While I was home this past summer, the rest of my family started watching Schitt’s Creek. Having already seen the series and loved it myself, I started rewatching it with them as they watched it for the first time. It was during this rewatch that I fell even more in love with the show and realized that it was the perfect antidote to all of the chaos happening in the world right now.
If you haven’t seen it, Schitt’s Creek is a Canadian comedy series created by father-son duo Eugene and Daniel Levy about the wealthy Rose family — Johnny (Eugene Levy), Moira (Catherine O’Hara) and their adult children David (Daniel Levy) and Alexis (Annie Murphy). When the family loses all of their money, they are forced to move to the small town of Schitt’s Creek, which Johnny once bought for David as a joke. The show follows the Roses as they adjust to their newly frugal lifestyle — all four of them have to live together in a motel — and try to find their places in the town.
After five seasons with few nominations and no wins, the show brought home a record-breaking nine Emmy Awards this year for its sixth and final season — and deservedly so.
To start off, the show is flat-out hilarious. Props in particular to O’Hara’s depiction of Moira, whose indistinguishable accent, collection of outlandish wigs and flair for theatrics make for one of the funniest and most memorable characters I’ve ever seen on TV. The sibling banter between David and Alexis is also always a comedy gold mine, and the many side characters in the town, like Twyla, the perpetually optimistic waitress, and Ted, the strait-laced veterinarian with an affinity for puns, add their own quirks and antics to the show.
However, a big part of what makes Schitt’s Creek so delightful to watch and what makes it such a special show is seeing the heartwarming character development over the course of the show’s six-season run. When we meet the Rose family, they are what you would expect of a materialistic, snobby, entitled rich family. They are horrified at not only having to live in a run-down motel in a nondescript town but also at having to spend so much time together as a family when they are used to their independent lives in far-flung corners of the globe. Throughout the show, we see the family grow to respect and love the town they once reluctantly had to call home, and they grow to become a much stronger, supportive family unit than we (and they themselves) ever could have imagined.
None of the characters on the show are one-note — the actors all bring incredible depth to the characters, and this makes it easy to become attached to them. For example, instead of playing Alexis as the superficial, ditzy socialite that we’d expect based on how she’s perceived at first glance, Murphy adds layers to her performance, turning Alexis into someone with a sense of determination and immense heart that makes it impossible not to root for her.
Then there’s Johnny, the former video store mogul who is forced to reevaluate his purpose in life. Over the course of the show, he truly becomes the glue that holds the Rose family together, learning to do so through love, support and dedication instead of the money that once held them together by default.
The show is also monumental for its depiction of LGBTQ characters. David, an openly pansexual man, is not ostracized for his sexuality or treated any differently because of it but goes through the same trials and tribulations in life and love that we all do. We see other characters come to terms with their sexuality and come out to their families, and they are met with the same level of love and acceptance that permeates the rest of the show.
And that’s really the key of the show. Whether it be familial love, romantic love, love between friends or anything in between, above all else, Schitt’s Creek is a celebration of love.
I think Daniel Levy said it best during his acceptance speech for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmy Awards in September:
“Our show, at its core, is about the transformational effects of love and acceptance, and that is something that we need more of now than we’ve ever needed before.”
So with that in mind, if you’re ever looking for a 20-minute escape from the craziness of the world we live in, if you want to watch a show that will make you cry from laughter and happiness and good feelings all around, leave your cynicism at the door and pop on an episode of Schitt’s Creek — it’s simply the best.