[7.2/10] As is often the case, this was a tale of three different plotlines that each felt like they had their own tone and energy, to greatly varying degrees of success.
Let’s start with the big one. Johnny Rose trying to get “Andy Roberts” to sign the contract that will let the Roses sell the town and start over is such a broad sitcom plot. Despite its single-cam trappings and occasional bits of straight drama, Schitt’s Creek is a 90s sitcom in its bones, and it comes through in moments like these. Roland delaying the signing for mac and cheese sampling purposes is more wacky sitcom neighbor behavior, and I saw the twist coming from a mile away.
Some of the actual material was fine, but the existence of...five more seasons pretty well indicated that this wasn’t the end, and the convenient way the show finds to dangle the Roses’ “salvation” in front of them and then take it away didn’t do much for me. At the same time, the interlude about Moira giving Jocelyn a designer coat Jocelyn didn’t want is another Schitt’s Creek subplot that doesn’t so much resolve as it just ends. I wonder if any of these are going to get picked up again in the new season.
I also don’t know how I feel about the blow-off to the Alexis storyline. Ted proposing made me go, “Oh you poor sad man” and her response was the right blend of cringey and funny to make it work. But I low-key hate the reveal that Mutt was continuing to do community service when he didn’t have to because he wanted to spend more time with Alexis. I just...don’t see what he would see in her, and the show hasn’t really dramatized a reason why they would get along or have chemistry, so it feels out of nowhere that this one-sided crush has turned into a genuine love triangle. That said, Alexis’s mental fogginess upon learning that they’re not leaving (“Who?” “David, your brother!”) and realizing that means she’s probably both engaged and already cheated on her fiance is a solid laugh.
But as has become the norm, my favorite bit in the episode is the David/Stevie material. I love the exploration of the idea that as excited as everyone is to return to their old lives, David’s realizes how lonely and friendless he is, and wants to remedy that. I also love how touched and excited and unexpectedly emotional Stevie is when David asks her to come to New York with him, only to be equally and oppositely devastated when she realizes he means as a friend and not as a romantic partner.
Both actors do such great emotional work in these scenes, including in the follow up scene where Stevie explains why she can’t go. You get each characters’ pain in that moment -- Stevie for spilling her guts and basically saying “I won’t go to NYC if it’s as just friends” and it still not being enough for David to take their relationship to the next level, and David for realizing his one actual friend isn’t coming with him. Theirs has become such a tricky, complex relationship, and I appreciate the show capitalizing on the good work it’s done there. This is the thing that really elevates “Town for Sale” as a finale.
Overall, this one is a mixed bag, but the good material is good enough, and even the not-so-good material has some good elements in it.
On the whole, the first season of Schitt’s Creek wasn’t a home run for me. There’s definitely the sense of this show still finding its voice a little bit and deciding what it wants to be. (And the romcom stuff with Alexis has to go.) But in its best moments, it really hits on some great comedy and great heart, and I hope it leans into that as we go on!
I honestly believe this is the mayors fault!!! What a great season!