You didn’t imagine it. Whenever ‘Schitt’s Creek’ was said aloud inside the Emmys theatre, the polite roll of applause would swell, in kind of a warm, but slightly raucous way that felt familiar, somehow…
Sometimes, when Mike and I are watching TV, I’ll get too excited and go on at length about some behind-the-scenes element I’ve gleaned, (I am a master at figuring out when actors have colds they’re trying to hide) and want him to praise my brilliance. He objects strenuously – and correctly – to this process, and the reason why is always the same: “No! I don’t want to think that these are just actors and directors doing their job,” and here he stretches out a plaintive hand to the TV: “I just want to hang out with my friends!”
That was what the sound reminded me of, whenever anyone read the words Schitt’s Creek, or when the cast was interviewed on the red carpet. “Hey, those are my friends!” Or, the case of Catherine “Moira Rose” O’Hara, “there is the woman I hope I am someday grand enough to be.”
Still, it’s notable. Everyone in entertainment has worked with one another a million times, and trades crew and cast between them – but somehow, even though Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara were bona fide comedy legends before Schitt’s Creek ever got started, Dan Levy created a town and a world that feels so authentic and realized that everyone who watches it wants to be friends with the people who live there, to participate in their heightened, charming life, even though people in TV, more than most, know it’s all playing pretend.
You can see why, of course – this cast is one of those ones (kind of like Veep’s, as I wrote earlier) that seems to light up around one another, and seems like, for lack of a less obvious descriptor… they’re a family.
Obviously the familial connection between the Eugene, Dan, and Sarah Levy, who plays Twyla, is part of that – but it’s also part of the mythos of the show, as Dan says in his OUT Magazine cover story last week, “From day one, the town was going to be an oasis in terms of acceptance and love.”
It’s one thing to turn the heads of viewers, but to turn the heads of cynics in the business is entirely another. That’s why the ‘little show that could’ descriptor is so oft-repeated, because it implies tons of heart and togetherness that’s obviously authentic.
Also authentic – everyone who expressed joy at the ‘Moira-Rose-ness’ of Catherine O’Hara’s black & white column dress, Dan’s Prada tux, and the colour story of their outfits en masse, as if David Rose would have it any other way.