[This story contains spoilers from the series finale episode of Schitt's Creek, "Happy Ending."]
Schitt's Creek was never mysterious; there were no huge twists. Which is why it's unsurprising that Tuesday's series finale on Pop TV gave the fallen-from-grace Rose family what it promised in the title of the episode: a happy ending.
Co-created by father-son duo Eugene and Dan Levy, the series was the first scripted project for the newly launched Pop TV, and the comedy would come to define the network. It gained popularity thanks to its worldwide reach on Netflix, and its billboards showcasing David and Patrick's sweet romance — and a kiss between the couple — amplified the series' rallying cry for love and acceptance.
While we see everyone cry, making us emotional too when everyone was present when David finally tied the knot with fiancé Patrick, including the rest of the eccentric residents of Schitt's Creek — sarcastic hotel clerk-turned-business partner Stevie, clueless mayor Roland and his patient wife Jocelyn, waitress/lottery winner-turned-diner owner Twyla, and the rest.
Dan Levy revealed “You know, a lot of the tears were real and some were from the character,” show co-creator and star Dan Levy in regards to shooting the series finale. “Knowing that it was the last day we were shooting on our sets, that played a part in just how special the day was. I think getting to watch our entire cast all dressed up was really emotional for all of us as well.”
When asked if not having a happy ending wasn't an option and why he gave all the characters one, Dan revealed "No, it was built into the entire premise of the show — support and love only make people better, healthier, happier, more joyful people. I think in the same way that we chose not to show prejudice or bigotry or homophobia in the show, it was really important for us that we show that the growth that these characters went through, that the level of acceptance and love that was shown to our characters throughout these six seasons by the townspeople and vice versa, be really celebrated and rewarded with a happy ending. It felt like any other option would have really undermined the intention of the show. It's always more difficult to write a comedy about happy things, but I do feel in the case of this show that that hard work paid off, I have to hope."
On the Roses lacking meanness, Dan said "It was always our intention that it not be meanness. That if people are acting slightly insensitively, that it was rooted in something deeper than just being a mean person. Being mean isn't very interesting to me. Having dimension as a character is interesting. Exposing how people react under fear and under pressure and under anxiety and under trauma, that's really interesting to me. For us in terms of revealing who these characters were, it was important to really be aware of the humanity behind them as well, as silly as they might be at times. These are people who had experienced a tremendous amount of trauma."
"It was always intentional that there be a glimmer of inherent likability to these people, that they not be mean, that they'd be scared or upset or sad. And that's why they're expressing themselves in these ways." Dan added.
On Twyla winning the lottery, Dan commented "It's funny because people were like, "why wouldn't she pay for this?" and "why wouldn't she pay for that?" I'm like, "Did you watch the episode?" I think it was important to show that money was of very little importance to her to the point where Alexis had to actually just say, like, "you can spend it." In researching lottery winners, a lot of them wish they never had won the lottery a lot of the time. And this was important to that plot twist"
Dan was also asked about alternate endings saying "We talked about everything. We talked at length in our writers room about every possible scenario. We spent so much time. I think it took us like a month longer than we had intended to actually write this show, because every episode involved decisions that we had to make that were permanent. So in doing so, you have to really come at it from all sides. What was most important for me was that we make a list of things that we think the fans are going to want, and then, in a way, kind of forget about that list. Write the stories from the perspective of the characters, what do the characters want and need? How can we respect the characters and the stories? And then see how much of that overlaps with the audience's expectations. "
Dan was asked if one of the standout things about the show was the unbelievable care and thoughtfulness with the show when it came to the relationship between David and Patrick. What were some of your hopes and apprehensions about presenting a gay relationship in a way that is seldom seen on TV and film?
He replied with "I had no apprehensions because I was just so grateful for the opportunity to hopefully tell a story that resonated with me and friends whose stories haven’t been told. I was, obviously, very careful and tried my best to honor all of the stories that we did tell as authentically as possible. I have seen just one too many stories where queer characters are handled with different gloves than the straight characters."
"I feel a tremendous sense of pride in the stories that we told. I was very lucky to have a scene partner in Noah. I felt he really handled those heavier moments with such care and respect. Chemistry like that is really rare. We’ve been fortunate enough to have it in spades on our show." He added.
"I think the underlying ideology here is that we should all be so lucky to have the opportunity to take a step outside of ourselves for a period of time to evaluate what has made us happy and what will make us happy. That concept was what we were playing with particularly as we wrapped up these characters' lives. What do they actually need? So it felt right to have Johnny and Moira and Alexis leave and it felt right for David to stay. I mean, he had been chasing a dream for so long that was so not who he was, that the comfort and the safety and the security of staying in this town was exactly what he needed. So in a way, we got to tie our family to the town permanently. There was an ease for the audience to know that they'll always be coming back because David lives there, while at the same time giving Johnny and Moira and Alexis what they want as well. So it just felt quite natural."
Levy says that if you look in the background during one scene, Rizwan Manji who plays real estate agent Ray, is legitimately crying while videotaping David and Patrick’s wedding.
“It’s moments like that where you just realize we had a really great team and we had a collection of actors who loved each other so much and loved what they were doing and cared so deeply for the work — and you don’t get that often. Shooting that wedding scene was just so special for all of us.”
"I haven't yet. I find it very flattering that people want to know about this. I think that's a sign that we've done something good. The reason we ended the show in the first place was because I never wanted it to get stale. I never wanted to overstay our welcome. I wanted this show to have a legacy that people return to. " Dan said when asked about future spinoffs.
On what he wants the show to stand for, Dan replied "I hope that it's the same thing that people will remember the show for, which is just standing for something. Standing for something positive; standing for acceptance; standing for love; standing for the power of empathy and kindness; standing for the transformative effects that opening yourself up and being vulnerable and supported, what that can do to a person."