The premise is a rich family loses its fortune due to a shady financial advisor, but is left with one asset. We've seen this set-up before, "Moonlighting," or "Arrested Development:" it's a reverse "Beverly Hillbillies." In this case the asset is a small, goofy town. This privileged family is forced to live in a seedy motel and figure things out. Here's the thing; everyone is wacky. There are no straight-men. The rich family are comedically inept while dealing with real life. They are the fish out of water but the water here is tainted by quirky. The mayor is Chris Elliot, for instance. Characters have to take turns being bedeviled by another character's idiosyncrasies. As I stated, it's a traditional sit-com. There's little serialization. Each character gets a A, B or C-plot line. It wasn't until season two we could start feeling empathy for anyone as some of them started to have actual feelings or found an inner nobility.
One episode, Levy is the sensible, playing straight for Bob, the odd owner of Bob's garage. Other episodes he does something wrong and is reluctant to admit his mistake, feigning innocence, becoming the jerky idiot. A lot of the comedy is "cringe comedy," the kind which really reached its zenith with the character of Michael Scott in "The Office." It's not my favorite style of comedy, because watching someone get embarrassed and then embarrassed some more can be hard to watch.
As I reached the later seasons I was still enjoying it, but, again, I'm not sure why social media was going so ga-ga for it, as great as it is to see Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hare go through their paces. It is interesting to see Dan Levy before he became a TV commercial icon. The stakes start to rise a bit as the family gets slightly more competent. The town characters now roast Eugene Levy every chance they get (they even had a episode where the town held a roast for Bob and it became the town roasting Eugene about how bad he is at roasting people). Dan Levy's character, David, got a boyfriend, who becomes a true stoic straight man, much like Bob Newhart (although he looks like a young Dave Foley). He gets to watch "David" be incredibly self-absorbed and then gets to pop David's balloon; This takes some of the heavy lifting from the character Stevie Budd, the clerk at the motel who was the first to befriend David.
Weirdly, it's Stevie's character that has a true arc in the show as she goes from near-goth Gen-X mocker of the Rose family, to accepting them to loving them and partners up with them. The Rose daughter, Alexia, gets to mature, make a sacrifice for love while mapping out a career and David...he gets a boyfriend.
O'Hare has the wildest swings. She's an actress who was recently let go from her soap opera. She's bummed at being stuck in town, yet runs for city council. She gets a movie gig for a terrible movie and somehow saves it. She gets her old TV job back, yet still can't get out of town fast enough yet stops long enough to hug her choir group.
As it goes on, each character gets a chance to to the right thing for someone else, but being Schitt's Creek, it usually gets undercut by someone's idiocy.
All in all , I enjoyed it and pulled for these guys while also wishing they would sit down and shut up.
We watched the first three seasons not knowing anything about the show, or even how old it was. Turns out it was recent and just as we finished season 3, it was announced season 4 would be up in a few days.
The show can be charming because it takes place in a small town. But, good heavens, nothing goes right for these people; Infidelity. Heartache. Vile Americans. Blackmail. Child theft and lies. And instead of fascists, (Like Hotel Portofino) it has abusive spouses and drug dealers. The show exists to see how much more the leads can bear. It does have a slightly quirky side but no tiny cakes or scones. The actress Annette O'Toole steals the first two seasons as the decidedly opinionated mayor. Weirdly, the whole "mayor" thing gets lost. As does O'Toole, who missed season 3 due to COVID restrictions and was reduced to a couple of ZOOM calls. And other things seem to slip into the background as different stories crop up. Other stories that seemed to need to slip into the background suddenly loom large. Every time someone picks up a phone it's BAD NEWS.
My wife liked the show because everyone in it is from her Hallmark movies. But I don't know if we'll be revisiting the old episodes as we await the new seasons.