SCHITT’S CREEK Review: “Estate Sale”

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Airtime: Wednesdays at 8pm on Pop
Episode: Season 2, Episode 4 (S02E04)

TB-TV-Grade-B

Tweetable Takeaway: Bikes, big bulbs, and quiet character development fuel another solid @SchittsCreekPop


Can we hear more about the time Alexis negotiated in Arabic?

This week’s episode of SCHITT’S CREEK packs in a few nuggets about the Rose family’s rich past – including staying at the Kennedy compound and tossing perfectly good bicycles into a Hamptons bonfire – mostly to illustrate that those days are long gone. Now the Roses are poor and attempting to cope with very normal, but very new situations.

The titular estate sale puts Moira in an uncomfortable place, as she and Johnny seek bargains out of a dead person’s things. While Johnny focuses on some cuff links, Moira can’t even get “big bulbs” out of her head. She doesn’t like big bulbs.

She does, however, like the memory foam mattress still in its original plastic, especially when Jocelyn starts hugging it to claim it as hers. That leads to the plot device of an auction bidding war. Though Moira typically overbids and outbids herself, Jocelyn goes right along with her, scoring the winning bid of $201 once Johnny finally steps in on Moira’s behalf.

Thankfully this doesn’t ignite a war between the Roses and Schitts, as Roland kindly sells the mattress to Johnny, admitting the mattress wasn’t “enough bounce for the bumps.” Moira is initially disgusted she has to sleep on a Schitt-stained mattress. And, in what’s now a weekly occurrence, Eugene Levy’s eyes steal the scene as Johnny anticipates his wife’s reaction without even looking at her.

CBC.ca

The Schitts sex life is all over the place this week, as Roland asks David for help in buying an outfit for Jocelyn so she can play Meryl Streep in a roleplay of The Devil Wears Prada.

Note to writer Teresa Pavlinek: Thanks for getting descriptive!

That leads to a standoff between David and Blouse Barn employee Wendy, both thinking they know what’s best for the Schitts’ sex life. Like in previous weeks, David gets sad, as he admits to Roland that he has one thing left to hold onto: taste. “And when that is not appreciated, or worse, publicly undermined … I might get a little upset.”

I’m slightly surprised that Wendy – written a little over-the-top – didn’t pick up on David’s obvious metrosexuality, but it leads to a nice moment of clarity for David, who at least knows what makes him special.

Alexis, meanwhile, is still trying to figure it out, having to learn how to love. And do you know what learning how to love is like? Yes, Alexis actually learns how to ride a bike this week.

Because Alexis misses spinning class and Mutt is thoughtful, he gifts her a bike with “a helmet!” (a perfectly timed reading by Dan Levy and Annie Murphy). After seeing the bike Alexis is angry and worried, which led me to believe she’s now wanting Mutt to slow down. But apparently it’s all because she doesn’t know how to ride a bike, which felt a little off, though it’s in line with Alexis’ character.

That said, with a little help from Mutt and Twyla – who provides some interesting background on her mom’s abusive boyfriend – Alexis is off and riding in no time. Eager to pass on her new skill, she teaches David to ride a bike, which brings groans from their parents (Moira: “I can’t stand the sight of blood”) and happy laughter from Stevie (quick with the smartphone photo).

Sadly that’s all we get this week from Emily Hampshire, but in exchange we get a rare strong episode for Roland, as Chris Elliott gets to work a number of his character’s traits (creepy, unaware, vulnerable, gullible, ultimately kind). Plus, the Alexis-David interplay works very well this week. They continue to be co-MVPs.

Otherwise, yet again, “Schitt’s Creek” delivers a fairly quiet but effective episode with good one-liners (“We are currently sleeping on a rectangular collection of knives and barbed wire,” “Pal we’ve played every street movie,” and best of all, “a helmet!”) and gradual character development.

Even when it isn’t making big noise, Schitt’s Creek continues to hum along nicely.

TB-TV-Grade-B

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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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