It’s been two months since COVID-19 upended life and I can’t get Schitt’s Creek out of my mind. The CBC Netflix comedy seems like such a perfect metaphor for our times. The Rose family, who has it all, loses everything and ends up in a dead end town and is forced to make the best of it. They are taken aback by the hoosiers they meet and the void they’ve fallen into. They live in two adjoining rooms in a run down motel and dress in couture and fancy suits. They feel entitled to their glamorous lifestyle and try to escape. They are in denial that this could possibly be their future. They are strangers in a strange land, but they can’t get out, so they are forced to survive the turn of events.
Then lo and behold, they start to make friends and find ways to serve their community. Moira ends up on the town council and finds her passion in local arts. Johnny Rose helps make the rundown motel more appealing. David goes into retail and meets his life partner and Alexis reinvents herself into a businesswoman and learns to put others ahead of herself. They all dig deep and become their better selves and as they do everything around them becomes more livable. They become essential to one another and become family they never thought they could be.
When they happen to intersect with their old lives, they find they’ve grown from the selfish people they once were to people who are giving back and finding their place in their new home. They’ve grown due to their circumstances and become loved, compassionate, albeit quirky, members of the community. Townies come to appreciate them. They become essential to the fabric of the town, and they learn how important whoever you call family is to your survival. Because of their efforts they see what people saw in the sleepy town. Schitt’s Creek is no longer a shit hole.
I still have one season to go so I don’t know how the show ends yet. (Readers please don’t spoil it for me.) But binging the program has made me laugh and think during this time of uncertainty and isolation. I keep hearing the word “pivot” these days. Everyone is “pivoting” because of the new normal. What I’m learning once again from Schitt’s Creek is that pivoting is a process and you fall and get up and fall and get up again. You don’t get your old life back. But you can have a more evolved life with new priorities. You have the chance to emerge as a better person and help make it a better world.
This has not been an easy time. For many who’ve lost friends and family to COVID-19 or those who’ve lost their livelihoods to the economic chaos, it has been especially hard. There’s no humor in either of those situations. But when I lie in bed awake at night, thinking about these times, I also think about the hope and inspiration I’m getting from Schitt’s Creek. Coronavirus will be the event of a lifetime. From here on it will be before coronavirus and after coronavirus. Everything will change because of this. But as our friends in Schitt’s Creek learned, darkness is followed by light. After collapse comes grieving then opportunity. And eventually we will plow through all the shit and recover.