Eugene Levy and son Dan Levy co-star in Schitt's Creek

Eugene, Dan Levy star in Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek (VIDEO)

The show has screened to mixed reviews, and will be of the CBC's most important creative properties for the 2015 season.



Eugene Levy and son Dan Levy co-star in the CBC’s new original comedy, Schitt’s Creek, which premiers tonight on the Corporation.

Levy’s SCTV pal Catherine O’Hara is also along for the ride as the mother figure in a wealthy family that sees their assets seized and their lives relocated. The Rose family – which also includes Annie Murphy playing daughter Alexis – is forced to move to an actual town called Schitt’s Creek, which the elder Levy’s character apparently purchased some time ago… as a joke.

“I had this idea of a family losing their money and exploring it in a way that had never really been explored before,” said Dan Levy, who shares creator credit on the show with his dad. “What would that exploration be? What would this family look like without all their belongings? There was something sort of fascinating there.”

(Certainly, the idea of having the Roses move to a small town is at least different than the plot of Arrested Development, which followed an almost identical opening synopsis, and premiered in 2003.)

The show has reportedly been picked up to air in the United States on TV station Pop, a re-brand of TVGN.

So far, Schitt’s Creek has pulled up with mixed reviews in its pre-debut screenings, but the Hamilton Spectator‘s Tony Wong says its success is vital for the CBC.

“The comedy is one of the CBC’s most important offerings this year as it tries to retool a tired lineup of shows that have been struggling in the ratings,” he writes. “As a result, Levy and the cast are in Hollywood with a full court press to promote the show…”

In Wong’s article, linked above, Levy says the network was “intent on rebranding themselves” when he and Dan approached them with the show, even putting aside the tongue-in-cheek vulgarity of the name Schitt’s Creek, if that’s offensive to someone out there… anywhere, anymore.

Levy also told Wong the idea for the show’s main act, which sees the Rose family move to the little town they own, was inspired by the financial folly of actress Kim Basinger, who purchased the town of Braselton, Georgia in 1989 for $20 million, and later filed for persona bankruptcy.

“My wife had an idea for a television show about boomers not having money or moving in with their kids,” he said. “Their situation was described as being up sh**’s creek. It just made us laugh.

“She (Basinger) was hoping that film people would come to the town to use it as a location area and she lost a lot of money. The idea of wealthy people buying a town went back to the Schitt’s Creek idea.”

In his negative review of the show, the Globe and Mail‘s John Doyle acknowledges some of the glowing testimonials Schitt’s Creek has received in Canada, but calls the pilot “droll” and “dead on arrival”.

“There is no edge to Schitt’s Creek,” Doyle writes. “It’s cozy comedy and perhaps the tightness of the ensemble – bound by family, old alliances – blinds then to the lack of hilarity in what they’re doing. Comedy is hard and the show is soft-core comedy.

“Many viewers will approach Schitt’s Creek with advance affection. They will relish seeing Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara working together again. They will savour the father/son dynamic between Eugene and Dan Levy. That’s peachy too. But it will camouflage the fact that the show is as anodyne and polite as the feel-good remarks made by its stars when asked about it. It’s nice and it’s droll, but it fails.”

Conversely, the Winnipeg Free Press‘s Brad Oswald was a little more complimentary…

“Happily, the in-your-face-ness of the series title’s without-a-paddle punchline is in no way representative of Schitt’s Creek‘s comedy, which quickly shows itself to be smart, sharp and fully worthy of having a couple of Canadian comedy legends in its cast,” he writes.

“It’s a very good show – so good, in fact, that CBC announced on Tuesday that a second season has been ordered, a full day before the first season even begins.

“In terms of forward momentum, I’d say that’s more than enough paddle power to keep Schitt’s Creek moving.”

VIDEO: Extended Preview: Schitt’s Creek – Episode 1

Just Posted

Woman charged in Saanichton stabbing

One man treated for injuries, released from hospital following Friday assault

Saanich’s Red Lion Inn receives council’s blessing for extended liquor hours

Extension comes more than two years after a major fire

Province continues to investigate Saanich’s Horticultural Centre of the Pacific

Investigation stems from May 2 incident that turned Colquitz River ‘chocolate brown’

Avid Victoria cyclist’s legacy bike ride helps fund end-of-life care

2019 Denis Muloin Ride for Palliative Care invites cyclists for May 26 fundraiser

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read