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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Schitt's Creek is a comedy about a formerly wealthy family that falls on hard times. Some cursing, often in jest; "son of a b---h," "ass," and "f--k" (bleeped) also make an appearance. Siblings use a lot of argumentative language parents may not appreciate, telling each other to "shut up" repeatedly. Family members say unflattering things and behave as if they don't like each other. People who live in rural areas are portrayed as naive, unsophisticated, and perhaps even dumb, while the wealthy are portrayed as unkind and greedy. Jokes about sex, body parts, bodily fluids, and bathroom jokes aren't as funny as stars Levy and O'Hara.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Johnny and Moira Rose (Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara) used to rule over a vast video store empire. But that was back when people still watched videos. Now they're down -- with their former mansion and all its contents seized by the U.S. government -- but not out: As a joke, Johnny once purchased the backwater town of SCHITT'S CREEK. Now Schitt's Creek is the only place left to go, so the Roses retreat there with their spoiled kids David (Daniel Levy, son of Eugene) and Alexis (Annie Murphy) and broken dreams. They're greeted by feckless Mayor Roland Schitt (Chris Elliott), who offers his new overlords his own creepy brand of friendship; Stevie Budd (Emily Hampshire), the proprietor of the sleazy motel that's their new home; and a whole cast of quirky characters.
Is it any good?
Levy and O'Hara are certified comic geniuses, able to breathe life into the most unfunny of situations. Alas, they're unable to rouse the stale comic setup here. Really? The old rich-city-people go to the backwoods to find a bunch of quaint characters? Sigh. Wasn't that a plot line on I Love Lucy? Or Green Acres? And about 17 million other shows since? It should be a rare delight to watch these two comic pros sparring on-screen; instead, they're hobbled by blah plot twists and unfunny writing. An entire subplot on the pilot revolves around Roland Schitt (Chris Elliott, always a welcome sight) overstaying his welcome in the Rose's hotel room: First he sits down with the remote, and then he uses their bathroom -- to go No. 2! Can you believe the comic hijinks?
Sigh. Add to that the fact that the two "kids" seem to shriek every line at each other instead of talking like human beings, and the picture is clear. What you have here is some very average comic material put over by (mostly) great comic actors. If only the writing were as good as the casting. Levy Sr., O'Hara, Elliott, and standout Emily Hampshire (also great in sci-fi series 12 Monkeys) are able to wring some halfhearted chuckles out of their lines just from sheer timing, but the whole thing mostly falls limp.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about real-life celebrity families who bear a resemblance to the Roses. Which famous people do you think the Roses were based on, if any?
Are viewers supposed to like the Roses? One family member more than others? How can you tell? What about the way they're presented makes them likable or unlikable?