'Schitts Creek' is the fun show to watch to forget the lockdown
I love comedies. But not the ‘haha’ type, littered with a laugh track (even though I did enjoy "The Big Bang Theory" for many years).
I love those that are all about people’s mannerisms, personalities, sense of style and their view on life.
It’s all about clever writing, proper use of actors and respecting their characters. It’s visible character growth without them losing what made them endearing. I know what I just described may sound more like a drama, but it isn’t.
"Schitts Creek" is that kind of comedy for me.
The critically acclaimed Canadian series, which now enjoys cult status, is currently streaming on Netflix.
Created by Dan Levy and his father, Eugene ("American Pie", "Bringing Down the House"), it’s a story about the wealthy Rose family, who lose everything after a tax scandal, and are forced to move to a town they bought as a joke, Schitts Creek.
Eugene stars as John Rose, alongside Catherine O’ Hara who plays his wife, Moira Rose. Their spoilt children are David and Alexis, portrayed by Dan and Annie Murphy.
The first few episodes start of slow. And they are a bit mean. It’s expected though when you think about how it’s a complete downgrade from their palatial homes and penthouses. And they now have to live in a motel. With adjoining rooms.
However even through that mean-spirited lashing out and them looking down on the Schitts Creek locals, lead by their quirky mayor, Roland Schitt, his wife, Jocelyn; Stevie Budd who runs the motel and other characters, there are comedic nuggets brought by the excellent cast.
From Moira’s weird pronunciations and mannerisms, the pretentiousness of David who can’t believe he is stuck in this town and hates everything; Alexis and her take on 00s Paris Hilton, including the over-use of the phrases ‘ew’ and ‘ohmigod’; and Johnny’s always perplexed expressions and disbelief that he is now poor, "Schitts Creek" is a well-written show, making fun of members of the 1% who now have to get used to living like the 99%. It’s almost like Shakespeare’s "The Taming of the Shrew".
The cast of "Schitts Creek"- Catherine O' Hara, Eugene Levy, Annie Murphy and Dan Levy. Picture: CBC
The situations they find themselves in, and their hilarious reactions to them, are what have endeared the show to so many of us. They have to re-learn how to do the most basic of things- from cooking for themselves, fixing taps and finding jobs.
At the back of their minds, however, they are all hoping to sell the town and find a way to leave a go back to their lives.
The supporting stars are scene stealers and their interactions help with humanizing the Roses.
Stevie becomes the first real friend David has ever had, Alexis realises that being hot doesn’t mean anything in a small town; Moira, the most eccentric of the family and has this need of being better than everybody, also realises that she has to lower her standards and make do with being friends with Jocelyn, Ronnie and find solace in the singing group, The Jazzagals.
Johnny has a love/hate relationship with Roland, who also happens to be the mayor of the town; has to deal with Bob, who owns a garage no-one uses. Oh and instead of meals at Michelin star restaurants, they now have to contend with eating the odd meals at the cafe, run by Twyla (Sarah Levy).
It may take some time for you to get into the show and just why so many people love it. But you won’t regret it.
The best thing about it (I personally love the work done by the wardrobe and costume design team, especially on their success in sourcing the black and white designer garments from the mid to late 2010s that both David and Moira wear) is the growth of the characters.
When I first watched, I was hoping for them to be able to escape Schitts Creek, but I soon realised that this was all about their growth as people.
The glimpses we get from their lives as wealthy people (especially Merry Christmas Johnny Rose) shows just how despicable they are. And now, they are more of a family. Not perfect, but so endearing. And so damn funny.
"Schitts Creek" is streaming on Netflix