enthusiasm. In just five years and over five seasons, Schitt’s Creek underwent a remarkable transformation, becoming a beloved cult classic and arguably the best sitcom of the last decade.

The show is renowned for its razor-sharp wit, quotable catchphrases (such as “Ew, David”), and, most importantly, its authentic, heartwarming portrayal of family and community. Its legion of devoted fans includes Oscar-winning actresses Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as pop stars Paula Abdul and Mariah Carey, who even tweeted about the show last year.

Even less famous fans flock to see the cast on their Up Close & Personal tours, often filling 3,000-seat theaters across the United States. As the series has progressed over its six seasons, the original simplistic concept of a wealthy family losing their fortune and having to live in a town bought as a joke has evolved into a more nuanced and well-developed storyline.

The show’s signature brand of haughty humor, reminiscent of Arrested Development, is balanced with heartwarming moments akin to A Good Place. Throughout the series, Moira and Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy), along with their adult children, the snobbish and pansexual David (Dan Levy), and the Paris Hilton (Annie Murphy), are challenged by the quirky community of Schitt’s Creek to embark on a journey of self-discovery.

The character development is deftly handled, resulting in a fully-realized and believable story arc. Dan Levy said the show’s initial underdog status played a key role in generating passionate word of mouth. “It was similar to the Justin Bieber effect,” he says from his LA home.

“In the sense that people discovered Bieber on YouTube and felt an immediate sense of protectiveness towards him as if it was a secret they were fortunate enough to share. People truly felt like they had discovered this show and wanted to persuade their friends and family to watch it.”

In 2017, when Schitt’s Creek was gaining momentum, Netflix acquired the show, which not only enabled it to reach global audiences but also helped to keep it in the public consciousness, as Dan Levy explains. “The success of being on Netflix meant that the show stayed relevant throughout the year. It was that shared experience that helped it to gain popularity with each passing season.”

The show Schitt’s Creek has managed to distance itself from the Hollywood machine, allowing it to develop without being burdened by the need to chase ratings or feature high-profile cameos. This has resulted in a unique, charming, and slightly quirky show that defies expectations by upturning the central premise at every turn.

Read:   Review: Grey's Anatomy Season 19 Episode 9

Instead of making fun of the town, the show focuses on a loving and open-minded community and makes the Rose family the butt of the jokes, according to Dan Levy. Levy’s inspiration for Schitt’s Creek came from his fascination with the Kardashians losing all their money and a 90s story about Kim Basinger buying a town in Georgia.

He believed it was crucial to have the initially aloof Roses reveal their vulnerable sides and allow the audience to relate to them. He drew inspiration from his father’s involvement in Christopher Guest’s endearing mockumentaries.

As the show progresses, the Roses become more involved with the community. Moira joins a local Cappella group called the Jazzagals, Johnny takes over the motel where they are staying, Alexis completes her education and becomes a PR, and David opens the Rose Apothecary, a high-end lifestyle boutique with expensive lip balms.

A Still from Schitt's Creek
A Still from Schitt’s Creek

In season three, David meets Patrick (Noah Reid), a more practical person. Levy has received praise for the show’s handling of sexuality, including David coming out as pansexual (“I like the wine and not the label,” he says in an early episode) and the development of his relationship with Patrick (a pivotal scene involving an acoustic version of Tina Turner’s The Best is particularly moving).

Levy saw an opportunity to share stories from an underrepresented perspective in television as a gay person. He recognized that many LGBTQ+ narratives are often stereotyped or used to depict tragedy. Therefore, he made the decision to set the show in a completely accepting town rather than trying to overcome homophobia through the storyline.

According to Levy, by removing homophobia, the show does not provide a platform for homophobes to see themselves. He believes that exposing homophobia only validates it. David’s transformation in the show is unpredictable, but Alexis’s change is nothing short of miraculous. Alexis is a character inspired by the Kardashians, Lindsay Lohan, and the Olsens.

