Why ‘Schitt’s Creek’ deserved its Emmys sweep



Still of Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy in “Schitt’s Creek.”

“Schitt’s Creek” took home a total of nine awards at the Emmys, and was the first sitcom to win in all four acting categories. Infamous screen partners Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara won Best Actor and Actress in Comedy. Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy won Best Supporting Actor and Actress in Comedy. Daniel Levy, along with Andrew Cividino, won for Best Directing Comedy. The overall show also won Best Comedy Series.

The Candian sitcom revolves around the Roses, a once upper class family that suddenly loses all their fortune and is forced to move to the small town Schitt’s Creek. John and Moira had bought Schitt’s Creek years earlier as a joke and now must use it as their last resort and final remaining asset when their lives turn upside down. 

Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara star as John and Moira Rose while Daniel Levy and Alexis Rose play their children. Eugene Levy produced the show while his son, Daniel, wrote it.

The audience follows the Roses as they must adjust to a new, humble lifestyle in Schitt’s Creek. Throughout the show, we see tremendous character growth in all members of the family. The show highlights the significance of family and community values through Daniel Levy’s hilarious, light-hearted, and dramatic writing. 

“The comedic and satirical approach works to the Rose family’s situation because they represent the upper class society having to adjust to a lower class lifestyle. It gives the viewers a more comfortable approach to the differences between the upper and lower class while bringing to light actual issues those classes face,” University of Illinois Chicago freshman Natalie Grzesik said. “First world problems are always pretty funny to look at from an outsider perspective.”

Quirky characters, such as the town’s mayor Roland Schitt, played by Chris Elliot, and their interactions with the  snobby Roses truly create the light-hearted atmosphere in the first season. As the Roses come to accept their reality, they begin to open up and build relationships. 

Levy includes satirical and dramatic scenes of the Roses attempting to lead a domestic lifestyle. It extends from Alexis finishing her degree and attending college, David and Moira making enchiladas and John working for the motel they live in. 

However, the Roses begin to grow as characters once they establish themselves in the community. David opens up a local business, Moira gets elected to city council, Alexis launches her PR career and John rebrands the motel. 

“Definitely [Annie] Murphy’s character Alexis was the most important because the show followed her from shallow and close-minded to someone who can care deeply and be empathetic, even if she isn’t in the same situation,” Grzesik said. “She deserved that Emmy.”

One aspect that fans adored was the gay romantic relationship between David Rose and Patrick Brewer. Fans raved over how the relationship displayed domestic struggles, rather than it being subject to a homophobic portrayal. Kelly Kessler, an associate professor in DePaul’s College of Communication,  also added that Levy’s proud displays of his sexuality add to the depth of the character. 

David’s queerness and the fleeting and repeated moments where his pansexuality emerges through stories of his past make him into a more nuanced queer character than often seen on TV,” Kessler said.

Although TV has lacked various representations of LGBTQ+ characters, Kessler believes that variety is what society should strive for. 

I think it’s also really important that we remember that this is television,” Kessler said. “Different genres are going to call for different types of characters and different types of storylines. It’s the diversity of experience and diversity of representation that is a more desired end goal.”

There are many meaningful scenes throughout David and Patrick’s relationship that are adored by fans. 

“Schitt’s Creek made a point to make viewers feel safe by showcasing women without harassment, queer love without trauma, sexual fluidity without shame, economic disparity without mockery, and creativity without limitation,” Sarah McGonagall said in a tweet. 

There are many meaningful scenes throughout David and Patrick’s relationship that are adored by fans. 

“I personally loved the storyline of David and Patrick,” Kessler said. “I could sit and watch David lip-sync ‘Simply the Best’ to Patrick over and over. I also can’t stop hearing Moira say ‘Right now my boy is being serenaded by his butter-voiced beau’ as she lovingly listens to Patrick serenade David. The episode where Patrick comes out to his parents is lovely.”

Unlike other shows, Levy focused David and Patrick’s relationship on positive reinforcement from others. The couple didn’t face any homophobia from their families or community. The couple was able to focus on their day-to-day struggles such as finding an apartment, planning their wedding, and running their business. 

“It’s not necessarily about positive representation or domestic representation,” Kessler said. “It’s about seeing diversity in queer experience. We neither want idealized representations of queer life, as if there is one kind of queer life, nor do we want demonized representations. There are those who would see Schitt’s Creek as recuperating David into a homonormative relationship, as his trajectory leads him into a marriage.”

Schitt’s Creek final season will be available on Netflix on Oct. 7. Levy has not announced whether a spin-off series will happen.