+
Culture

'Why Schitt's Creek Deserved All Those Emmys' by someone who hated the show at first

'Why Schitt's Creek Deserved All Those Emmys' by someone who hated the show at first

My husband and I had just finished watching "The Office" for the third time through and were looking for a new show to watch before bed. I'd seen a couple of friends highly recommend "Schitt's Creek," so we decided to give it a try.

My initial reaction to the first episode was meh. The characters were annoying and the premise was weird (pretentious and previously-filthy-rich family lives in a scuzzy motel in the middle of nowhere??). I felt nothing for the main characters, and I hate shows with horrible main characters that I can't root for. Even predicting that they were going to eventually be transformed by their small town experiences, I didn't see liking them. It didn't grab either of us as worth continuing, so we stopped.

But then I kept hearing people whose taste I trust implicitly talk about how great it was. I know different people have different tastes, but I realized I had to be missing something if these friends of mine raved on and on about it. So we gave it another shot.

It took a bit—I don't know how many episodes exactly, but a bit—to start liking it. Then a bit longer to start really liking it, and then at some point, it became a full-fledged, gushy, where-have-you-been-all-my-life love affair.

So when the show took home nine Emmy awards over the weekend—breaking the record for the most wins in a season for a comedy—I wasn't surprised. Here's why:


The character development—but not in the way I expected

This part seems predictable just based on the premise, right? The characters are self-centered and snooty in the beginning, but they're going to be changed by their experiences in this small, quirky town, blah blah blah. And they are. That happens. But what I found surprising about the character development in the show is how much they didn't change. The town and the people they got to know certainly had an affect on them, and vice versa, but the changes in the characters felt more like a slow revealing of the different dimensions of their personalities rather than an actual change in who they were. We got to see the characters bloom into themselves as opposed to change from one thing to another, which is honestly the best kind of character development.

I was also surprised to find that some of the things I found annoying in the beginning became endearing. The Roses didn't give up the frivolous complaints, the bizarro accents, or the distinct fashion sense that they started with, and those things became lovable quirks, endemic to their characters. So while transformation was predictable, it didn't play out quite the way I expected, and I found myself oddly happy that it didn't.

The wide range of relationships

Along with the individual characters, the relationships between the characters also bloom into themselves. John and Moira's marriage is steady and solid throughout, and it's sweet to see their consistent and genuine support of one another. Alexis's relationships fluctuate between sexy and sickeningly cute, and we get to see her grow and mature through them.

David and Stevie's friendship is hilarious—to see these two sardonic souls find one another in the unlikely setting of a cheap motel and navigating that "are we or aren't we" question until they figured it out is just plain old good TV.

But David and Patrick's relationship is where Schitt's Creek really shines. Though seeing homosexual relationships on television isn't really novel anymore, I don't recall ever seeing the entire arc of one, from meeting to marriage, in a TV series. And the way they made it a classic rom-com romance, with a sort of sweetness and purity to it, was something new and fresh. They're genuinely adorable.

And then there were the Roses as a unit. It feels like they became a true family in Schitt's Creek before ultimately going their separate ways because they were ready to. I really did find myself rooting for all of them.

The humor and the GIFs

Honestly, I wasn't sure about the humor at the beginning of this show. Much like "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation," "Schitt's Creek" is a character-driven comedy, so the laughs take a while to develop. Once they do, though, it's sheer delight. When my husband and I started quoting lines from the show, from Moira's "Alexis can't have a be-be" to Alexis's "Ew, David," all the time, we knew we'd found a winner.

And the GIFs. There is a "Schitt's Creek" GIF for every occasion, which in the age of social media is pretty much the hallmark of a good comedy. Eugene Levy is always funny, but Dan Levy (his son in real life as well as on the show) is simply genius in this role. His facial expressions, body language, inflections—he's so dang hilarious. Catherine O'Hara is so over the top as Moira that it somehow works, and Annie Murphy rounds the family out with her own brand of physical comedy and iconic voice work.

And this...

It's hard to describe how lovely and enjoyable this show is without making it seem boring or unrealistic or silly or simple. And maybe it's some of those things, and maybe that's okay. More than that, though, this show created a story that didn't rely on so many of the problematic tropes that show up in practically every show, whether it's a comedy or drama. This tweet by Sarach McGonagall said it perfectly.

"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. What they built is just so special. They deserve it all."

It's just so good. So much better than the first few episodes would indicate. If you watched an episode or three and it didn't take, I highly recommend sticking it out. It's well worth it, and totally deserving of the Emmy Awards sweep.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less