Is Schitt’s Creek a Left-Wing Fantasy?

Anjali Lal
8 min readNov 28, 2020


So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot. — George Orwell

Watching Schitt’s Creek is like drinking a warm soup on a winter’s night, comforting and makes you feel nothing in the world can go wrong.

Schitt’s Creek is A Better Place than even The Good Place in some ways — there is so much love and empathy floating around the town minus the devil’s plot.

Dan Levy admits that the show takes only one political stance that it consciously chooses to not give homophobia ‘any representation.’

The show has no homophobia, racism, xenophobia. The only premise it plays on is class inequality which also it handles beautifully during the course of the show.

The characters fall from riches to rags and discover that every problem in their life which they had plastered with money was now showing up and they were now forced to deal with it especially the lack of love and empathy in their life.

But the biggest appeal of the show is that it is a utopia — this is WHAT makes it comforting. It is a fantasy land where many real-world problems cease to exist.

This utopia has two parts to it —

  1. Social utopia

The show has zero moments of racism or xenophobia. Hate finds no representation on Schitt’s Creek. The whole show has only once instance when we think that Patrick’s parents may not be okay with Patrick being gay but even that takes a beautiful turn in his parents only being worried that their son hadn't told them yet and were more than okay with him being gay

This has big consequences.
In The Good Place, we see every character growing kinder as a human being and the major reason pointed out by the characters to The Judge of Universe is that no hate exists in TGP so people are able to tap into their goodness.

Similarly, for Schitt’s Creek, the lack of hate leads to all of them being able to be vulnerable and being able to be kinder in the process.
Hate begets hate.
Love begets love.

2. Economic utopia

For a show, that makes a case for meritocracy, Schitt’s Creek is very detached from economic realities. For instance, there are no homeless in the town. The Roses after losing everything are able to live in the motel for free for years together in separate rooms!

Their financial struggles also lend themselves easily to solutions. There is no denying that all of the Roses are very hard-working, smart and enterprising people but things also tend to come easily to them.

David just happens to receive a large cheque of $40,000 to start his business, Alexis gets a job with her ex-boyfriend even though there are much more qualified people than her for the job, Stevie just happens to inherit the motel which was needed for her growth.

And the one thing that constantly fuels the Roses engine of growth is the unemployment cheque which even though Johnny does not legally deserve, is able to gain.

If these small things would not happen, it would have been tough for these characters to grow because they would be required to be in day-jobs(maybe multiple jobs) to make ends meet. The time needed to think in which to plan to grow is a luxury which is afforded to all of these characters because they all happen to gain money and don’t HAVE to work every day.

It is always easier for people who can patiently wait and have the luxury of taking a break to grow more as they are able to plan for it as against people who are required to work every day to make ends meet and are rarely left with time to reflect.

So even though they all rise with their hard-work the initial push comes through easy help which is not so easily afforded in the real world.
In the real world, the motel would have 5 other relatives of Stevie making a case in the court of law that they deserve to inherit the motel.

Not “rich, but still nice.” She’s nice because she’s rich. Hell, if I had all this money. I’d be nice, too! — Chung-sook (Parasite, 2019, Academy Winner for Best Picture)

The source of Schitt’s Creek warmness is in the utopia it creates through social and economic generosity. It never lets things get too dark, the social and economic problems are never too dire so as to make the characters too dark themselves. It is easier to be nice when food, shelter and insurance is there. Also, when survival is taken care of, it becomes easier to focus on the next parts of your life — professional growth and relationships which is exactly what happens in the show.
You would think that Roses might be focused only on the money once they think of growing professionally but they are just as interested in fulfilling their soul with their work and never choose any profession just to get food on the table. David leaves the retail even though they have no money. Alexis only tries to get a job for her personal development after going through her breakup with Mutt.
None of these are things that I am trying to belittle. I love all of these characters and I love their growth but I must accept that their life was easier.

So how would the show differ if it wasn't such a utopia and separated from the realities of life?

These are some dark points I am going to enlist which are not only entirely possible in the real world but are more often than not true

  1. Homelessness

It is entirely possible that the government could have left the Roses with nothing including Schitt’s Creek or Stevie would have charged them for their stay at Motel which could have led to homelessness. The homelessness could have had dire consequences such as sickness for the members, fragile health and exhaustion of the elder Roses leaving them unable to work at the age. This could have been compounded by social ostracization by the people in the town who may not be willing to give work to the homeless because they don't trust them or find them unhygienic.

2. No unemployment benefits

It takes the Roses three seasons to start getting their lives together and finding good work for themselves but until then they are mostly seen flirting with their careers on and off and all of it is because Mr. Rose is able to get unemployment benefits which keeps them afloat. Although, he has never technically been employed so he doesn't deserve it but he manages to get it. Had he not then the family members would have been forced to take the first job in front of them. Johnny might have been working in the cafe. Moira might work in the retail — a tragedy I am glad I never had to see, it was tough enough to see her pretend to be lower-class to get a discount on a car. Alexis’s day job would not allow her to complete her school and college subsequently and without certification, she would be ineligible for many of the high-paying jobs. And just imagine David at the retail store? Judging the shoppers for their taste at the counter. The horror.

But more importantly, Mr. Rose would not be able to sit all day in Bob’s garage to think of the next billion-dollar idea, Moira would not be able to maintain her beauty and health needed to get a role in Hollywood, David would not be able to start a shop which does not become profitable straight-away and Alexis wouldn't finish school and college.

3. Homophobia

David’s sexuality in the show just exists. It is not a plot point. Even though he seems concerned about his romantic life, he never cares about explaining his sexuality, he is accepted by all his friends and family. But, if homophobia existed in the show, it may have played havoc with David’s mental health. Imagine him realising that he was saved from judgement only because he was rich and was surrounded by sycophants and does not have the protection now from homophobia that wealth bought, compounded by coming to a small town where liberal values seem to be even more scant. Losing his wealth and realising his identity may be judged may lead him to lash out. May lead him to fall into drugs. May lead him into apathy and depression where no growth in life is possible.

Even without homophobia, there is a point in the show where David has had enough with the new town and runs away. One can only imagine how much tougher homophobia would play out for him.

4. Sickness/Pandemic

There is no big sickness in the show. Imagine one of the characters during the pandemic gets infected by Coronavirus. There would be so many additional bills to pay that all their savings gets used up. None of them know how to cook so lockdown might be tougher for them in terms of getting food and there seem to be no home food delivery services in the small town of Schitt’s Creek. Small luxuries like getting an additional room for social distancing may be tough too if Stevie/Roland asks them to pay for it.

Whatever little money they may have had made in their lives would be back to zero if they get infected which has been true for many working-class families all over the world who have no health insurance or access to a healthcare system.

The lack of social and economic problems in their lives gives them energy to be ambitious and a fair system allows them to work hard in the hope that their hard work will be rewarded.

Schitt’s Creek is a tale that helps us see how a beautiful world is possible if only we give way to love, care and empathy, if our governments would support us a little more and if we as a society take collective responsibility for each other.

This is something that any right-wing person will tell you is not possible because people are inherently selfish they would tell you and the government is inefficient and no one wants to take responsibility for each other.

And that's exactly what Schitt’s Creek tries to tell you that it does not have to be that way, we can all gain if we all open our hearts more and care for each other which leads to all of us individually flourishing.

As I said, it is a left-wing fantasy.

P.S.: There is also an argument that the show may be a right-wing champion as there is no social commentary ever even when the Roses reach rock bottom of poverty. The reliance on meritocracy throughout the show — does make a case which can be analysed later.



Anjali Lal

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