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Don't Worry, Dan Levy Says Schitt's Creek Will Get a Happy Gay Ending

Don't Worry, Dan Levy Says Schitt's Creek Will Get a Happy Gay Ending

Don't Worry, Dan Levy Says Schitt's Creek Will Get a Happy Gay Ending

"At the end of the day, all people want out of a series finale is just a really f---ing great episode of your show."

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An Emmys pitch for Pop TV comedy Schitt's Creek turned into an in-depth discussion of gay stereotypes in television and how to effectively wrap up a series, as co-creator Daniel Levy explained his mindset heading into the sixth and final season.

Following a screening for a packed theater at the Television Academy on Thursday, Levy and his co-stars Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, and Annie Murphy joined moderator Sam Sanders to look back on their time on the show, which is about to wrap filming in Toronto for the last time.

Much of the conversation focused on the romance and recent engagement between Daniel Levy's pansexual character David and his business partner Patrick (Noah Reid), who realized he was gay in Season 3. Their healthy, lasting relationship has quickly become a fan favorite, particularly since queer couples on TV tend to be put through the wringer for added drama.

"At the end of Season 3 where David and Patrick kiss in the car, there were a lot of people like, 'Please tell me they don't die,'" Levy said. "It's so devastating to think that we've just been programmed to fear the worst. That was never going to be the case." 

Despite that common stereotype, he said it was surprisingly easy to keep gay angst out of the story because there can be so much joy in the beginning of a relationship.

"I feel like when you don't have that in your head and you're just looking at it for what it is, it's so lovely to think about the humor and the awkwardness and the strange discomfort and excitement of what it is to fall in love with somebody. You layer in someone just coming out of the closet and as strange as that process is and as wonderful, if you're lucky enough to be able to come out and be supported the way these characters have, there's also so much joyful comedy in that experience as well."

Levy went on to talk about a pivotal episode from Season 5, where Patrick finally comes out to his parents after hiding his relationship from them for nearly two years.

"We were careful not to idealize Patrick because I do think there's a fine line between showing a world that is positive and showing a character that is just not real. Which is why I decided that we had to have his coming out episode and explore what that was — especially if we're going to have these two characters get married at the end of the season. I felt like there had to be a major crisis in their relationship that really tested their foundation, tested their relationship in a way that wasn't just a surface scratch, but that was something fundamental and something they were able to get through together."

That episode was a challenge for Levy because he decided early on that he wasn't going to portray homophobia or intolerance on his show, but he still wanted to acknowledge the difficulties of coming out to your family.

"What if we played on the expectations of how parents have been perceived taking the news of their child coming out, being like, 'Was it something we did? Did we make a mistake somewhere along the line?' and flip it on its head, and have their concern be about did they not do enough for their child to create a space where he felt comfortable enough to come out to them?" he explained. "Once we had that angle, everything else fell into place. There was still tension there because we didn't really know the outcome, but for that outcome to be the opposite of what you'd expect, but still, play into those archetypal parent reactions that we've seen portrayed in film and television. And then you throw Noah Reid's performance in there, and it was quite amazing, and for me has been the most meaningful episode I've written."

Sanders also asked him about what we can expect from the series finale in an era when TV shows tend to rely on shocking plot twists, and Levy assured the audience that Schitt's Creek won't be going down that path.

"When you're trying to wrap up a TV show, there's so much to take into consideration. For me, I'm such a fan of TV and I've studied it and love it so much. I think at the end of the day, all people want out of a series finale is just a really fucking great episode of your show. All the times where I feel like it's taken a strange turn, it's almost as if they felt like they had to do something above and beyond to just bookend it, when in reality, a simple conclusion to a story is just as impactful as taking your characters on this weird 180 to try and do something exciting."

"So you're saying you're not going to Game of Thrones this?" Sanders replied, drawing big laughs from the crowd.

Levy laughed but dodged the question, saying, "I hope that we can reconcile the best for our characters and the audience!"

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Christine Linnell