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This TV critic met the 'Schitt's Creek' cast five times. Here are his favorite moments

Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Tuesday night that compact universe of sweetness and insanity, laughter and tears, innocence and experience called "Schitt's Creek" came to its natural end. At the close of six seasons, the family Rose -- defrauded in Episode 1 of its millions -- having learned what love is, arrived at its fairy-tale end: the restoration of its fortune. Dang, I am choking up just writing it down.

This event, in the strangeness of cosmic time and modern television platforms, still lies in the future for some viewers, some of whom have yet to understand that it is not a Netflix show, which carries new episodes long after they debut here on the basic cable network Pop. Indeed, America was slow to cotton to the Canadian-made series, which went from outlier to cult item to absolute phenomenon by year four, either because it was "hard to find," or because some people don't have "regular TV" or because the media was insufficiently impressed (before it was besotted).

To take out the horn I have fashioned especially to blow at this moment, I was a fan from the start -- excited from the first press release at the very prospect of a show starring Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara. I had loved their work since "SCTV" stole down over the border, back before Dan Levy, who created the show with his father, Eugene, was born.

And so began a series of happy face-to-face encounters with creators and cast of the show, stretching from before to the premiere to the day before production wrapped, on the site of the Rosebud Motel itself.

'I don't want to do snooty rich lady'

It's February 2015, and I have come to the Aroma Cafe in Studio City to meet Eugene Levy and O'Hara, an interview that produced both a feature and an extended Q&A. Sometimes you get to meet your heroes, and though there is a well-known caveat about it maybe being better not to, if you pick your heroes wisely it usually pays off. They are seriously nice, and -- not formal exactly, but grown-up. O'Hara has a cold but soldiers through.

 

At this point in the show's (nearly pre-) history, the older stars, their friendship and history -- which for Levy and O'Hara includes several films Levy co-wrote with Christopher Guest -- are the focus of the conversation. (This includes Chris Elliott as town mayor Roland Schitt.) No one in America has seen Dan Levy. Annie Murphy, who will play sister Alexis to Dan's David Rose -- and daughter to O'Hara's Moira and Eugene's Johnny -- has had no career at all.

"We work the same way, Catherine and I," Levy says. "We've spent our lives in comedy, and yet I don't think either one of us think of ourselves as funny people. We love to get into characters that are credible, real, grounded. It isn't just, 'Wouldn't it be great to work with Catherine?' You're working with the person who really does this kind of work well."

"He just doesn't like to meet new people," O'Hara says.

"That's the other thing. But you I'm comfortable with. You don't criticize me that much."

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