I’ve talked a lot, I mean A LOT, about Pop’s Schitt’s Creek on this site and on the Water Cooler Podcast. One of the hallmarks of great comedy remains whether or not the series remains fresh after multiple seasons. With its first season and simple premise – a worn “fish out of water” tale – Creek had all the signs of wasting the talents of its great stars: Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara. Funny thing, it never delivered on wasting those talents. Instead, it used them as the anchor to one of the most surprising and genuinely sweet comedies on television.
Five years later, Schitt’s Creek again proves it’s the real deal – the best sitcom on television today. Creek continues to dazzle because it allows character motivations and relationships to drive its outlandish situations. They’re not comic tropes – they’re characters who live and breathe and grow.
Season 5 kicks off with Moira in Bosnia filming a glorious B-movie called Crows. Of course she pins impossible hopes on her role, a hybrid crow-mad scientist. When the director falls into depression after failing a higher profile production, it’s Moira’s enthusiasm and gonzo performance that reinvigorates him. It’s one of the best running jokes of the series: Moira’s unending enthusiasm for a career rejuvenation despite the complete absence of talent. Plus, it provides O’Hara incredible comic material.
Back at home, Johnny Rose finds odds ways of filling his time, unable to express a longing for his absent wife. Levy, once the man with two left feet, still plays the straight man here, the calm center in a storm of Personalities, capital P fully intended. It’s a role and a performance sorely needed to keep the madness in balance.
Writer Dan Levy and Annie Murphy continue their run on nurturing children David and Alexis Rose into some of the best characters on television. Man-child David’s adult relationship with boyfriend Patrick gives Levy countless amusing hours of bitchy asides. Plus, the man has an incredible litany of facial expressions and quirks. It’s not a stereotype – it’s a lived-in and fully realized performance. Similarly, Murphy takes Alexis down a similar path with equally great results. Her relationship with local vet Ted finds the once-perpetually shallow girl blossoming into a mature and loving woman. Well, kind of. Dan Levy continues to turn in one of television’s greatest comedic performances, and Murphy continues to surprise with endless depths of sweetness.
Schitt’s Creek inspires repeat viewings because it creates a world that ultimately eschews cynicism in favor of genuine relationships and long-lasting affection. It’s a sitcom that doesn’t have an agenda. It doesn’t have edgy, biting, or mean humor. It’s a show about finding, expressing, and celebrating interpersonal connectivity – love. It’s a show about finding the courage to show kindness. It’s a show about celebrating the family in weird and off-beat ways.
And I love this family. And this show.