Streaming on Netflix
Metadata: 2015 | TV-14 | 3 seasons (13 episodes, 22m each)
Why I watched: Somebody (but I can't quite remember who—was it you?) suggested this show to me ages ago, and I guess I forgot to follow up on the recommendation. I was searching Netflix recently for something new (to me), light, and funny, and naturally this caught my eye when I stumbled across it.
You might also like: Ozark, a Netflix original, is like Schitt$ Creek's much darker cousin. Both shows feature a family forced unexpectedly to abandon their usual life and try to make a go of things in small rural towns, far, far from anything they're used to. But where Schitt$ Creek is light and funny, Ozark—despite starring funny man Jason Bateman—is a serious, sinister drama.
No offense to any Canadian readers, but who knew Canadians could be this hilarious? Y'all, this show is really funny! Real life father-son duo Eugene and Daniel Levy created and star in this show, alongside Catherine O'Hara and Annie Murphy (all Canadian actors). The pilot episode opens to government officials raiding the Rose family mansion and repossessing all of their earthly assets—except for some truly expensive luggage, mom Moira's numerous wigs (her trademark accessory), and a little town, bought as a joke decades earlier, called Schitt's Creek. After being robbed for all they are worth by the family business manager, the once uber-wealthy Roses are forced to flee to that town, where they become permanent residents of a roadside motel. There they must learn to coexist with a weird and obstinate mayor, Roland (Chris Elliott), a surly front-desk woman, Stevie (Emily Hampshire), and numerous other batty residents of Schitt's Creek.
The Roses do not—I repeat, do not—fit in, but watching them try(ish) is an absolute blast. Their constant rudeness to the townspeople is less due to maliciousness than to cluelessness. The Roses simply do not know how normal people live. The residents of Schitt's Creek seem implicitly to recognize this. Ordering eggs florentine, in earnest, from the motel's "room service" in the morning seems actually to endear them to the townspeople, rather than annoy them. And the fact that the Rose children, David and Alexis, are well into their thirties and still living at "home" isn't lost on anybody, and yet it seems totally unremarkable to everyone they encounter. Of course the crazy, spoiled Rose children still live with their parents! They were so rich that of course they never learned to make it on their own (bless their hearts)!
All of the Roses are outrageous in their own way. Moira, a former daytime television actress, is dramatic in the extreme, and her tendency to self-medicate doesn't help matters. Johnny, pleasant, steady, and naive, balances his wife with his utter sincerity. Alexis is utterly obsessed with men, and her persistent efforts to flirt (BADLY) with various of Schitt's Creek's male residents are equally funny and painful to watch. Pansexual David is totally lonely, despite being open, to, well, anything and anyone, and his deadpan humor is the highlight of the show.
The cast of characters here is one of a kind, and the absurd premise of the show just works. That the whole production is a family affair (another Levy, Sarah, appears as hapless waitress Twyla) makes the show's central family dysfunction even more endearing. You'll love watching the Roses first resist Schitt's Creek with every fiber of their being, before giving in and embracing it. This one has my highest recommendation!
Happy Streaming! Grace