Cornerstones of a Healthy Parent-Child Relationship Told by “Schitt’s Creek”
Dan Levy’s Canadian sitcom Schitt’s Creek has taken the world by storm. Audiences fell in love with the Rose family as they watched the family fall from their multi-million dollar pedestal to a rural motel. Though the Rose family began as four very different, distant entities, by the end of the show they became an imperfect, but incredibly loving, family.
This transformation was particularly remarkable in regards to the parent-child relationship. Alexis and David– the children– managed to connect with each other despite their contrary personalities. Johnny and Moira– their parents– never connected with their children; they maintained an unhealthy distance from them as a result of their demanding careers and the luxuries of extreme wealth, such as nannies and boarding schools.
With these obstacles torn away from them, Johnny and Moira were forced to spend time with their children. From the ashes of their poverty, Johnny and Moira emerged with sustainable, healthy relationships with Alexis and David. Though not always easy, each individual parent-child relationship thrived on different cornerstones of a healthy relationship:
David and Johnny: EMBRACING
Red wine? White wine? Rosè? As long as it’s not fruit wine, David does not care! He likes the wine, not the label. David is a pansexual; his sexuality is never a dilemma or source of conflict on the show. It’s a part of his character, but not the part that defines him. At a party in the first season, Johnny exclaims that his son is pansexual — using the proper word, exclamation, and everything. Johnny doesn’t just accept his son’s sexuality, he embraces it with pride.
Alexis and Johnny: TRUST
Out of the Rose children pair, Alexis is the most distant from her parents. They don’t even know her middle name! She makes the more reckless decisions, ending up imprisoned by multiple Asian princes, driving while high on Rodeo Drive, and dropping out of college (and high school).
She eventually combines her connections, confidence, and charming personality to become the ultimate publicist. She goes back to school, connects deeply with an intelligent “nice guy,” and salvages her mother’s career. Throughout all of this, Johnny supported his daughter, but he never forced any of this on her. He trusted her decisions and judgment.
David and Moira: FUN
Out of all of the mentioned relationships, David and Moira were the closest before the Rose family lost all of their money. They have an understanding of each other, which may perhaps come from none other than their shared funky fashion taste. It makes sense that David and Moira seem to have the most natural fun together. They lunch regularly and, in one scene, get drunk on horrible tasting fruit wine together. Though it may seem simple, having fun experiences with each other is one of the most significant components of a parent-child relationship.
Alexis and Moira: ATTENTION
Though they are mother and daughter, Moira and Alexis hardly know each other. Notably, Moira never gave Alexis any attention. In a heart-to-heart during an incredibly awkward lunch, Alexis confesses that she wanted to spend time with her mother, but the paparazzi and mother’s choice of activity (i.e wine tasting) intimidated her. At Alexis’s high school graduation, Moira shows Alexis the ultimate attention: a Moira Rose and the Jazzagirls serenade. Alexis adores this. She needed this.