Love You Forever, ‘Schitt’s Creek’

The show leaves us with what we are craving so desperately at this moment: a happy ending.

In the penultimate episode of Schitt’s Creek, Johnny Rose has gathered his family in the motel room where they’ve spent the last three years. The Roses are all finally able to leave the small town they were forced to live in after losing their money; Johnny shares that he and Moira will be headed to California, not New York. David then tells everyone he plans on staying in Schitt’s Creek. Alexis decides she will head to New York on her own. The Rose family realizes that they will all be going in separate directions, after a few years of living together in the same adjoined motel rooms.

“And as much as I’ll miss this — being together — at least I can go to sleep knowing we’re all gonna be okay,” Johnny, played perfectly by Eugene Levy, tells his family.

schitt's creek

I will miss us being together, too, Schitt’s Creek. I will miss Eugene, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Levy, and Annie Murphy gracing my television screen. But I know we will all be okay. Well, I can hope that we will all be okay.

Even though I didn’t want it to end, I understand that the beloved Canadian sitcom had run its course; like I’ve written many times before, as other beloved shows ended, I much prefer a show finishing out on its own terms versus being canceled, or continuing to air for the sake of airing. “I at no point wanted to compromise on quality or storytelling,” creator and star Dan Levy explained. “It just didn’t feel like it was worth the risk to take it any further.” So, I will miss Schitt’s Creek oh so very dearly — even though I know it has to go.

But as I write this, it feels like it is leaving us at the worst possible time. Nearly two years ago, on this very website, I wrote about how Schitt’s Creek is the best thing to watch during terrible times. (What terrible times was I referring to? Who even knows at this point. Everything is terrible!!) And now, as we are dealing with a pandemic, the best thing to watch in these terrible times took its final bow.

Yet, it leaves us with what we are craving so desperately at this moment: a happy ending.

On the final season of Schitt’s Creek, every character gets their happy ending. (David, quite literally, gets a happy ending from a masseuse, much to Patrick’s horror.) The finale ends with the wedding between David and Patrick, officiated by Moira. As Alexis is about to walk David down the aisle, he turns to her and says, “I am continuously impressed by you.” There is a very heartwarming goodbye between parents and children at the end, and Johnny gets the final line of the series: “Driver, we’re ready.”

This very perfect goodbye ends a five-year run, cementing its status as one of the best shows of the decade — and cementing its place in my heart as one of my favorite shows ever.

Schitt’s Creek gifted us with characters that are unique and unforgettable. Led by true comedy legends Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, the cast consistently delivered. In the documentary that aired following the finale, Dan talks about how his dad taught him about character-based comedy. They spent weeks getting to know these characters, and working on their backstories, before they wrote a single sentence of the script.

My favorites were the two women at the heart of the show, even though father-and-son duo Eugene and Dan created it. How will we ever forget Catherine’s delightfully wacky Moira (“bébé!”) and Annie Murphy’s Alexis, who has the most expressive face and has been turned into so many gifs (the only reaction gifs I will ever need)?!

schitt's creek

The joy of Schitt’s Creek is, fundamentally, the goodness at the heart of the show. The show’s premise — a Kardashian-type-family who loses their money — seemed like a hard sell at first. I even found it difficult to get into, but once I did, thank God. Because what worked about Schitt’s Creek was that yes, it was our world — but a better version of it. Dan Levy consciously decided that even though his character, David, is pansexual, there would be no storylines about homophobia. “We show love and tolerance. If you put something like that out of the equation, you’re saying that doesn’t exist and shouldn’t exist,” he said.

And yes, it was a truly absurd family, but they had heart. Over the six seasons, we see the Rose family grow as humans, finding more love and meaning than they ever had before. One of the best examples is at the end of season two, when the Rose family is at a barn party and have a moment of togetherness and love:

“I don’t care what snarky remarks you kids are going to make under your breath,” Johnny starts. “Tonight, we are dancing as a family.”
“Do you know your father and I hold great affection for the two of you,” Moira tells Alexis and David. “It may not always be obvious —”
Johnny interjects: “Just say it, Moira!”
“We love you both very much,” she says.
“Love you too!” Alexis replies.
David rolls his eyes, and says, “Love you too!”

schitt's creek

In the finale, they’ve come so far from hesitating to say they love each other. The amount of times the Roses all said “I love you” to each other… Reader — I cried.

And now it’s my turn to say it back. There’s so much to love about Schitt’s Creek: the way Alexis says “Ew, David!!”; the small references to the Roses’s interfaith identity; Eugene Levy’s eyebrows; the romance between Patrick and David; Alexis’s entire character arc; Moira’s wigs; Moria’s voice; anytime Moira is on screen; the Jewish jokes; the way Alexis holds her hands; the “Simply the Best” serenades; I could go on forever.

All this is to say, I am going to miss Schitt’s Creek so much. I am going to miss the sense of comfort the Rose family brings me, and the unadulterated joy and love at the heart of the show. But I know, I know, it was the right moment to end it. Plus, I will still be able to go back to Schitt’s Creek, because the show will be there waiting for me to rewatch, whenever I need it most.

Header image design by Grace Yagel.

Read More

Movie Made Jews

What Makes a Movie Jewish?

Alma chats with author and professor Helene Meyers about the profound impact Jewish movies can have on our identities.