If I had to pick my favorite sitcom of late, this one would be the undisputed winner. Those who have watched it will know what I mean and those who haven’t should consider giving it a chance as soon as possible.
Allow me to explain.
Keep it in the family, because sometimes family is all you can keep
The title may come across as a distasteful pun, but it fits the storyline perfectly. It’s a riches-to-rags tale about a wealthy family who lose everything except for one asset, a town they bought as a joke due to its name – Schitt’s Creek. The Rose family – Moira, a goofy ex TV actress, her ever-composed husband Johnny, their snooty, flamboyant son David and just as snooty socialite daughter Alexis – are forced to live in a rundown motel in this backwater place inhabited by a colorful cast of ragtag characters.
As the series progresses, the Roses slowly (and very awkwardly) adapt to their new surroundings and grow both as a family unit and individuals. I found this self-reformation to be an exceptionally heartwarming journey we could all learn from. Particularly because it involves positive change happening in the most unpredictable ways and unlikeliest people.
A masterful, fresh take on the important aspects of contemporary society
Another aspect I really appreciated about the show was the depiction of the Roses’ integration into the local community. Through edgy, even haughty humor, social norms and values are presented in a very non-mainstream fashion. Regardless of how unusual the family’s behavior appears to the residents of Schitt’s Creek because of their (former) high social standing and extravagant habits, they receive them with little or no judgement. Even the nastiest jokes they crack at each-other’s expense simply have to be understood as satiric. Nothing more.
Moira joins an a cappella group, where no one bats an eyelid at her ludicrous wigs and unplaceable accent. Johnny starts running the motel alongside an introverted girl called Stevie, their relationship turning into a strange yet caring friendship. Alexis’s character is transformed with the help of her love interests from a Paris-Hilton-type brat into a somewhat toned-down, likeable drama queen.
Then there’s David, who opens a fancy apothecary with his boyfriend. Here I’d like to point out how elegantly the topic of sexuality is approached in this series. Instead of the typical portrayal of gay characters in TV shows, where these have to struggle to gain recognition, Schitt’s Creek was having none of it. Simple acceptance, no questions asked. To quote David when disclosing his pansexual dating preferences: “I like the wine, and not the label. Does that make sense?” It does.
Simplicity is sometimes the most complex tool we need to make things work
Schitt’s Creek isn’t a show about redemption. It’s not a story about selfish folks becoming selfless and useful members of society. Not entirely. Its episodes never end with a special lesson, a grand moral message for the audience. They don’t have to. The show is about basic human emotions. Overall, it’s certainly about love, acceptance, compromise, forgiveness and empathy.
There’s a scene in the first season that I can relate to, and I’m sure, dear reader, so can you. While the Roses are still coming to grips with their new predicament, Moira breaks down completely when she is left without a towel after a shower. Nothing tragic, but it’s her tipping point.
When we find ourselves in our own personal Schitt’s Creek, the most mundane essentials can make a world of difference. At least until we find our bearings, and having a fresh towel at the ready makes more sense that we might think.
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