SCHITT’S CREEK Review: “The Candidate”

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Airtime: Wednesdays at 8PM on Pop
Episode: Season 2, Episode 7 (S02E07)

TB-TV-Grade-B-

Tweetable Takeaway: #SchittsCreek suffers from a bulky story, but earns redemption with a quiet finish


For the first time this season, SCHITT’S CREEK meanders too far and for too long, though there’s redemption at the very end.

Last week it was suggested that Moira – after scorching the Town Council with her demands for a cleaner community – involve herself in the political machinations of Schitt’s Creek. And this week in “The Candidate” she did just that, but not until we went through the grinder with Johnny and picked up a wrench in the form of Jocelyn.

Not that Jocelyn running against Moira is a bad thing; in fact it’s perfect, allowing the underrated Jennifer Robertson to shine with Catherine O’Hara. And already it seems there’s a little Sarah Palin in Jocelyn’s aw-shucks campaign performance (calling her neighbors “townies” is nice writing). This should be great.

But it took so long to get there.

CBC.ca

CBC.ca

We had to sit through Johnny entertaining entering the race, asking Bob for support and getting nowhere, except hearing a rumor that he may be in the closet. It’s low-hanging fruit for sure, but worse, it’s more justification that the writers have no idea what to do with Bob. At this point he’s becoming the cardboard local-yokel stand-in.

Then Johnny asks Roland – a slightly elevated local-yokel stand-in – for a nomination form. This gives us another round of insults leading to Johnny getting his nomination form. Later the scene pays off somewhat, as we’re led to believe Roland strong-armed Jocelyn into running for council after meeting Johnny. But we almost didn’t need it; we can certainly believe Roland would want a mini-monopoly in his town regardless of how the Roses feel.

Either way, Moira finally enters the Town Council race, if only to take Jocelyn down a notch. And Johnny’s back at square one, still the “seat” of Bob’s boring jokes, still the target of Roland’s vitriol. A lot of plot points for very little movement.

The opposite seems to be happening with the younger players on Schitt’s Creek. After suffering her first real heartbreak last week, Alexis seeks support from the other young women in town. It’s a failure, of course, as both Twyla and Stevie deny her company while extolling the virtues of having time to oneself.

And it’s here where we’re seeing the best storyline of the season coalesce. One would – as David did – expect Alexis to throw on her best pair of fancy boots and troll the bars for a quick hookup. Heck, it’s a well-worn sitcom plot device. But that she doesn’t take the bait, even though she seems not to like being by herself, shows there’s a real purpose to Alexis this season. It feels so long ago that she was having difficulty breaking up with Ted. Now she’s sucking up quiet solitude, even spending time to clean up her dirty clothes from under David’s bed.

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Meanwhile David and Stevie hit the bar for hookups but find nothing except a quick kiss, which they realize means nothing. Immediately they decide to play pool and never say anything like “I guess we’re friends then.” Thank goodness. Don’t talk; just play some pool, kids.

Then David returns home to the motel, finding a clean room and Alexis fast asleep. He dares not wake her but needs to know if his sister finally put her clothes away. It’s a wonderful, quiet scene filled with emotional development.

That’s the redemption this week. While we’re watching Johnny wilt away with the same well-worn characters around town, the kids of Schitt’s Creek are growing outward and inward. Now if we can have Jocelyn turn half-Palin, and actually put Roland and Johnny to good use this season, we may be onto something outstanding.

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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