This week, I watched the pilot of Schitt$ Creek (S1:E1). Here’s what happened in the first half of the episode:
- The Rose family gets evicted from their estate and moves into a dingy motel with nothing to their name but the deed to Schitts Creek, a town that Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy) once bought for his son as a joke.
- Alexis (the daughter) hopes her socialite boyfriend will rescue her by private jet (even though he will only “maybe say I love you at some point.”)
- Mayor Roland Schitt overstays his welcome.
In his iconic book, Story, Robert McKee says that gut-busting laughter happens when the “gap between expectation and result” bursts open. Sometimes comedies are written “just for the yucks” (McKee) and other times they are planned down to the minute, even before the jokes have been written. Comedies aren’t easy to predict and that’s why they’re so fun to watch.
Here’s what I predicted:
- Alexis does not get whisked away by her socialite boyfriend – TRUE! This was an easy guess, though.
- Johnny reluctantly cozies up with the Mayor, but it backfires – TRUE! This happens at the end of the pilot and again in the second episode (and many times throughout the series, I’m sure).
- Someone gets a terrible job that they eventually love – HALF TRUE! Johnny gets a terrible job in episode three, which he soon quits, but this prediction is bound to be fulfilled at some point in the show, isn’t it?
- The Roses are downgraded to one motel room – FALSE! I had high hopes that the Roses would be stuck in even closer quarters. Maybe next time.
Probably the best indicator of how much I enjoyed Schitt$ Creek is that I ended up watching 8 more episodes after the pilot. The cast is full of wonderful comedians, and, as a former resident of the Poultry Capital of Niagara, I’m loving every time Schitts Creek’s small town charm bumps up against the Rose family’s posh snobbery.
TV Tuttle gives this episode 3.5/5 stolen motel doors.