Schitt's Creek: the five things that make it such perfect, Emmy award-winning TV


1. Moira is a creation unlike any other

Catherine O’Hara is one of the best comic actors around and she does not disappoint in this role. Her matriarch Moira is simply one of the best characters to ever appear on screen, from her wigs to her dauntless self-centredness, but the true masterstroke is her accent. Described by one character as “unrecognisable”, it has been the subject of countless think pieces: it’s been labelled “one part British/Canadian/mid-Atlantic with a retro Hollywood spin”; it is sprinkled with “a kind of unhinged verbosity”; and is frankly just plain “bonkers”. Her verbose and outlandish pronouncements are pure joy.

2. It completely normalises LGBTQ relationships

David and Patrick’s relationship is romantic and charming and totally normal in every way. The show’s creator, Daniel Levy, has spoken about how important this was to him and what a huge step change it was for American television.

A documentary about the show reveals that a group of more than 1,800 mothers of LGBTQ kids wrote to the cast of Schitt’s Creek to thank them for everything the show had done for their kids.

It read, in part: “Your commitment to represent love and tolerance in your show is so important to families like ours. Your willingness to explore, inform and educate about LGBTQ people and their relationships in an entertaining but respectful and positive manner sets a tone that is often missing … We sincerely believe that shows like Schitt’s Creek will serve as a catalyst to help change the world into a kinder, safer, more loving place for all LGBTQ people to live, and because of that we will remain forever grateful.”

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3. It’s so much more wholesome than you expect

This show is a lovely, romantic, smile-inducing bundle of happy feelings. But you don’t know that when you start watching. It begins with the titular joke: a mega-rich family have lost everything – apart from a town called “Schitt’s Creek”, haha, which father Johnny Rose (played by Eugene Levy) had once bought for his son, David (played by his real life son and show co-creator, Daniel Levy) as a joke.

They arrive in the hick town full of scorn and superiority, making all the cliched jokes about the locale and its folky inhabitants. But the joke’s on them: it’s the townsfolk the audience relates to, recognising how ridiculous, unhinged and completely devoid of reality the Roses are. It is through their necessary encounters with people in the town that the Roses learn what family really is, and find themselves guided into the first healthy relationships they’ve ever had. Who knew wholesome could be so funny?

4. The wardrobe is to die for (and die laughing over)

It would be tempting to only list Moira’s at times outrageous, beautiful, perfect and ludicrous outfits in this category. Who can forget the garbage bag ensemble she wore when she accidentally ended up on a photo shoot with a hot-shot New York photographer and former lover of David?

David (Daniel Levy) and Moira (Catherine O’Hara) in Schitt’s Creek.
David (Daniel Levy) and Moira (Catherine O’Hara) in Schitt’s Creek. Photograph: Cbc/ITV/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Her precious collection of wigs, known as “the girls”, practically have their own storyline. The $3,700 Pamel­la Roland Dou­ble Cape Tulle Gown with Se­quin and Os­trich Feath­er Plumes from Harrods of London certainly gets an episode all for itself (before being returned) and the shiny gold pantsuit with bows is definitely the star of the show when Moira runs for council. But the absolute pièce de résistance is of course in the final episode, which could be described as “Pope-chic”, when she officiates at David and Patrick’s wedding.

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But to leave out Johnny’s impeccable suits, or David’s black and white designer ensembles with his penchant for jumpers – even in summer – or Alexis’s representation of the Coachella generation would be remiss. So watch out for those, and for all the designer nudges too. More than once, I found myself googling an Alexis dress (I couldn’t afford any of them).

5. Simply the Best

Without giving too much away, there are two episodes with scenes in them that revolve around this song that I rewatch every time I feel down. They should be beyond cringeworthy and the show certainly sets them up that way. The surprise is that they are the precise opposite: with the lightest touch, the first scene is a huge turning point for David’s character and for this burgeoning relationship with Patrick. When he does his own version of the scene a few episodes later, we know this is gonna last.

Schitt’s Creek: Patrick Serenades David with Tina Turner’s Simply the Best



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