Countdown to the Emmys: 6 essential episodes of Johnny, Moira, David and Alexis

  • Alexis (Annie Murphy), Johnny (Eugene Levy), Moira (Catherine O'Hara) and David (Dan Levy) Rose go from riches to rags in "Schitt's Creek," the Canadian sitcom that gained a legion of fans thanks to Netflix.

    Alexis (Annie Murphy), Johnny (Eugene Levy), Moira (Catherine O'Hara) and David (Dan Levy) Rose go from riches to rags in "Schitt's Creek," the Canadian sitcom that gained a legion of fans thanks to Netflix. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 9/17/2020 11:17 AM

Despite its ever-growing popularity and the presence of two bona fide comedy legends, "Schitt's Creek" was unseen by this writer until his wife decided to take the Netflix plunge this past March.

Six months later, we're still in quasi-quarantine, and we've watched the entire series three times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The final season of the Canadian-made riches-to-rags sitcom starring Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy will compete for 15 Emmy awards next weekend (7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, ABC), including Best Comedy Series and all four Comedy Series acting categories: O'Hara and Levy for the leads, plus Annie Murphy and Levy's son (and show co-creator) Dan for supporting.

Here are the essential episodes from each season; you can catch up with the first five on Netflix, and buy the sixth from digital retailers such as iTunes and vudu.

Season 1: "Wine and Roses"

The sixth episode gives us the first glimpse of the comedic force and GIF icon that Moira Rose (O'Hara) would become. The former soap star -- whose family lives in a small-town motel thanks to some fraudulent activity by their money manager -- gets back in front of the camera doing a commercial for a "small, unpretentious winery, one that pampers its fruit like its own babies." Let's just say it takes more than one take to get it right.

Season 2: "Happy Anniversary"

It takes him 26 episodes, but Moira's husband, Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy), finally embraces the unfortunately named town of the title in this season finale. A dinner with old friends takes an uncomfortable turn, prompting Johnny to give a defiant but heartfelt speech that burns one bridge while building another. It's the best scene of the entire series.

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Season 3: "Motel Review"

The couple's lovably neurotic son, David (Dan Levy), pitches a business idea with hilarious ineptitude. He also meets his match (in more ways in one) in Patrick, played by future series regular Noah Reid. Back at the motel, Moira fills in as desk clerk for Stevie (Emily Hampshire) and redefines customer service.

Season 4: "The Rollout"

Johnny can't stop saying the word in the title as the motel, which he now co-owns with Stevie, prepares for rebranding. One problem: The new toiletries acquired from David's store (that business idea worked!) seem to be giving everyone a rash. Moira, meanwhile, is called to jury duty alongside Jocelyn (Jennifer Robertson), the wife of the town's namesake mayor (Chris Elliott).

Season 5: "The Hospies"

Johnny's place as a father figure in Stevie's life is cemented when he chooses her well-being over an all-night party after their triumphant night at an awards ceremony goes south. Stevie loses a potential boyfriend in this episode, but gains a huge confidence boost when Moira offers her the lead in the town's production of "Cabaret."

Season 6: "Happy Ending"

It must be the series finale, the perfect blend of absurd comedy and touching humanity that made audiences fall in love with "Schitt's Creek." I won't spoil what happens, but I will say that Moira truly outdoes herself in the sartorial department.

• Sean Stangland is an assistant news editor who has been in love with Catherine O'Hara since "Beetlejuice."

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