David (Dan Levy), Alexis (Annie Murphy), Moira (Catherine O'Hara), Johnny (Eugene Levy), Roland (Chris Elliot)
It is a rare day indeed when The Professor reviews a cable television sit-com.
Schitt’$ Creek is a worthy exception to the rule, this binge-worthy series is as close to perfection as could be imagined, especially considering its flimsy premise. The wealthy Rose family loses nearly everything when their manager absconds with the family’s assets, leaving them with only their clothes and the small town of Schitt’s Creek, which Johnny, the father, had purchased years earlier as a gag gift for his son David. Moira, Johnny’s wife and the mother to David and his self-centered sister Alexis, is a has-been soap-opera star with delusions of grandeur. They are greeted to the town by its mayor, Roland Schitt, grandson of the town’s founder. He puts them up in a run-down motel run by Stevie Budd (Emily Hampshire), a gothy thirty-something with a fatalistic sense of humor. As the series progresses the Rose family becomes enmeshed with the small town’s residents and their quirky foibles.
This seems like The Beverly Hillbillies in reverse but is actually a perceptive study of human relations. All of the characters interact with each other in meaningful ways, usually funny but not mean, there is always personal respect. Nothing is played for cheap laughs and there is just enough unpredictability to keep the viewer engaged. The whole cast is great; having Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara working together again is worth the price of admission. Daniel Levy is Eugene’s real-life son, giving their relationship another dimension. He is also the show-runner; his comic sensibility is what sets this show apart.
I picked up seasons one through three at the library, five seasons are available on POP (a cable network) and Netflix, season six is coming next year. Clocking in at a mere 22 minutes per episode they are great for binging.
UPDATE: A Google Search in the format: Schitts Creek S01E01 will give you access to most of the first four seasons episodes, just change the season and episode numbers as needed.