SCHITT’S CREEK Review: “Bob’s Bagels”

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Airtime: Wednesdays at 8PM on Pop
Episode: Season 2, Episode 5 (S02E05)

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Tweetable Takeaway: A gorgeous sweater and touching motherly moment can’t completely make up for a failed storyline on @SchittsCreekPop  


Finally! The tortoise-paced plot involving Johnny and his office at Bob’s Garage is unfolding with real stakes-

No it’s not.

This week on SCHITT’S CREEK, Johnny stumbles into nearly opening a bagel shop in the titular town. He does this by expressing disdain about the lack of nearby bagels, which leads Bob to – as per usual – overstep and do everything except buy a pair of giant scissors for an eventual ribbon-cutting.

In the end Johnny returns to Bob an apparently healthy investment check, informing him a bagel shop is not in the cards right now. Roland is there to pout about not being included in the plan. And an Eastern European ruffian named Ivan is there, too, to install an oven and make the bagels.

It all goes nowhere, and for the first time all season, at least a little of “Schitt’s Creek” sputters in the mud.

CBC.ca

CBC.ca

Part of this is they’re wasting Eugene Levy’s value with one-dimensional foils. Sure Bob and Roland are oddballs, but Bob is nothing more than a poor man’s hustler, maybe a little dimwitted, possibly a little out to lunch. Really there’s nothing exciting about Bob, other than the little dance he does whenever he enters a scene.

And this week writers Chris Pozzebon and Dan Levy (this happens to be the only “Schitt’s Creek” episode with two writing credits) add a dash of prejudice to Bob’s character, as he has a problem saying “Jewish,” and awkwardly suggests to Johnny that Jewish people (like Johnny) love bagels.

Okay, plenty of Jews do love bagels … plenty of a lot of people love bagels. But the whole exchange felt off balance, too hokey for the more subtle middle-of-nowhere humor of the usual “Schitt’s Creek” episode.

Further, Roland was relegated this week to a cardboard annoyance, a far cry from the rounded performance by Chris Elliott in last week’s “Estate Sale.” You could understand Roland’s love for his wife through the icky mattress talk in “Estate Sale”; this week he comes off as nothing but a dopey ingrate.

Lucky for us this week gave us healthy amounts of David and Stevie, as the former asks the latter for a ride to a interview. The problem is the interview is at the Blouse Barn, the very place David insulted in “Estate Sale.” This allows Stevie to riff on David’s sweater-poncho – his choice of interview attire (“Honestly, while I admire your courage …”) – and act like a loud customer with legal problems when David needs her help at the Blouse Barn.

Of course David has to address the insults he shot at Wendy last time he visited the store. Wendy sees through him in a brisk interview scene, but she gives him a chance to show he’s not so negative. Hilarity with Stevie ensues, but in the end he gets the gig and celebrates with champagne, topped off by a raisin – a deft piece of character writing, unlike Bob’s prejudice tangent – thanks to Twyla.

Best of all it advances David and Stevie. She was understandably angry at David a few weeks ago, but Stevie sees that he does appreciate the time she gives to him. At the very least these two can share raisin-laced champagne together, and that’s plenty good from here.

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“Schitt’s Creek” continues to split episodes into three stories, and this week’s third tale confines Alexis to a bed, sick and looking for a little sympathy. It’s unfortunate we have Annie Murphy staying in one place, as just two weeks ago she barely made an appearance in “Jazzagals,” but it allows Catherine O’Hara to dig out some “motherly instinct.” Apparently seeing her daughter sick makes Moira a little worried, and that’s a new feeling for the former Daytime Emmy nominee.

We have, though, seen Moira display germophobic tendencies, but this week takes the cake. She tries to avoid touching Alexis’ feverish head in a terrifically funny scene, finally giving in by quickly tapping the forehead and backing away like a scared puppy.

“It’s warm?”

“How warm?”

“I don’t know Alexis, I’m not a nurse! … Though I played one once in a lovely little production of ‘Harvey,’ but she worked in a mental institute.”

It ends in a touching scene, as Moira lets Alexis fall asleep beside her. She tells Alexis how much she appreciates her (even though they wanted a boy to name Alex), which is very sweet, until she’s disgusted that Alexis has fallen asleep on her arm.

That’s pinpoint. No sputtering there.

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is a writer who grew up on “The Golden Girls” and “Seinfeld,” and writes regularly about entertainment, arts and lifestyles for a number of publications. Talk TV with him over Twitter.

Twitter: @timothymalcolm
www.tsmalcolm.com

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