I don't think my life really began until I started watching Schitt's Creek. I know that seems dramatic, but from the first "Ew, David," I (along with millions of viewers) was hooked. Whether you're the show's biggest fan or just starting out, these Schitt's Creek behind-the-scenes details will up your watching (or rewatching) game immeasurably.
If you're new to the series, it follows a rich family who suddenly gets their lives, and their wealth, torn out from under them. The only thing they have left is the deed to a town called Schitt’s Creek that patriarch Johnny (Eugene Levy) purchased for his son David (Dan Levy) as a joke. So the whole family moves out to the little, schitty town, where they get a lot more than they bargained for.
Created by both Levys, the six-season series is the definition of iconic thanks to its memorial quotes to its historic 2020 Emmys sweep. While the show sadly came to an end in 2020, rewatching as Johnny, Moira, Alexis, and David find their way in Schitt's Creek continues to keep the spirit of the Rose family alive. As you dive into another rewatch, be on the lookout for how these behind-the-scenes facts impacted the show’s success.
1. Dan Levy created the series after being unable to find work.
The next time you're feeling down about work, be like Dan Levy and take matters into your own hands. After failing to land roles following his MTV hosting days and being self-described as "terrible at auditioning," he decided to create his own show.
2. Eugene Levy came up with the title.
Previously in his career, Dan was firm about wanting to find his own way in the industry, but after creating the concept for Schitt’s Creek, he asked his father, a comedy legend, to come on board. It was Eugene who came up with the title after joking with his friends about the possibility of a town with businesses named "Schitt Hardware."
3. David’s sexuality was important to the core values of the series.
Dan wanted to ensure the LGBTQ+ characters on Schitt's Creek got to just be, as opposed to being used to teach a lesson, as seen in many shows. In addition to making his character David pansexual, he also chose not to give David a coming-out moment, because “it’s not a cross that straight people have to bear.” In 2019 he told GQ of other shows: “The [LGBTQ+] characters were being painted with a different brush ultimately, and that to me was really boring.”
4. Annie Murphy channeled iconic starlets to play Alexis.
From the way she talked to the way she held her bag, Annie Murphy channeled her inner rich girl in her portrayal of Alexis Rose. She watched YouTube clips of the Kardashians, Lindsay Lohan, the Olsen twins, and Paris Hilton to find her voice. Literally.
5. Murphy wrote “A Little Bit Alexis” with her husband.
Few songs in the history of television slap as hard as “A Little Bit Alexis,” which is why it’s such a joy to know Murphy, who plays Alexis in the series, actually came up with the bop herself. According to PopSugar, Murphy’s husband, Menno Versteeg, and their friend Nixon Boyd (who are bandmates together in the indie rock group, Hollerado) handled the musicality while Murphy wrote the memorable lyrics.
6. Dan Levy was super into the details.
Since Dan was involved in every aspect of the show, from writing to wardrobe fittings to post-production, it makes sense he was particular about how he wanted things. He even made sure to scuff the carpets up before they begin filming because he didn't want them to look too clean. For him, no detail was too small to ignore.
7. People kept taking props during filming.
A frenzy used to break out every time Dan said they were done filming on a specific set, because the cast and crew would rush to take props. Eventually, he had to stop telling them when they were done filming altogether, because items kept going missing. Since Murphy’s favorite prop from the show is the Café Tropical menu, I wonder if she has a few of them laying around at home?
8. Eugene Levy originally didn't want Murphy to play Alexis.
It's hard to imagine someone besides Murphy playing the iconic role of Alexis, but it turns out, she almost didn't get the part. Murphy told Vulture: “I was a brunette when I auditioned. And Eugene was having a really, really hard time wrapping his head around the fact that Alexis is blonde and Annie Murphy is brunette. He couldn’t quite get there, so Dan had to tape pictures of blonde hair on my picture.” It was only then that Eugene saw Murphy in the role she was destined to play.
9. Noah Reid composed the version of “Simply the Best” Patrick performed.
One of the most emotional scenes in the series is when Patrick serenades David in Season 4, Episode 6. According to the cast, Noah Reid, who plays Patrick, came up with the beautiful version of the Tina Turner song, “Simply the Best” himself. It was so powerful, Catherine O'Hara admitted she couldn’t get through a single take of the scene without crying. Relatable, TBH.
10. All of the designer clothes worn on the show are second-hand.
As a show about a family who used to be wealthy, it was important for the Roses to be dressed to the nines. However, Schitt's Creek was filmed on a super-tight budget, so the costume designer utilized thrift stores and never paid more than $200 per item, which helped set the tone of the characters and the story they were telling.
11. Dustin Milligan had to stand on a box to kiss Murphy.
Since Murphy and Milligan are similar heights, they had to get creative during kissing scenes, especially if Murphy was wearing heels (and her character often was). In order to smooch while Murphy was in stilettos, she would either have to sit down or Milligan would have to stand on a box to be at a perfect kissing height.
12. Emily Hampshire always wanted to play Sally Bowles in Cabaret.
During the filming of Season 1, Hampshire mentioned to Dan that Sally Bowles was her dream character to play, and if they ever did a musical episode, she hoped it would be Cabaret. Obviously, that worked out, and it even led to another bonus fact: The part where David says "that's my friend" after Stevie sang "Maybe This Time" is now one of Hampshire's favorite moments of the entire series.
All six seasons of Schitt's Creek, as well as the follow-up special, Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell, are now streaming on Netflix.
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