Jim Parsons look out! There’s a new girl in town!
Her name is Catherine O’Hara, and she plays Moira Rose on the comedy series “Schitt’s Creek,” an over-enunciating, hat-wearing, elegantly-awkward conundrum of a human, and in season 3 (just added to Netflix) cleverly dons a hat reminiscent of both fluffy raccoon and osprey nest as she tries to lead the people as an elected official.
The mayor, by the way, is Roland Schitt, and he named the town after himself. There. Got the most unscrupulous part out of the way. Beyond the name and your suspicion it’s designed for the under 13 crowd, Schitt’s Creek is a gem of anti-political, unapologetic, just a little gay, for grown-ups inappropriateness.
Along with the simmering hit “Superstore” (Hulu and primetime TV), alongside the expert comedy of Phil Dunphy, and despite its shockingly-shallow-sounding name, this creek is worth paddling. You’ll find some of the best setups and writing on TV!
The leading lady, O’Hara’s character … a balanced mess with a vocabulary that takes the ignorant smartass of Parsons’ award-winning “Sheldon” and smears peanut butter and caviar all over it … is the new master of awkward-endearing.
To compare square pegs in round holes, and the comedy that can result, Parsons could learn a thing from the funny-hatted, this family disjointed from civilization after a fraud event took them from Oprah-rich to beggin’ the mayor (Roland) for a shoddy hotel room in the town they once bought as a joke, and which, as a joke, their criminal accountant left as the only fruit dangling in their pirated portfolio … they are broke!
Not like Parsons, who in real life is bickering over who gets what million of real dollars while he collects Emmies from industry peers who might be too firmly over 13. Hey Jim, there’s a new kid in town, and it’s not yourself in a spinoff!
Those of you who enjoy Parsons’ routine may also appreciate the sublime portrayal of gays on Schitt’s, as season three opens with an awkward meeting of the son’s boyfriend in his well-kept two-star hotel room … and while even though Sheldon is not one on his show, every decision on “Big Bang” must be carefully scrutinized, I think, to balance his awkwardness, which always sounds pretty gay. It’s the Bane of Big Bang; the Sheldon character one day might finally come out of the closet, but until then he’s just girly; in a comic sense, awkwardly incompletely awkward!
Now there’s some over-analyzing! In a simple sense, a friend told me he “can’t watch Big Bang” because of the sound of the men’s voices; I tend to agree. It’s a classic fad that’s lasted too long by now. Creating a kid-based prequel is, I think, a last swipe the Bang writers will have toying with intellectual superiority ministered by sexually-ambiguous brain heroes. Now 11 seasons in, I think I’ve had enough!
I recommend starting your paddle at the beginning; get to know the characters! The effervescent Moira will eventually make it to town council and say “These are real people with real problems! And while I can’t pretend to fully understand them, at least I can attempt to care!”
Her valiance is unsurpassed in S3:E1, speaking as politician on extending the after-school daycare program in town by a half-hour, to give parents more time to pick up their kids. Moira propounds “One might think an additional thirty-minutes will have no impact, but you tell that to the mother whose manicurist just applied the wrong color, and must start all over again! Or the father, who got stuck in a mine! That extra half-hour could be the difference between a child who gets picked up safely and one who wanders the street … waiting for a dust-covered man to emerge from the darkness! Is that really what we want for our town? Homeless toddlers? Tugging at your pant legs?”
It’s no less than dazzling, and O’Hara pulls it off so impeccably the water from her creek should be leaking into Emmy voting booths, to annoy the snooty actress wannabes busy ranting political around fading careers.
She is the real deal.
I can see Parsons on the Emmy stage … bending his nothing-specialness to appear cute … as he incredulously ponders … “What’s that smell?”