Schitt’s Creek, the Canadian series which originally aired on the CBC, premiered on a network called Pop TV back in February to little fanfare. This is probably because before Schitt’s Creek came out, no one knew what Pop TV was. It runs old Melrose Place and 90210 reruns most of the time. The reason for it getting picked up by such an obscure network probably had something to do with the name, which even Canada only begrudgingly let them get away with. Which is a shame because, while I wouldn’t want to change the title, I’ve been catching up on the first season of Schitt’s Creek over the past week, and I can legitimately confirm that it’s hilarious.
If you’re unfamiliar with the premise, Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara play a wealthy couple, Johnny and Moira Rose, who have all of their assets seized by the IRS when it comes out that their financial handler has been neglecting to pay their taxes. As such, the Roses and their two adult, spoiled children, Alexis (Annie Murphy) and David (Eugene Levy’s son Daniel Levy, also series co-creator) are forced to move to the titular town of Schitt’s Creek, which Johnny had purchased for his son as a “joke” for his 16th birthday and is now the family’s sole remaining asset.
The Roses move into adjoining rooms at a local seedy model owned by the mayor of Schitt’s Creek (Chris Elliot) as the family adjusts to their new, alien environment and struggles to cope with the townspeople and new way of life. The result is kind of a fish-out-of-water comedy meets Arrested Development. The Roses aren’t exactly as terrible people as the Bluths… more so entitled, suspicious, and completely out of their element. Johnny and Moira, while treated like celebrities by the local townspeople, command zero respect of their children who only stop bickering like petulant toddlers when turning the tables on their parents.
If the above trailer doesn’t sell you on the series, here are a few reasons why you should absolutely start watching Schitt’s Creek, which airs its 10th episode (out of Season 1’s 13 episodes) on Pop TV tonight at 10 p.m. Depending on your cable provider, you can probably get caught up on previous episodes on demand.
The Reliable Chemistry Of Eugene Levy And Catherine O’Hara
It’s always great to see longtime collaborators Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara partner up with one another, and this series is a perfect vehicle for both of them. Levy plays more of the straight man who legitimately has his family’s best interests in mind, whereas O’Hara’s Moira is a heavily-medicated, wig-collecting former daytime soap star whose character can probably be most closely compared to her role as the mom on Beetlejuice.
To give a little taste, here’s a clip of Moira trying to make a few bucks by endorsing a local Schitt’s Creek vintner’s fruit wine:
Daniel Levy, Ladies And Gentlemen
Eugene Levy’s son, who has acted here and there, as well as hosted for MTV Canada, is poised to be the breakout star of the series. Levy’s daughter Sarah also has a small role as a waitress at a local diner, but it’s Daniel who really shines as David Rose, the prissy, self centered and (initially) sexually ambiguous son of the Rose family. Levy’s comic timing (and eyebrows) are on point, and he steals every scene he’s in.
It Expertly Mixes Clever Writing With Crude Humor
Although Schitt’s Creek is a fairly smart show, the title alone should give you some indication that there’s also a good dose of toilet humor. Chris Elliot’s character’s name is “Roland Schitt,” and the above image from an early episode is of the Schitt’s Creek town sign, which displays the town’s proud heritage and definitely has nothing to do with boning your sister from behind.
Chris Elliot Is At Peak Chris Elliot
It’s been a while since Chris Elliot has had a choice role, and if you couldn’t tell by the above clip, this one is perfectly tailored to him. Mayor Roland Schitt is crude, obnoxious, and both proud and insecure at the same time. He makes his on screen debut by overstaying his welcome when helping the Rose family into his family’s hotel, using their bathroom for an extended period of time, and later petulantly taking the doors off their motel rooms.
Both the CBC and Pop TV have picked Schitt’s Creek up for a second season, but if Netflix can get their hands on the series, I’m almost certain it will be huge in the states. So, if you’re interested but unable to get on board due to your cable provider, hopefully that will change in the future.