Daniel Levy on the “most exciting season” of CBC’s Schitt’s Creek

For two seasons, the Rose family has been desperately trying to leave Schitt’s Creek. But Johnny’s (Eugene Levy) plan to sell the town (hilariously) fell through, Moira’s (Catherine O’Hara) attempts to distance herself from the locals has failed and Alexis (Annie Murphy) and David (Daniel Levy) have slowly been accepted into the community.

Now, in Season 3—returning for 13 episodes beginning Tuesday, Jan. 10, to CBC—the Roses have more or less embraced Schitt’s Creek and all that comes with it, including Roland Schitt (Chris Elliott), Jocelyn Schitt (Jennifer Robertson), Mutt (Tim Rozon), Twyla (Sarah Levy) and Ted (Dustin Milligan). We spoke to co-creator, co-executive producer and writer Daniel Levy about what fans can expect in Season 3.

I’ve seen the first episode of Season 3 and the Roses are going through some transition in their lives.
Daniel Levy: Yes, they are. This whole season centres on the premise of transition and just digging a little deeper into the town.

I did wonder where you can go in a third season. I guess the answer is, throw him into a three-way relationship between Stevie (Emily Hampshire) and a guy named Jake (Steve Lund).
{Laughs.] One of the mandates from season to season is, ‘What haven’t we done before?’ And that was definitely a fun little arc to play with.

Is Jake around for a full season or a recurring character?
He plays a pivotal role in the first two episodes. Steve was in the final episode of Season 2 and it’s an interesting casting choice because he does play a sexually fluid character and something Steve brought into the room felt right. We thought he did such a good job at the end of Season 2 that it could be fun to bring him back. And, again, we’re playing off the complexity of David and Stevie’s relationship that David identifies and pansexual and how much fun you can have with the idea of a ‘throuple.’ [Laughs.]

As funny as those scenes are between Stevie and David, there is that undercurrent of serious feelings they have for each other. It’s an added, emotional layer.
Going back to your earlier comment about where you go in a third season, for us, it was taking the focus away from the circumstance and shining the light on the characters in a slightly more dimensional way than we have in the past. For two seasons, it was really important in terms of the narrative, to really substantiate the scenario, the premise of the family adapting to this town. For Season 3, we’re really peeling back the layers of the four protagonists and also with Stevie and Roland and Jocelyn.

To me, this is the most exciting season that we’ve done, and hopefully, rewarding to the fans of the show because we’ll see these people in new and dynamic situations they’ve never seen them in before.

I’ve almost forgotten they’re trying to get out of the town. That’s not part of the narrative anymore, really. Moira is part of the town council and rather than trying to get out of it, has made the best of it.
She’s going to make it about her, basically. Now that they’re not getting out, how are they going to make the best of their time there?

When you say this is the best season ever, have you been working towards this season via the last two?
When I go into each season, it’s not with an end goal in mind when I go into the room. There are emotional beats and emotional places where we want to find our characters at the end of every season. But, to be honest, on a lot of shows the premise wears thin. Being able to dig deeper is a relief, to say the least. But that’s also because of the strength of our actors. They have substantiated these characters in ways that far surpassed all of our expectations and, in a way, have allowed us to tell stories that are uniquely tailored to their skills.

Schitt’s Creek airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Cast image courtesy of CBC.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
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