If a family can fall from grace and lose every penny, yet still be this funny, this beautiful, and this well dressed, then there’s hope for us all.
Schitt’s Creek is just the dose of gleeful escape and madcap positivity everyone needs right now. Although the first series of this addictive Canadian sitcom was written back in 2015, it feels remarkably apt for our times.
A family being forced to live together in a constrained space, attempting to conquer adversity, trying to find the best in a bad situation. Sound familiar? Fortunately, not all of us have to go back to living with our parents. (Will someone think of the children!)
I only started watching Schitt’s Creek last month after it hit critical mass: enough friends from unrelated social spheres (remember them?) told me I just had to watch it. And I’m pleased to report they were right.
If you’ve not seen it yet then (a) you’re in for a treat, and (b) here’s the setup (minor spoiler alert):
In the first scene of episode 1, the doorbell rings and a maid descends the staircase of a home so grand it must technically be classed as a palace. Before you even set eyes on the Rose family, the inland revenue begins raiding their home, seizing their belongings.
They have 15 minutes to pick up their personal effects – which for the mother, Moira, includes packing several suitcases of increasingly insane wigs – before they are turfed out, destitute.
They haven’t knowingly done anything wrong – they’re too clueless for that – but it transpires their business manager has been swindling them and not paying their taxes.
They are left with one morsel of hope, though – one asset the government allows them to retain – an entire town. It was one that the father, Johnny, bought for his son, David, back in 1991 as a joke. The reason? It’s called Schitt’s Creek.
The Schitt family (distant cousins to the Fockers?) have run the town for decades, mainly into the ground. So although it may be the Rose’s saving grace, it’s not exactly one to which they’re accustomed.
They have swapped the Mandarin for a motel, thread count for threadbare – and worse of all they have to live in adjoining family rooms. And, well, hilarity prevails…
The magic of any standout sitcom is where you enjoy all of the major characters equally for different reasons. There’s never a scene you gloss over waiting for the next one.
David can deliver more with one sassy lip purse than a thousand words. Alexis can bring a man to his knees with an eye roll. And Johnny can, with a perfectly timed raise of his eyebrows – those eyebrows – induce a fit of hysterics.
The same goes for Schitt’s Creek’s more minor parts. Every character is so well conceived, scripted and acted, that there’s always room for them to grow into major ones. And in many cases, especially Stevie’s, they do.
You may come for the laughter, but you’ll stay for the love
Indeed, growth is one of the underlying themes of the show. At the beginning, the family is ostensibly a collection of four self-centred individuals linked by name alone. But as the series unfold – six in total with the show’s finale airing on 7 April 2020 – they learn about one another and, ever so reluctantly, learn to love one another.
It helps, of course, that the show was actually created and produced by a real-life father and son duo. The son David is played by Dan Levy, while his father Johnny is played by Eugene Levy – off of American Pie.
You may come for the laughter, but you’ll stay for the love.
That, and for the cast members. As well as a comic masterpiece, it’s a visual feast. Everyone is really really really ridiculously good looking. I mean sometimes it’s painful to look at. I’m a happily married man, but when you’ve seen a topless Tim Rozon chopping wood, well, mother may I...?
Ultimately, this show is just what you need to counteract the isolation blues. Sit back, pour yourself a quarantini, and take a trip up Schitt’s Creek. No paddles required.
Watch Schitt’s Creek on Netflix.