I meant to focus my editorial for the month on something profound, evocative, and well-researched, but…I’ve fallen, hard, for the show Schitt’s Creek, and since I’ve binged almost the entirety of the first four season in less than a week, I really couldn’t think of anything better (or…else) to write about for this editorial. I mean, it’s about a family of four formerly extremely affluent D-List celebrities who lose the entirety of their wealth due to shady accounting and are forced to retreat to their last option: living in the motel of a small town (Schitt’s Creek) in the middle of nowhere that seems to be stuck sometime in the 1980s. It’s hell for them and comedic gold for the audience.
The Rose family star at the center of Schitt’s Creek, comprised of former business mogul/mega-millionaire, Johnny; soap opera actress and melodramatic queen, Moira; hedonistic, pansexual, city boy David; and flighty, reality star wanna be, Alexis. They’re entirely unsuited for life in a small town, and their transition to a simpler (and poorer) way of life is anything but smooth.
The show, while funny and more-than-slightly ridiculous, is not without its more meaningful themes, satirical pokes at a media-obsessed society, and, yes, the occasional life lesson.
what’s that schitt? (aesthetics, yes please)
The show is the brainchild of Eugene Levy (who plays Johnny Rose) and his son, Daniel Levy, (who plays David Rose), and the costuming is overseen by Daniel as well.
The idea of the show, while refreshingly original, is really sold by the aesthetics of the characters themselves. Moira, ever the most dramatic person in the room, has a continuous parade of designer and avantgarde creations, and a wig to match every single one. David’s choices, while less outrageous, are equally bold, and even Johnny and Alexis wear nothing but high-end designers. While their fashion choices may seem odd, especially since they have (finally) ingratiated themselves into their new town, the Roses’ overall aesthetic is definitely pleasing to the eye, and, in a way, inspirational.
So, Schitt Life Lesson #1: when you feel your worst, look your best.
None of the Roses are pleased to be living in Schitt’s Creek, and even though after four seasons, they’ve each carved out a little part of the town for themselves, from the first day, their fashion has been like armor for them. At first, it set them apart from the other residents of Schitt’s Creek, and gives them confidence when they feel out of place, but now? Now it solidifies their aspirations and career choices, AND still gives them the confidence they need to move on with their lives.
(We have yet to see the day when any of the Roses visit a department store, but I am stoked for it to happen…although I’m not yet to season 5 so fingers crossed.)
a schitty family
As you might expect, it’s not easy for the Roses to make friends with their new neighbors. They start off as uppity know-it-alls who are really hard to like, but after a lot of time, and a lot of comeuppance, they become almost-good people.
When the Roses first arrive in Schitt’s Creek, they bicker constantly and seem to like each other even less than the townspeople.
There’s something about this town, though, that has the Roses realizing that they are the most important thing to each other, and, eventually, they realize that the town itself has become one kind of big–sometimes dysfunctional–family for them as well.
So, Schitt Life Lesson #2: Family is what you make it.
You may not have the best relationship with your parents/siblings/fourth cousin twice-removed, but to quote another fav fandom: family don’t end with blood. You choose the people that you surround yourself with, and if you surround yourself with a family (born or made) that helps you be a better person, well, you’ve hit the jackpot. The Roses are ridiculous, shallow, and egotistical, but, with the help of their Schitt’s Creek family, they may just turn out to be normal human beings.
When I started watching Schitt’s Creek, I was a little unsure. The Rose family seemed too much like a certain faux-celebrity family with too many reality series and Instagram brands to be really to my comedic taste, but, I was wrong. Part of the show’s charm is that these characters start out as grade-a Awful and are [very] slowly becoming likable people. It’s one of the best character developments in recent memory,
So, Schitt Life Lesson #3: You can always learn to be a better person.
It may not feel like it sometimes, but morality is not stagnant. You don’t reach the level of “good” defeat the boss character, and have credits roll with a tinny theme song. It’s hard work and requires a lot of time and dedication. Seeing people as self-obsessed as the Roses learn to put others ahead of themselves and become generous with their time and money is motivation for me to do some soul work of my own. If Moira Rose can lend her perfectly manicured hands to charity, so can I.
That concludes my Schitt life lessons, and that means it’s time for me to return to my Netflix binge of season 4.
Do you watch Schitt’s Creek? Tweet at me or leave a comment!
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