CW: mentions of anxiety, panic attacks.
I was late to the Schitt’s Creek party but once I started, I fell in love with it. After struggling to get into it for the first half a season or so, it became one of my new favourite shows. With sarcastic humour, great character arcs and growth, and one of the best LGBTQIA+ love stories I have ever seen.
It starts off with the incredibly rich Rose family losing their possessions and being forced to move into a motel in Schitt’s Creek, a town the dad bought as a joke and tries to sell throughout the show. What follows is the group of almost unlikeable characters realising what the world is like for most people and finding love, friendship, and joy along the way. Schitt’s Creek is, to me, ground-breaking in so many ways; the plot is really good, yes, but it has some really great representations of things I haven’t really seen in media before that I think need to be discussed.
The show was written by Eugene Levy and his son Dan Levy. Dan is gay in real life and this is portrayed through his character, David Rose. In the show, David explains his sexuality by describing men as red wine, women as white wine, but that he likes the wine not the label. Something that, in the show, is very humorous and light-hearted. I have seen very few LGBTQ+ main characters in my life, and they are often either very stereotypical and over-the-top, like Cameron in Modern Family, or being persecuted, like Lana Winters in American Horror Story. Though these were ground-breaking at the time, not everyone will relate to these representations. There was also a very moving and realistic coming out scene in series 5. In my opinion, Schitt’s Creek is the most relatable representation of homosexuality I have seen so far.
There are many other representations too, with a pansexual and bisexual character as well as an open relationship. Stevie, the owner of the motel, is in an open relationship for a while as well as dating David briefly. There are also good representations of heterosexual couples, with Alexis, David’s sister, dating an older man at one point, as well as many men with different professions and lifestyles. The parents, Johnny and Moira, also have a great relationship as, even through the hard times, they love, accept, and understand each other despite their differences.
It is really nice to see the family develop through the show too; without giving too much away, they keep their independence and pursue their own dreams but also learn and adapt to care for each other more than it is suggested that they had done in the past. They grow to love and accept their neighbours too and these are all very heart-warming character and plot arcs.
So overall, I can highly recommend everyone to watch this show, it has the most incredible representations, plot lines and tackles some challenging topics which I will further discuss, with spoilers, below.
SPOILER ALERT FOR KEY PLOT POINTS AHEAD
There is also one of the best, and one of the only, representations of a long-distance relationship I have ever seen on TV. Being in one myself at university, I feel they really captured the struggles, and good things, of being in a LDR and even managed to show the frustrations of not being able to share big life moments and little jokes with each other in person. From video-calling to make big decisions to cramming weeks or months of missing each other into one day of dates. Schitt’s Creek’s representation of Ted and Alexis’ relationship had me crying… a lot, and for that I commend it.
The show discusses challenging topics with humour, keeping it light-hearted. David has anxiety and often downplays this throughout the show, something many people with anxiety tend to do, but the portrayal I want to discuss most is when he has a panic attack. He believes he is having a heart attack, but Ted, the doctor/vet, later tells him it is a panic attack. David and his sister, Alexis, always assumed these were something made up, something that celebrities did for attention. I think this is something almost everyone with anxiety has been told at some point, but David takes a yoga class and tries to calm himself down. It was done in his typical sarcastic style, but was still one of the most realistic portrayals I have seen and should be discussed.
Alexis’ character starts off as an unlikeable, stereotypical, rich person in the media. She’s always on holiday without her family and tries to go to her boyfriend’s house, before he breaks up with her, to get away from them. I thought it was really nice to see this go full circle and for her to doubt her final decision to leave her family as she has grown to love their company. This, to me, mirrored lockdown a lot. I have always been close to my family and found it surreal to return to university after the first lockdown, something I saw reflected in a strangely relatable way in the show.
Alexis discovers her dreams later in life, not at 18, and so completes high school as an adult to pursue these. This is something I related to, not knowing what I wanted to do for my degree and still not really knowing now. So, to see a high-profile character go through a similar thing was comforting. Especially since she did struggle and was judged for being much older than the other students. This was refreshing as I hadn’t really seen it on TV before.
So, from rollercoaster plots to the most incredible and relatable representations of everything from homosexuality to working out your dreams, Schitt’s Creek has it all and I think everyone should be talking about it.