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Schitt’s Creek


‘…this light-hearted, big-hearted soapy comedy show has hit the spot for many in lockdown…’

It’s as yet unclear whether streaming will be the lifeline or the death-knell of what we used to call cinema; the phrase ‘Netflix and chill’ suggests that the home viewing experience is less about intensity than about providing the narrative that’s closer to easy listening. Schitt’s Creek’s six year success by stealth fits this model, and that’s not to play it down; this light-hearted, big-hearted soapy comedy show has hit the spot for many in lockdown as an easy way to forget our worries and revel in the misfortunes of others.

I’m not getting bored of my stolen new phrase ‘twit wealth’, and that what the Rose family are missing; once the toast of the NYC party scene due to the prominence of the Rose Video brand created by Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy), the Rose family are abruptly decanted from their mansion and find themselves in the tiny, undistinguished hamlet of Schitt’s Creek. In tow are Johnny’s ostentatious wife Moira (Catherine O’Hara) and their two grown-up but utterly childish children, David (Dan Levy) and Alexis (Annie Murphy). The four of them are forced to share adjoining hotel-rooms in a dive motel vaguely run by Stevie (Emily Hampshire) until Johnny can find a way to turn around their misfortunes and get back to the Big Apple lifestyle they all miss.

Schitt’s Creek’s initial appeal to cineastes comes from re-teaming Levy Sr and O’Hara, a familiar duo from Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and from their Second City comedy work back in the 80’s. The two have comic timing up the wazoo, with Johnny’s avuncular charms not getting him far with the town’s ramshackle mayor Roland Schitt (Chris Elliott) while Moira bemoans her lack of good fortune but refuses to drop her standards when it comes to outlandish clothes and wigs; her outfit for the wedding which climaxes the 80 episode run is choice. But each central character gets equal time, and David and Alexis are rounded characters, not just support. David is a fragile soul with a wardrobe of hideous jumpers and extreme sensitivity to his own emotions; he bemoans a partner who left him ‘for a stuffed animal’. Alexis, meanwhile, flirts with the locals and with the idea of career intervention; she works with, and sleeps with, the local vet, and eventually makes her breakthrough as CEO of her own publicity company when she organises a stunt for Moira’s Interflix movie The Crows Have Eyes 3; The Crow-ening. Alexis offers a specific brand of haughty selfishness that’s endearing; it would be fun to attempt to draw a time-line of all the life lessons she’s learned, whether fighting Somali pirates on David Geffen’s yacht, or learing about composting from Gwyneth Paltrow.

Without seeking to do much but entertain, Schitt’s Creek fully deserves its freshly grown cultural status; while most of the characters are genuinely horrible, self-regarding types, it’s amusing to see them humbled, and somewhere on that uphill learning curve, we end up sympathising with them and wishing them well. The heart of the programme is arguably Stevie, the humble clerk who gets pulled into the various schemes of the Rose family, and ends up doing everything from being an air-hostess to playing Sally Bowles in an amateur production of Cabaret. Like Stevie, we initially see the Rose family as idiots, but sympathise with them anyway because there’s not much else to do. As we all contemplate our reduced circumstances in 2020, Schitt’s Creek is just what the world needs; a silly, funny, and occasionally profound look at snobbery, inverted or otherwise, wealth and family


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  1. Without a doubt, my favorite show of the last two years. I say that because my wife and I discovered it two years ago, and we have seen every single season three times now! It’s the best 22-minute fodder for right before bed or during dinner. It is sweet, it is hilarious, it is endearing. It is the deadpan way I admire and laugh at most, yet it also has such a message of unconditional love. Also, I got to see their American tour in Denver where they took on Q/A and told us amazing stories about the episode shoots. They were just lovely to see in person. Only a month later, COVID…

    • Yup, we had to wait four months to see it in the UK, and by the time it came out, we were in the middle of a pandemic…

    • Sorry, I mixed this up with The Mandolorian! Both shows are great, this one is almost like a soap opera, great show as you say!

  2. I started watching it based on friends’ recommendations, but after the first few episodes I’m hard pressed to find the charm – I guess this is one of the series where watching all the episodes (or most of them) is required for finding the sympathy you mentioned

    • Yup, and a few comments came in saying that they gave up. It’s very much more of the same after that, but somehow the repetition makes it funnier as it goes. I wasn’t wowed after the first season.

    • And was for me for the first two seasons, but then I gave up struggling and learned to love it!

  3. I was expecting too much from this much-hyped show and gave up after a series. What was interesting to begin with became predictable and I may be old-fashioned but I do expect a good few laughs from a comedy.

    • That’s a fair point, and I’d agree that it started slow. But they get into a swing, and there’s more laugh-out-loud scenes towards the end. But they did not go for obvius gags, which I guess makes it a very slow burner…

  4. with the brilliance of Levy, Ohara and Elliot, I don’t know how I’ve flipped past this show so many times while looking for OTHER things to watch. Sometimes the outlandishness of PLENTY swamps great things. Now I have 80 episodes to catch up on? ooh, here we go! Thanks for cluing me in!

    • I’m the same, ignored this until I had a critical mass of people raving about performers that I’ve known about for decades. Clear your schedule, kick back and enjoy; despite everyoen else liking it, this is good stuff…

  5. I think that covid has changed movies. I’m not sure if it is the death knell of the theatre experience though.Once a vaccine gets out there and people get over being afraid, I suspect they’ll swarm back. At least initially. Until the next plague gets loose :-/

    • But with Warners and Disney going straight to streaming, there’s not much incentive to even try and open cinemas….and yes, not looking forward to the next plague, we’re not done with this one yet…

      • I did not realize those 2 studios were skipping cinemas altogether now. By the time a vaccine gets out, it will have been a full year. I’m not sure 90% of americans know how to function without a weekly dose of “Big Entertainment”.

        • And I think that’s the thinking here. 2020 had only one blockbuster, 2021 will have at least 20, and it’s just a shame that cinemas won’t be where we see most of them…

  6. Not the only show to grow roots when transplanted to Netflix, but a good example of a miss that becomes a hit through word of mouth….

  7. Agree with Levy and O’Hara. They can’t miss. Interesting that it was a hit, but not for the CBC, where it got started. It took being adopted by Netflix to make it.

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