‘Schitt’s Creek’: 3 Things You Forgot From the Pilot Episode

Schitt’s Creek is irreverent, unique, and fun. It’s one of the most quoted and most binge-watched comedies thanks to all these attributes. Plus it’s such a feel-good story.

The show premiered in 2015 on CBC Television and wasn’t instantly popular. But that all changed when the series came to Netflix and a larger audience started falling in love with the Rose family.

Looking back at the pilot episode reveals a few challenges that kept Schitt’s Creek from becoming an instant success. There are also some attributes that remained true throughout all six seasons.

The ‘Schitt’s Creek’ pilot episode covers background on the Rose family

Schitt's Creek cast onstage at the 2018 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour
Schitt’s Creek cast | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The first episode of Schitt’s Creek is called “Our Cup Runneth Over.” This pilot sets the scene for the series, introducing viewers to the Rose family as their lives fall apart. The very beginning shows federal agents raiding their opulent mansion. We quickly learn that the family business manager stole all the Rose family fortune and fled the country. The Roses are forced to depart their lavish lifestyles and head to Schitt’s Creek, a town purchased as a joke years earlier.

A lot of ground gets covered in a small amount of time during that initial episode. Fans discover that the Roses are sarcastic yet loving with each other and are exceptionally close even though they’ve each been so self-absorbed for years.

The Roses hint at what’s important to them

As the family prepares to flee the mansion in a hurry, Moira Rose (Catherine O’Hara) only cares about packing her wig collection. This fixation with her wigs continues throughout the series.

Alexis keeps reminding the family that her boyfriend will be picking her up in his private jet. Stavros never materializes, but it proves that Alexis always sees the bright side of situations. This trait will serve her well later.

David showcases some of his hilarious, deadpan personality by delivering one-liners all the way. And family patriarch Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy) remains practical and calm even in the face of utter ruin. He only cares about keeping the family together and making the best of their circumstances. Though his new life is strange, he does achieve those goals.

Roland Schitt is much less likable in the ‘Schitt’s Creek’ pilot

Besides the Rose family, viewers get introduced to a few key players during the Schitt’s Creek pilot. Town mayor Roland Schitt (Chris Elliot) helps the family secure two motel rooms free of charge since they own the town. But his general demeanor and crass comments are exaggerated compared to how he appears in later episodes. For example, he discusses his sexual exploits at the hotel and steals the doors from the Roses’ rooms as punishment.

Eventually, Roland becomes a friend and ally for Johnny Rose. But the pilot makes it seem like they’ll stay enemies for the duration.

The series pilot sets up the finale

While the beginning episode got mixed reviews, it did set up the highly ranked finale quite nicely. One central storyline on Schitt’s Creek dealt with the billboard that welcomed visitors to the town. Though it’s meant to be innocent, Johnny Rose points out that the two people on the sign appear to be engaged in a sexual act.

Roland argues with Johnny over the point and it comes up several times throughout the series. That is what makes it so bittersweet when the sign finally gets changed in the finale. It signifies the end of an era.

Schitt’s Creek didn’t have a perfect pilot. But it did set the scene for one of the funniest comedies on Netflix.

RELATED: ‘Schitt’s Creek’: Daniel Levy Was ‘Ready to End’ The Show After Season 5