Why “Schitt’s Creek” Dominated the 2020 Emmy Awards


Courtesy of Andrew Lipovsky

Actors who play the main family on “Schitt’s Creek” pose for a photo.

Maddie Schieder Staff Writer

For those who watched the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, you may recall the immense amount of nominations and awards allotted to the Pop Original Series “Schitt’s Creek.” This iconic cast was capable of sweeping five categories: Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and  Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series this year.

Having watched the show twice, I fully advocate for the series and believe it deserves each win that it received. However, for individuals who have no idea what this show is and why it is making a name for itself in the Emmy world, I am here to tell you more about this five season production. 

Eugene Levy plays the character of Johnny Rose. Most of you may know him from the  family-oriented movie “Cheaper by the Dozen 2.” He created the masterpiece “Schitt’s Creek” with his son, Dan Levy, who plays the character of David Rose, Johnny’s son. Along with Dan, Eugene’s daughter, Sarah Levy, also has a role in the show, playing the character of Twyla. The Rose family has an enormous culture shock when they are kicked out of their mansion due to a scandal with their business manager, who defrauded their fortune. They are forced to live in a town that Rose purchased as a joke many years ago, known as Schitt’s Creek. 

In an interview with BUILD Series, Eugene Levy spoke about the realness of working with his children as an on-camera family and how it makes the show more authentic, given he is speaking with his son like he would offset and in real time. 

He joked and asked, “Are we even acting?” 

While creating laughter in the interview, his comment indicated the legitimacy of the acting and instills a connection between the show and its viewers. To paraphrase, Dan Levy said in an interview at the Emmys that the goal of the show was to depict perspectives that not all television series encapsulate and to be realistic as well as comedic. Topics and themes that are sometimes “taboo” were their goal, and to address them in ways that connect families is extremely powerful. 

Although Annie Murphy, who plays Alexis Rose, and Catharine O’Hara, known as Moira Rose, are not part of the Levy family, they make each episode extremely seamless and come off as a realistic family, given their polished acting and relationship to their co-stars beyond the show. Dan Levy explains that the purposeful avoidance of homophobia or bigotry on the show and the ability to express their messages in such a gentle way was somewhat of a political statement in the actions it has taken on many viewers and their own individual relationships.

The dedication of each actor as he or she accepted such respectable awards provides insight into how much work was put into the series. 

It is clear that the cast and producers were not expecting such a positive outcome at the Emmys, and the emotion they conveyed beyond their on-camera roles is what makes this show so special and significant.