She has the same vocal fry and exaggerated gestures, but she also shows a softer side early on, making her more relatable. At the conclusion of the series, she had evolved into the emotional core of the show.

In season five of the show, Alexis performs the electropop hit A Little Bit Alexis, which became a viral sensation and inspired many TikTok performances. Murphy co-wrote the song with her musician friends over a two-day session, aiming to create a catchy tune that people would enjoy. Levy is proud of the song’s success, stating that it has been remixed multiple times and is a staple at West Hollywood gay bars.

Schitt’s Creek has maintained its cultural significance, even resulting in regular drag nights where fans cosplay as the show’s eccentric character Moira Rose. This raises the question of why the show has ended. While actress Annie Murphy expresses her willingness to continue playing Alexis until she’s 75, she is content with the decision to end the show on its own terms.

It’s uncommon for a series to be able to conclude on its own accord rather than abruptly being canceled, which can lead to rushed and unsatisfying endings. Therefore, Murphy is grateful that Schitt’s Creek was able to be brought to a finale on the writers’ terms.

Read:   The Curse of Oak Island Season 10 Episode 6: Release Date & Streaming Guide

Dan Levy, co-creator and star of Schitt’s Creek, believes that it was crucial to wrap up the Roses’ story before the hype surrounding the show started to affect its creative direction. Levy explains that they were not fully aware of the show’s massive success until they were already in the process of wrapping it up, which allowed the show to maintain its purity from beginning to end without being affected by outside pressure.

By not being burdened by the weight of expectations, the show’s writers were able to remain true to their creative vision and deliver a satisfying conclusion to the series. This approach has also helped to preserve the show’s legacy as a cult classic, appreciated for its unique blend of humor, heart, and relatable characters.

Our Verdict

Schitt’s Creek is not a conventional tale of redemption, where selfish characters suddenly become selfless. The show does not offer any neatly contrived life lessons at the conclusion of every episode. Instead, it presents a more realistic portrayal of personal growth and self-improvement. For example, Moira, a character who is aloof and forgetful, still struggles to remember her daughter’s middle name and longs to return to her old life.

However, the show’s heartwarming and inclusive nature has resonated with audiences, similar to another popular show, The Good Place. The characters in Schitt’s Creek have all undergone significant personal transformations throughout the series, but these changes have not come easily or immediately. Instead, they are a result of the characters’ relationships with one another and their willingness to learn from their mistakes.

Dan Levy, who co-created the show and played one of the main characters, David Rose, signed a three-year deal with ABC. He has revealed that the reaction to Schitt’s Creek’s all-inclusive mindset has made him hyper-aware of the power that TV has to promote social significance. He believes it is crucial that whatever he creates next has that same level of importance and impact.

Amidst the chaos of the world today, Schitt’s Creek provides a sanctuary of love, hope, and inclusivity that people yearn for. It is a show that is not just entertaining but also serves as a symbol of positivity and kindness that people crave in their lives.

In a world where negativity and divisiveness are prevalent, Schitt’s Creek stands out for its simplicity and genuine portrayal of flawed yet lovable characters who grow and evolve without contrived life lessons or sudden transformations. Schitt’s Creek has created a space for authentic character development, allowing even the unlikeliest of people to improve themselves.

In conclusion, Schitt’s Creek is more than just a comedy series; it’s a beacon of hope in a world that desperately needs it. As Murphy suggests, every person needs a proverbial paddle, a safe place where they can take refuge and feel the warmth of love and inclusivity. Schitt’s Creek is that paddle, and its impact will undoubtedly be felt for years to come. 

Our Rating: ⭐ (4.7/5).

Also Read: You TV Show Review: When Paranoia Is Really Justified

By Shweta Jaiswal

Shweta is a content writer with a BA(Hons) from Banaras Hindu University and she is currently pursuing MA from IGNOU. She loves to watch movies and she can not stop herself from binge watch TV series and whenever she is not writing, you can find her singing and reading.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × four =