Schitt’s Creek is a comedy series that aired from 2015 to 2020. It is created by father and son Eugene and Daniel Levy, who portray Johnny and David Rose. Starring Catherine O’Hara as Moira and Annie Murphy as Alexis, the Rose family finds their lives turned upside down when their business manager embezzles their money. After losing everything, they are forced to move to their last remaining property: the small town of Schitt’s Creek, bought as a joke. Although they resist the town at first, they eventually adapt to it and even enjoy it, with David and his husband Patrick (Noah Reid) eventually staying.
The first seasons of the show were well received by critics but not as popular with audiences. However, once episodes of the series made their way to Netflix, popularity skyrocketed. By his final season, Schitt’s Creek was hugely popular – with praise for its humor, storylines and positive portrayals of realistic LGBTQ+ characters – and became the first comedy show to win all seven major Emmys in 2020. The show was hilarious, moving and heartwarming, showing characters embracing second chances and growing along the way. There’s a lot to learn from watching it, and here are some important lessons the small town taught us.
15 Best Modern Sitcoms, Ranked
It’s not too late to start over or make a change
While the Roses were unwittingly pushed to start over, they eventually took steps to change and make fresh starts on their own. Initially dismissive of everyone in town, the Roses eventually begin to bond with everyone and see that everyone is valuable. They also made several minor changes. In season three, Alexis graduates from high school and begins to really think about what she wants to do with her life. David, after an unsuccessful stint at The Blouse Barn, opens his own store. Moira pursues her acting career despite her own doubts, and Johnny tries various jobs around town to help the family.
Another major change is how the family grows with each other. While they first come across as selfish, selfish individuals who don’t care much for each other, they eventually become more of a family, attending Alexis’ graduation and supporting each other. Moira even takes care of Alexis when she is sick, after a first runaway. They really make an effort to be a better family. The whole experience brings them closer than they have ever been, showing that you can still grow and change even as an adult.
Even other characters show that you can try new things or make a change. Stevie (Emily Hampshire) stars in a local production of Cabaret, despite his fears. She also switches from working at the motel office to helping Johnny as a business partner, gaining confidence along the way. Ted (Dustin Milligan), after proposing to Alexis too soon, changes himself to be a more stable partner for her, and they both mature as their relationship progresses. The characters give an optimistic outlook on life and show that you can try new things regardless of your age.
It’s good to be yourself
The greatest example of self-acceptance is David, who is pansexual. His sexuality is explained in an easy-to-understand wine analogy, and he never has to apologize for who he loves. Daniel Levy voluntarily offered to create a show without any form of hatred or homophobia. David’s sexuality is never a point of contention, and his relationship with Patrick is only ever treated as a normal, healthy relationship. Even Patrick, who is nervous about coming out to his parents, finds love and acceptance from them. Their relationship shows that it’s totally okay to embrace who you are and makes others feel seen as well.
This acceptance is also seen in the residents of Schitt’s Creek themselves. They are allowed to simply exist as they are, enjoying their small town life. Although a quiet life is never presented as glamorous as a life full of excitement, everyone in town seems to appreciate where they live and who they are. Moira and Johnny really realize this when they go to a fancy restaurant with some old friends who insult Schitt’s Creek. Moira and Johnny, who once would have been okay with it, have changed to appreciate the town and defend those who live there, even preferring them to their former friends.
The best LGBTQ+ couples in TV history
Sometimes things just don’t work out – and that’s okay
The most obvious example is Ted and Alexis. In the final season, after Alexis plans to move to New York and Ted wants to stay at his dream job in the Galapagos Islands, the two decide to amicably part ways. Their relationship didn’t work out, but it still mattered, and they were both better off because of it. It might not have been the simple happily ever after moment, but the moment was meaningful for both of them and a fitting end to their time together. We got to see two people celebrate and acknowledge what their relationship meant before moving on.
While Ted and Alexis are a more specific example, the whole show really embraces that message, bringing it to life with humor and love. We constantly watch characters make mistakes or are unsure of their own future. Rather than putting everyone down for their mistakes or any plan that didn’t work, the show understands that sometimes things just don’t work out, and that’s okay. It’s normal not to understand everything or to fail at something. What matters is to continue even after our own failures. It’s a message of hope that continues throughout the show.