“Schitt’s Creek” enters the Golden Globes race as the overwhelming favorite, bolstered by an astonishing sweep at the 2020 Emmy Awards where the outrageous comedy series won every major category: a first. While the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has a reputation for championing newer series such as “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Ramy,” the voting body may feel it has to play catch-up with the six-year-old “Creek” so it does not look completely clueless, a common occupational hazard in the awards business. Among TV viewers, today the show is suddenly so popular that it’s not only a super-hit on Netflix, but Comedy Central recently picked up broadcast rights and has been re-airing frequent episodes often marathon-style.
How did viewers fall in love with the Canadian series? It was a long seduction. The show, about a well-to-do family that loses its fortune and must start over in a nowhere town with the unfortunate name Schitt’s Creek, premiered very modestly in 2015 on Pop TV but offered something viewers weren’t getting in the increasingly tiresome market of US network comedies: a breath of fresh air. The cast, headed by veteran SCTV comedy veterans Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, did not bend over backwards to make you like them. In fact, the family matriarch, Moira Rose (O’Hara) was an unapologetically selfish soap opera star. Eldest Rose son, David (Dan Levy), was a neurotic handful. Yet, their time in the town of Schitt’s Creek changed them, in particular David, who believably fell in love with Patrick (Noah Reid), described as a “business major who wears straight-legged, mid-range denim.”
In season 4, Patrick serenaded David with an irresistible acoustic version of the Tina Turner hit “Simply the Best” that went viral on YouTube. Patrick helped David open his store, Rose’s Apothecary (a successful marketing tie-in, with sweatshirts and other apparel you can purchase online), and married him in a bizarre ceremony presided over by Moira dressed as a Viking pope in a blonde wig. What other comedy series was going to top that? I’ll tell you: None.
With its mixture of eccentricity and heart, “Schitt’s Creek” inevitably picked up steam in the industry. The first two seasons became available on Netflix in 2017 and the bingeing began. The series earned four Emmy nominations in 2019. As the show was nearing the end of its six-season run, the industry found a niche for it in the TV pantheon with all those Emmys. Now it’s expected to sweep at the 2021 SAG Awards. If nothing else, the current love affair with the show allows viewers to experience the comic joy that is Catherine O’Hara. She has been egregiously overlooked by nominating bodies, who have been known to name-check the same folks year after year out of sheer laziness. Despite acclaimed performances in comedic films (“A Mighty Wind”) and prestige TV dramas (“Temple Grandin”), O’Hara has never been nominated for a Golden Globe. A win here would serve both as a victory—and a belated apology.
Currently, Gold Derby favors “Schitt’s Creek” to take the comedy series prize with 10/3 odds. Stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara are expected to repeat their Emmy victories, with 69/20 and 82/25 odds respectively. Dan Levy is expected to win the TV Supporting Actor category, which combines film and series performers, with 18/5 odds. Finally, Annie Murphy is in fourth place to win the supporting actress race with 13/2 odds.
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