Schitt’s Creek Review: A simple, charming and hilarious

The very first episode of Schitt’s Creek opens with a rich family, the Roses, getting screwed over by their business manager, leaving them the victims of a tax raid and devoid of all their material possessions and properties that contribute to their lavish lifestyle. Well, almost all their properties. The only sizeable asset they have left is a small town that the (former) successful video-store magnate Johnny Rose had bought and gifted his son, the soft and sheltered David, as a joke because he thought the name sounded funny.


That opening sequence barely lasts for a few minutes, but it tells you a lot about the nuclear (in a few different ways) families of Schitt’s Creek. It also consists of the ageing soap opera starlet and the spoiled and self-obsessed daughter in Moira and Alexis Rose. As they navigate life in this new and challenging environment, the audience journeys with them and really begin to appreciate the nuances in this seemingly clichéd family’s personality.

Schitt’s Creek, What the show does best is exploring the interpersonal relationships between the characters. The family realises that they (with the exception of the parent couple) don’t really know each other that well, and are often surprised when they recount tales and experiences that they weren’t privy to. At first glance, the characters that live in the town all seem clichéd too, and are initially apprehensive of the ‘outsider family’. While the feeling is largely mutual, with the Roses initially reluctant to make an effort to integrate with the townsfolk, in the various interactions between the varied and dynamic characters, they all learn that they were perhaps too quick to judge each other. And we, in the audience, learn the same lesson.

The show differentiates itself from many others by having a happily married couple (cue shocked gasps) be the centre of the show. Johnny and Moira Rose have their disagreements, but they are in a (mostly) healthy relationship for the duration of the show’s run and try their best to support each other. The parents realise that they were barely there to watch their kids grow up (they sent David and Alexis to boarding schools and had their rooms built in a different room of the house altogether). But now, they get an opportunity to watch their kids ‘grow up’ in a different way, from spoiled, dependant sheltered to mature, independent and ambitious young adults, finally making their own way through life. Only this time, the kids have their parents’ emotional support rather than financial, sharply in contrast to what was true before they got to Schitt’s Creek.


If the show falters somewhere, it is where it treats its myriad side-characters like one-dimensional punchlines. There are some episodes that explore the psyche of some of the recurring cast in a deeper manner, but those are quite rare and oft-neglected while the show just moves on to other stories. Some relationships are abandoned fast after a significant period of buildup. But even that mimics life, where even the best-laid plans don’t always work out.

We see old relationships strengthen and new one’s blossom. We see a very realistic portrayal of millennial love, where Alexis finds it difficult to commit to the seemingly ‘too good to be true’ local veterinarian. We see wholesome friendships form, such as the one between David and the manager of the motel where the Roses are holed up. We see a nonchalant and normalised depiction of pansexuality and representation of the LGBTQ community. We see all the Roses grow up, some getting an opportunity at a second act while some are just stepping out for their first. And we see all of this wrapped in a neat little package of 6 very bingeable seasons, with the witty and often subtle humour, capable of making the audience guffaw, being the ribbon bow to top it all off. The show had a story to tell, and creators Eugene and Dan Levy (who play Johnny and David Rose respectively) told it well, all the while avoiding falling into the sitcom temptation to drag out the show beyond its peak, a fallacy which sitcoms like Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men and the Simpsons are arguably guilty of. All 6 seasons are available on Netflix, and I highly recommend this show to anyone looking for something different, funny and comforting to watch during the quarantine.

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