Before I watched Schitt’s Creek, I feel like I had totally heard of it before, but I knew absolutely nothing about it. My mom had been watching it on Netflix before me, and she had been constantly telling me that I “HAVE TO WATCH IT”. I kept hearing an earful about how I am exactly like one of the characters on the show. To be completely honest, I did not listen at first. She told me the show had won many Emmy’s (and been nominated for many more this year), but I thought my mother perhaps was being a bit dramatic. How good could a TV show possibly be?
Well, this past weekend I finished the sixth and final season of Schitt’s Creek, and can proudly say maybe my mother wasn’t exaggerating. I watched all of the seasons in under a month, but it was simple, about 14 episodes per season and 30 minutes per episode. It was a breeze.
Schitt’s Creek revolves around the Roses’, a prominent, wealthy family with parents Johnny and Moira Rose and children Alexis and David. In the pilot, the Rose family loses all of their money due to a tax mix-up and all of their belongings are stripped away, except one. Decades earlier, Johnny bought a small town for his son (perfect item to add to your Christmas list, am I right?), this town’s name had a rather…vulgar connotation: Schitt’s Creek. They originally bought it as a joke, and this was one of the only possessions that the government did not have the rights to take away. With no house and nowhere to go, the Roses are advised to live in this town until they can get back on their feet. As the owners of the town, they are permitted to stay in a small, roadside motel for no charge. In the first episode, we start to meet some of the characters in the small town, like eclectic mayor, Roland Schitt and the motel manager, Stevie Budd. Throughout the series, it’s at times hard to remember that the characters are not real people. The characterization is other-worldly; I at times felt as if the characters were my own family and friends. The way the writers took each character on a journey through the six seasons of the show to make them each multi-dimensional and develop past how they were portrayed in the first season.
Another commendable thing the writers portrayed well in the show is small town life. I used to live in a town with a population of 2,000 in the mountains of North Carolina. This town, specifically, has been used as a site of filming for multiple movies including the 2017 Academy Award winning movie, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (they shot the movie in NC, but for some reason they said it was in Missouri of all places). To the critics of Hollywood, this movie was great! But I realized that they did not portray what it is like to live in a tiny town at all, as do most Hollywood projects set in small towns. They often all rely on stereotypes, ex: the crazy old man with a randomly deep southern accent or the redneck couple with just a few guns stowed away on their person at any given time. Now, Schitt’s Creek does have small town stereotypes in their show (the old, dumb car repairman or the redneck, air-head mayor with a beer belly), but it’s the way that they deal with these characters that makes the show special. They make these characters break free from a singular trait or mentality that is encapsulated in their character from the start. For example, we find out throughout the series that the beer-bellied mayor can be a loyal friend and intelligent businessman.
Schitt’s Creek also has received praise for how the writes handled the topic of sexuality. There were multiple same-sex relationships and they were treated as any straight relationship would be in a normal TV show, and that was something very powerful. In, “The Making of Schitt’s Creek” special at the end of the show, the writers explained that they found it to be more powerful to not have any reaction to these couples as opposed to making a big deal about the topic of coming out and overcoming discrimination. They said they wanted to paint a picture of an ideal world where there is no “buzz,” negative or positive around these relationships, and they are truly treated equally.
The chemistry between the actors on the show is to note as well, since there is a real life father-son duo playing parent in child in the show. And, of course, Catherine O’Hara working with Eugene Levy once again for another iconic project. I found myself sobbing over the relationships of the characters numerous times throughout the series.
Throughout my one month journey of watching this show I can proudly say that it ranks as the best TV show I have watched ever (and I watch a lot of TV shows), and I give my official endorsement for all the readers of the AMHS Talon that they should watch as well. Just remember, though, the first season is almost NEVER as good as the others ;)