Why ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Fans Started Feeling Like They ‘Need’ the Show

Schitt’s Creek, which recently raked in the Emmys at the 2020 awards show, has been growing in popularity over the last few years. But as co-creator and star Dan Levy has realized, something about the fans’ relationship to Schitt’s Creek has changed: from the perspective of “I like this show,” to “I need this show.” What caused that shift?

‘Schitt’s Creek’ co-creator Dan Levy explains how the fans’ experience with the TV show has shifted over time

Schitt's Creek co-creators Dan Levy and Eugene Levy
Daniel Levy and Eugene Levy at the 11th Annual New York Television Festival for a Schitt’s Creek screening in 2015 | Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic

In a profile of Levy and his work on Schitt’s CreekGQ asked the writer/creator about how the audience has changed in its relationship to the series.

“It’s been amazing to track the political climate with the shift in why and how people are watching television,” Levy explained. Noting that change has been fascinating for him to experience:

I’ve been able to learn and watch as people who had originally watched our show saying, ‘This is very funny! Catherine’s accent! The clothes!’ Over the years, in direct alignment with what was happening in American politics, the reactions went from ‘This is very funny’ to ‘I need this.’

The timing of Levy and his father’s creative work was key, the Schitt’s Creek star claims.

“I don’t know what would happen to this show if it had happened even five years before it did,” Levy told GQ. “We probably wouldn’t be here.”

What are the lessons he’s learned from the experience?

“Just be inclusive. Be kind. It does wonders,” Levy offered. “You can really effect change in the smallest of ways by just showing how things should be.”

Dan Levy was expecting ‘a lot more pushback’ to Patrick and David’s relationship on the Pop TV series

Another shift in the politics of television-watching Levy has noticed? The lack of intolerance coming from the viewers.

“I was expecting a lot more pushback to the physicality,” the Schitt’s Creek scribe said, particularly in reference to David and Patrick’s relationship. “That was an active choice. I wanted them to kiss every time they saw each other. As couples do.” Levy continued on why he wanted to make that intimacy so visible on Schitt’s Creek:

I didn’t want to tiptoe around the physicality, out of any kind of fear that someone, somewhere in America wouldn’t like it. Change the channel. At this point, you have 900 million television shows on the air. If this is not for you, change the channel.

‘Schitt’s Creek’ fans are rooting for the characters

However, Levy was surprised that more people did like the physicality — or at least, didn’t mind it.

“I can probably count on one hand the bigoted social-media responses I’ve gotten,” he told GQ. “Granted: I haven’t gone out looking for them—but usually, you can sort of see them as you’re scrolling through a feed.”

Regardless of whether or not a Schitt’s Creek viewer believes Patrick and David’s relationship is offensive — or even some kind of political statement — Levy thinks it comes back to the lovability of the characters.

Schitt's Creek cast
Eugene Levy, Noah Reid, Annie Murphy, Catherine O’Hara, Daniel Levy and Emily Hampshire of the TV show Schitt’s Creek at SiriusXM Studios in 2019 | Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Schitt’s Creek’s Greatest Moments: We Loved That Journey For Them

“People are cheering for these people,” he shared. “I don’t know how, I don’t know why, because I think there have been couples in the past that have been met with a lot more sort of friction than we have.”

Again, Levy looks back to how much has changed in society. He told GQ:

Maybe it’s time. Maybe we’ve come to a place where we’ve moved past that. There have been so many shows, and actors, and storytellers who have paved the way for me to be able to tell the stories that I’m telling.