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Shitt’s Creek

19 Oct

Shitt’s Creek — TV Situation Comedy 2014-2020, On Netflix and elsewhere.
★★★★★
The Story: A wealthy family loses every penny, save a hick town, which when rich they bought as a lark and in whose seedy motel they must now reside.
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Shitt’s Creek offers us a situation we humans have loved from Twelfth Night through the comedies of the ‘30s to Gilligan’s Island to this. The rich brought low.

Nothing needs to be said about it except that I watched — at least I think I watched — all 60 episodes with delight and surprise. I deem it to be deservedly popular and its handsome awards just. Beautifully directed and produced, perfectly written — by many — and performed with extravagant imagination by all.

Moira Rose, the mother, in the Natalie Schafer role, is played not as a mother but, as a soap opera actress between engagements. Catharine O’Hara, dolled up in The Wardrobe Without End, manages to be overdressed in every outfit, although each be but black and white. Her performance gains in magnificence as her diction gains in elaboration. One’s tongue hangs out eager to translate her next utterance into the vernacular of common sense. I think O’Hara wrote her own lines. They’re very funny. She’s very funny. Her Moira Rose is as selfish as cats, and we root for her every bugle-bead of the way.

The two children are carousels of gargoyle gesticulation. The son constantly shakes his head No as though it held dice it prayed would, when shot, produce a Yes. The daughter‘s body thrashes about like a Mixmaster itching to whip itself into a meringue of charm. The kids never stop twitching. They seem to have no center, for they cannot stand still to experience one. Cartoons but valiant ones, if they once spoiled themselves to experience the all-and-nothing of The Great World, they now bring the daring of those spoiled spoils into their futures where they transsex them into large social benefit. They contributed nothing but cuff-lace until they ended in this rube burg.

Eugene Levy, as the paterfamilias, never loses the vocalization of the born entrepreneur. He is the anchor of the wrecked vessel. He is down-to-earth — always hopeful, always creating hope in others. His Johnny Rose is to me a mystery performance. He plays the character not as a fool or dullard. All his family bring the folly of their grandeur to the small-town. What he brings is a bent to live out his talent for business and thus realize his own life and by contagion the life of everyone in contact with him. He is the occasion for comedy rather than the enactor of it. A wonder of a performance.

Each actor who plays townsfolk is tip-top, perfectly cast, endearing as all get out. Their characters live out a story whose foundation is that acceptance is natural as breathing.

Indeed, the Rose family presents acceptance as prenatal.

For Shitt’s Creek is a story which The Politically Correct never sullies but from which it is never missing. Before, after, and instead of, we are presented with a world made real and funny by the absence of what never should have existed to begin with. How true. If untried. No finger wags here. For what is advice but the starvation of a salesman’s sample? And why a sample? — when the example of a whole body, a whole town may live it out for us — as here?

Instead, the foundation of its comedy lies, as comedy must, in that everyone accepts everyone and is irritated by everyone.

I recommend the series with no reservation save to start at the start, go to the end, then, as Moira Rose would put it, desist.

 
 
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