“Schitt’s Creek.” Yep. Just like it sounds. Except it’s with a “C,” so it’s funny. Or at least this is the emotion the show attempts to evoke from its audience. Comedian Eugene Levy and his son Daniel created and star in this riches-to-rags comedy alongside longtime collaborator Catherine O’Hara and newcomer Annie Murphy. While a noble concept, this pilot episode loses itself in the redundancy of its humor after the opening credits role.
You won’t find “Schitt’s Creek” on the major U.S. networks. As a Canadian import, it can be found on TV Guide Network’s rebranded Pop network or, just as easily, On Demand. Much like “Waiting for Guffman,” “Best in Show” and the other cult classic mockumentaries, the world of the story is strong in “Schitt’s Creek.” There is something tangibly funny in the misery that is “Schitt’s Creek.” But compartmentalizing it into twenty-two minutes will leave you feeling stuck, and, sadly, up a waterway of feces.
As a wealthy man whose empire suddenly crumbles beneath him and is forced to reside in the titular small Canadian town he bought as a joke for his son, Eugene Levy plays a father far different than his “American Pie” counterpart. Where the character of Mr. Levenstein was uncomfortable by nature, Levy’s new character, Johnny Rose, is forced into a state of discomfort. It might take some getting used to seeing Jim’s dad in an Italian suit appalled by the idea of lifting his own suitcase. Catherine O’Hara, a strong member of the series of mockumentaries her and Levy worked on with Christopher Guest, delivers an over the top performance as Levy’s hoity-toity wife. The younger Levy and Murphy play the Roses’ pampered son and daughter. A glimmer of hope comes in the form of actor Chris Elliot, “Schitt’s Creek”’s local bum/mayor whose role is to further increase the Roses’ discomfort with their new home by stealing the doors from their motel rooms.
From the time they step off the bus in “Schitt’s Creek” to the end credits, the audience is peppered with the Rose’s dislike for anything other than Mercedes Benz and celebrity birthday parties. It will be difficult to imagine a plot for future episodes beyond Catherine O’Hara desperately seeking Chanel No. 5 at the local drugstore.
Complain, Complain, Complain. That’s the name of the game.
Gilboard is a member of the class of 2015.