Endlessly quotable, “Schitt’s Creek” has been a beacon of hope, tolerance and humour for many since its 2015 launch, but its omnipresent popularity hit new heights in 2020.
Winning six Canadian Screen Awards and sweeping the Emmys with a haul of nine statues in a historic ceremony and Canadian first, the heartwarming comedy’s farewell season was embraced by fans and critics alike. And yes, some of those famous admirers include Mariah Carey, Paul Rudd, Gloria Estefan, Nicole Kidman, Demi Lovato, and Seth Rogen.
“Schitt’s Creek’s” critical success trickles down to other pop culture fixtures, too. Show co-creator and star Dan Levy was named People’s Sexiest Man in Quarantine in November, and Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest dressed up as Moira Rose (Catherine O’Hara) and David Rose (Dan Levy) respectively, for their hotly-anticipated, beloved Halloween episode.
But it is easy to see why the show connects with audiences over and over again. Ultimately, “Schitt’s Creek” is about a formerly wealthy out-of-touch family forced to rebuild their lives after financial ruin. Together, they reluctantly learn to rely on each other instead of their material ties when they begrudgingly relocate to a small town.
Optimistic and playful, the series’ odd mix of eccentric characters mesh together seamlessly, and as Levy told Mr. Porter magazine earlier this month, the show’s inclusive approach to its LGBTQ+ characters is one of the many reasons it is a digestible, utopic, soothing balm to rediscover and revisit during a pandemic.
“I think our show provides, intentionally or unintentionally, a safe, warm, loving, understanding place for people to go, whether you’re bingeing it or watching it weekly,” Levy told the magazine.
So, as 2020 comes to a close, here are 12 ways “Schitt’s Creek” taught all of us “bébés” how to deal with quarantine this year:
Mastering the art of Zoom lighting
“Alexis, what have I told you about putting your body on the Internet? Never! Never without proper lighting!” - Moira Rose, episode 6x03, “The Job Interview.”
Mother-daughter relationships are complicated, so when Moira Rose (O’Hara) scolds Alexis (Annie Murphy) about her video chat attire with her long-distance love, Ted (Dustin Milligan), it comes not from a place of shame, but one of polish.
Hey, “proper lighting” and a good background is everybody’s best friend on a video call, regardless of intent.
Adapting to a less active social life, and a world without holiday parties
Lapsed socialite Alexis struggles to process her more muted social calendar, and begs her brother David to co-host a small motel gathering with her in episode five of the first season, “The Cabin.” Naturally, we cannot congregate the way Alexis aspires to in current times, but she perfectly distills the joy of feeling like a VIP in a crowd of recognizable faces.
A reminder (and mantra) for how to interact with others from at least six feet apart
The emotionally-stunted David was a physical distancing pioneer, years before it was mandatory. Practice makes perfect!
“Simple” recipes do not always make sense
“What does burning smell like?” With many restaurants only open for takeout, Canadians are getting more creative in the kitchen, or sharing recipes online. Although, this does not always result in culinary delights.
Moira and David discover in the second episode of season two, “Family Dinner,” that cooking up the family enchiladas recipe is tougher than meets the eye. So, when all else fails ... improvise!
Budgeting is tough, and requires sacrifice
’Tis the season to be bombarded by Boxing Day and after-Christmas sales. But do you really need another cocktail dress? Or that sweater that looks identical to the one gathering dust in your closet when money is tight?
After Moira gleefully spends $3,700 on her “The Crows Have Eyes 3: The Crowening” premiere gown “for the family” in the fourth episode of season five, aptly-titled “The Dress,” she elects to return it so her husband Johnny (Eugene Levy) can reallocate their sparse funds for a new water heater for the motel.
Before doing the responsible thing, and parting with the discounted designer dress, she makes her family savour her glamorous red carpet look with mental pictures. (Spoiler alert: she is reunited with the dress for the film’s premiere the following season.)
It’s never too late to start over, or for a second chance
Quarantine is also a time to look inward. Alexis reinvented herself in season three, when she decided to return to high school, and then pursue a career in public relations. This is a great opportunity for a fresh start, and it’s safe to say that she would “love that journey” for you.
Similarly, if David can learn to ride a bike in his 30s and conquer his lifelong fear, anything is possible.
You don’t have to dwell on your mistakes
“Schitt” happens. To celebrate David’s birthday and Alexis’ graduation in the season three finale, “Grad Night,” Moira and Johnny treat their kids to a cake ... only for it to read, “Happy Day Alex + Davis,” misspelling both names.
When the kids express their disappointment, Moira asserts that “we’ve done the best we can!” And hey, cake is cake. These typos have developed a sweet following of their own, with Dan Levy admitting to still having some in his freezer, and the show’s creative team knew just how to commemorate their record-breaking Emmy night with dessert.
How to disengage with toxic small-talk
With many workplaces moving remotely, the office community is fractured, and morale can be hijacked by perceived slights and grievances. As Moira tells Cafe Tropical waitress Twyla (Sarah Levy) in the fourth episode of season four, “Gossip is the devil’s telephone, best to just hang up.”
Accepting that productivity is fluid
Motivation is fluid on any given work day, but especially if you’re punching in remotely. Taking a break to recharge and refocus can be the boost you need to meet that deadline.
The perfect excuse to recuse yourself from getting together in-person, or online
“I am booked up, David. I’m positively bedeviled with meetings, etc.” - Moira to David in episode 4x01, “Dead Guy in Room 4.”
Nightlife looks a little different now
There’s always a reason to dance
Feeling yourself? Looking for a pick-me-up? Why not groove to Alexis’ “critically-reviewed” single, “A Little Bit Alexis”? Annie Murphy taught her Instagram followers how to master the song-and-dance routine back in April, as part of a charity fundraiser which cumulatively raised more than $200,000 for food banks in the U.S. and Canada.
And if you are seeking more escapism, there’s always this exhaustive list of Alexis’ high-risk celebrity and dating misadventures.
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