Schitt’s Creek is ending, and it’s going to be okay

SCHITT’S CREEK (Dan Levy, Eugene Levy) airing Tuesdays at 9 pm on CBC TV and streaming on CBC Gem season four available on Netflix. Rating: NNNN

Schitt’s Creek is ending. Don’t be sad, be happy that it was here at all.

On Twitter earlier this week, executive producer Dan Levy announced the sixth and final season of the CBC sitcom in which he stars, along with Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy and his father and fellow executive producer Eugene, as the Roses, an oblivious, privileged family who wind up running a motel in a small town after losing everything.

Social media was exactly the right place to make this announcement, since it’s hard to spend an hour on Twitter or Instagram without finding a reaction gif of Dan’s hyper-expressive David, or Murphy’s beaming Alexis. (The people I follow seem especially fond of Emily Hampshire’s scene-stealing motel clerk Stevie Budd, and I can’t say I blame them.) Schitt’s Creek is a constant flow of snappy little moments – double-takes, triple-takes, slapstick and general buffoonery – designed to be passed around with friends and savoured over and over.

And Schitt’s fans responded to the news with thanks and supportive comments, rather than kicking and screaming and demanding the show continue beyond its designated end point. Dan told the Canadian Press he’s had a conclusion in mind since somewhere around the third season, and that he and his father have been steering the storylines toward it ever since that probably helped.

Unlike, say, the reboot of One Day At A Time, which Netflix killed last week despite literally everyone who makes and watches it wanting more, this show is going out on its own terms. It’s an international hit, a critical darling, and the clear favourite at this week’s Canadian Screen Awards, where – leading the TV comedy section with 15 nominations – it seems set to reprise its 2016 domination of the ceremonies. (Will O’Hara be named best actress in a comedy for the fourth straight time? Almost certainly!)

I think there’s another reason fans aren’t enraged about the series coming to an end: they know it wouldn’t want them to be. Schitt’s Creek isn’t an angry show. Sure, the Roses are frequently frustrated with their situation, and with one another, but the Levys and their writers have crafted a generally cheerful, open-hearted half-hour that believes in the best of its weird, idiosyncratic characters. No wonder people want to spend time hanging out with them.

Dan has spoken often about the importance of love and tolerance within the world he’s created, and how David’s pansexual identity is never mocked or attacked there is no homophobia in Schitt’s Creek, and there never will be, because he doesn’t want to put any more of it into the world. (Killjoys creator Michelle Lovretta expressed something similar last year: “I can’t stop that shit in the real world, but I don’t have to validate it in my fictional ones.”)

Dan’s position also served to amplify the really sweet relationship that’s blossomed in recent seasons between David and his business partner Patrick, played by Noah Reid their romance develops without any sense of external threat, which doesn’t sound terribly groundbreaking until you think about how many other shows – even comedies – place their LGBTQ characters in danger as a matter of course. Schitt’s Creek wants us to imagine a world where a man can, say, openly declare his feelings for another man at an open-mic night and not have to worry about it for even a moment… and neither do we.

Anyway, season six better end with a happily-ever-after for all concerned. Or we will have words.

Ah, who am I kidding? This show’s going out on a hug. And possibly a motel fire.


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