What sort of gag gifts do the incredibly wealthy buy? If you’re the Rose family, that could come in the form of a small town named Schitt’s Creek.
Now the Roses discover their accountant has never paid their taxes and the government has come to collect. Uncle Sam takes everything except the titular town, leaving the Rose clan to vacate easy street for Schitt’s Creek, a town that lives up to its name. It’s a fairly standard sitcom premise we’re familiar with, so Schitt’s Creek lives or dies by its characters.
Thankfully, the Rose family isn’t completely full of spoiled snobs. Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy) might be accustomed to the fine things in life, but he’s also no stranger to self reliance. Johnny is determined to turn Schitt’s Creek into sought after real estate, despite the meddling of the town’s namesake, Roland Schitt, played by Chris Elliot. Johnny’s wife, Moira (Catherine O’Hara) is a once famous actress whose star has fallen. The Rose children are a different story. David (Daniel Levy) and Alexis (Annie Murphy) are the products of a comfortable life provided by absentee parents.
Schitt’s Creek is at its best when it’s focusing on Johnny and Moira. There’s a sweet earnestness to their relationship, where other shows would just mock. Of course, a huge part of that is due to the formidable talents of Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara. These two actors are comedy royalty and could do this type of work in their sleep. It’s the Rose children that end up trying my viewing patience. Of the four episodes I screened, nearly all of their scenes were identical and weighed down by whining. It’s not until the fourth episode (“Bad Parents”) that the show really gives them something interesting to do.
Created by Eugene and Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek lands more jokes than it misses. There’s a real push and pull quality to the episodes, probably due the to scripted nature and the cast’s known flair for improvisation. Don’t be fooled by the gimmicky nature of the title. Schitt’s Creek has many genuinely funny moments as the Roses navigate their new lives in this crazy small town.
Schitt’s Creek may not stretch the boundaries of television comedy. However, the level of talent involved elevates it above formulaic sitcoms.
Schitt’s Creek premieres February 11 on Pop.
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