One of the big surprises in Season 1 of Schitt’s Creek were the relationships. Far from being a formulaic comedy series hitting viewers with a rat-a-tat-tat of jokes, Dan Levy’s co-creation showed real heart among its characters … when they weren’t caught in cringe-inducing situations.
By the end of the rookie go-round, David Rose (Dan Levy) was speeding out of town in a stolen truck after breaking up with Stevie Budd (Emily Hampshire) and Alexis Rose (Annie Murphy) was trying to decide which man she wanted to be with: stoic, stable Ted (Dustin Milligan) or rough and tumble Mutt (Tim Rozon). Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy) and Moira (Catherine O’Hara), meanwhile, were plotting to get the family out of Schitt’s Creek. When Season 2 returns to CBC in January with two back-to-back episodes, three days have elapsed since David disappeared and Alexis decides to cut Ted loose.
“Ted returns a changed man after going on a honeymoon by himself,” Dan says with a smile while O’Hara cackles with glee. “Ted goes away to a sunny resort and learns a lot about himself.” The same is true of the other major characters; Johnny is plans to sell Schitt’s Creek but opens up an office in the meantime, Moira attempts to inject the town with some sophistication and David goes looking for a job. Now that the writers’ room members know more about the characters, they can interplay and explore other parts of the town.
“We definitely went into this season saying, ‘OK, let’s go with some different pairings,'” Dan says. “We see a really lovely episode between Moira and Alexis halfway through the season.”
“They wrote a great story,” O’Hara says. “Alexis gets sick and Moira doesn’t know how to mother her. There was always someone there to take care of Alexis when she was growing up. These are new experiences for Moira.” O’Hara is quick to point out Moira is forced into these mothering situations; there is no forethought or plan to make her a better mom. Or cook, as illustrated in Episode 2 of Season 2, when Moira’s attempt to re-create a Mexican dish from her own mom’s recipe turns into a fiasco in Jocelyn’s (Jennifer Robertson) kitchen.
David, meanwhile, goes on a job hunt, which leads to the introduction of a new character played by former Saturday Night Live and SCTV actress Robin Duke.
“David gets a job at a clothing store and she plays Wendy, the manager of the store,” he teases. “The store is struggling, so she is balancing the reality of an unstable business with having hired David, who wants to redo the whole store. His ideas are not coming from a business mind.” Also on tap? More Twyla (Sarah Levy), thanks to a group activity that starts happening in the town.
“Again, this was a way of showing our characters in different lights and providing a different through-line that was outside of the areas we’ve associated them with.”
Schitt’s Creek returns Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 9 p.m. on CBC.
Plus: Vote for Schitt’s Creek for Favourite Canadian TV Series of 2015.