Schitt’s Creek: More Fun from CBC

 

I must be on a CBC comedy binge. This show has been on my radar for the last few years. I watched the first episode when it aired and was too busy at the time to follow up, despite enjoying it well enough. Being a huge fan of Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara kept this show at the back of my mind, so when I read Glen Weldon’s recent NPR review and realized that there were 4 seasons, available on Netflix, to catch up on, I figured it was now or never.

Am I ever glad I chose now. This show is a fun fish-out-of-water/dysfunctional family hybrid. The Rose family lands in the titular small town after their fortune is mishandled by their business manager. Father, Johnny (Eugene Levy), founder of Rose Video, a once leading video rental chain, tries to keep it together. He does his best to assure his family that a return to the life of luxury is still within their reach. His wife Moira (Catherine O’Hara), a faded soap opera star, is fueled by his assurance. Their adult son David (Dan Levy) and daughter Alexis (Annie Murphy) seemed resigned to their new circumstances and struggle to find a new purpose.

Watching the Rose family cling to their battered pride as they make 2 rooms at the local motel their new home is simply a delight. They are truly clueless to the extreme and yet the locals just take it in stride with minimal exasperation and loads of gentle patience tinged with compassion.

And before you know it, friendship and romance abounds with a comedic flair. This family has its problems but there are flashes of great love and understanding. Nowhere better is that seen than between David and Alexis. In a blink we see them pivot from pushing each other’s buttons to watching each other’s backs to guarding each other’s hearts. And we witness all this while they are sharing a room in a pretty bare bones motel.

The acting is outstanding. Eugene Levy’s Johnny is a slow simmer as he adapts to his new life, working in a motel. Dan Levy’s David is a basket of self aware insecurity struggling to find purpose in a world without a safety net. Annie Murphy’s Alexis is a party girl who always seems to land on her feet, despite a history of questionable choices. Catherine O’Hara’s not quite (but pretty darn close) over-the-top Moira is a walking affectation. It is her bizarre diction combined with her bold over-dressed fashion choices and multitude of wigs that shield her from the harsh new reality of life in Schitt’s Creek.

In addition to the family at the centre of this show, there is a strong supporting cast that includes my favourite, Stevie Budd ( Emily Hampshire), the perpetually amused and amusing motel clerk.  Her plaid shirts and faded jeans make her a kindred spirit to me but I truly love her hint of a smile as she kindly guides the Roses without indulging them.

Between Netflix and CBC Gem, It didn’t take long to binge 56 episodes (21 minutes each) and catch up with the current CBC broadcast of season 5. This show is a terrific example of how great Canadian TV can be. If you are looking for a fun wry comedy that offers quirky characters room to grow, I hope you give this a try.

 

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Umbrella Academy: a review | What is Ann Watching?

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