Dan Levy spills Schitt's Creek season 2 secrets: All about the fashion, Hot Ted, and more
For season 3 of EW's BINGE podcast, EW's Shana Naomi Krochmal and Patrick Gomez are joined by the showrunner, co-creator, and star of the Emmy-nominated CBC and Pop TV hit. Every Wednesday, the trio recap a season of Schitt's Creek and Levy shares behind-the-scenes stories from the making of the comedy. For those who follow along, you'll be more than ready when the sixth and final season premieres in January.
In this week's episode, which you can hear below, the hosts discuss the Rose family fashion, Ted's makeover, and more from season 2 of Schitt's Creek. Here are just a few highlights from this week's BINGE, which you can subscribe to on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Why David went Amish
At the end of the first season, David (played by Levy) drives out of Schitt's Creek. In last week's episode of BINGE, Levy revealed that the series could have ended on that cliffhanger. Luckily, we got a second season and the answer to where David ended up: an Amish farm.
The writers wanted a "wonderfully strange and sad place" for David's destination, and a community that enjoys the "simplicity of life" was just that for the eccentric character. While much of the episode is spent with the rest of the Rose clan as they slowly realize David is missing, the scene where he's found is memorable. "My favorite part of that was, there's a shot where I'm found in a field, and I'm holding a pitchfork watching a young Amish girl till the land," Levy says.
"'There's a bug on your dress,' I think was the line that got him to leave," he adds.
Inside the Rose family's closet
David's Amish farm look is a prime example of how clothes help tell the story on Schitt's Creek. "I'm sitting there with the mohawk up and these Balenciaga sunglasses, in this field, and it worked," Levi says. "I mean, he did not look like he belonged there at all."
Those specific choices come from Levy's own love for fashion. In fact, Levy admired that specific hoodie — even wanted it for himself — for some time. He spent over a month looking for it online before finding it on eBay. "That was a really important part of the show for me because clothes, particularly in this story, tells so much," Levy explains. "It reminds the audience continually where these people came from and just how much money they came from."
To provide an authentic image of the Roses — people who love designer clothes and fashion — was difficult on the show's budget, so Levy had to get creative. "It was a year-round experience of mining eBay and consignment stores and vintage stories and all these different consignment apps," he says. He searched, bartered, and negotiated prices to make sure the Roses walked the town of Schitt's Creek in style, an experience Levy calls "the most insanely wonderful."
All that care and consideration doesn't end there: Levy and the Schitt's Creek team take serious care of the wardrobe. "Nobody can have ketchup or any kind of colored juice. There are clothes that come out immediately when we wrap, like large oversized shirts that we'll put around our actors to not allow anything to spill on the clothes," says Levy. An added bonus of all that care: Fans can now buy some of clothes worn on the show at auction.
"It's been a really fun thing to play with, clothes. And they add a level of humor that we don't have to write; as a lazy person that's really helpful," he jokes.
Can you say un-chilada?
Multihyphenate Levy's responsibilities include giving direction to the cast and crew, including legends like his dad, Eugene Levy, and Catherine O'Hara, which was understandably daunting for the first-time showrunner early on. O'Hara is a longtime friend of the Levy family, but Schitt's Creek was the younger Levy's first professional experience with her.
During the iconic enchilada scene in season 2, Levy wanted to tweak how O'Hara was saying the word just a bit. O'Hara's Moira has a very specific way of speaking, and Levy wanted her to say "un-chilada." It was a small tweak, but approaching a veteran like O'Hara with an adjustment is not easy — especially since it was a task he'd avoided until then. "I remember in my mind being like, ‘I think she should say un-chilada. I think that would really go with her.' So I tapped her on the shoulder," he recalls. The result, of course, is the fan-favorite cheese-folding scene.
Fascinating anecdote aside, Levy says he doesn't have to give many notes: "Anytime I give my dad a note it has to be something I feel really strongly about, because you don't give those two people notes because they're legends in what they do."
The evolution of Ted
After a breakup, you pull yourself together to move forward — and Ted (Dustin Milligan) did just that. After Alexis (Annie Murphy) breaks things off with him, he returns to town a new man, Hot Ted if you will. Motorcycle and all.
"Ted's been on a beach, living his truth, on their honeymoon, he had prebooked the honeymoon, poor guy, and went on it solo and had a spiritual experience, and came back really self-assured," says Levy. With more confidence, Ted becomes the man Alexis wanted him to be, complicating her romantic life yet again.
How did they transform Miligan into Hot Ted? "We sent him to a tanning booth and told him to not shave his beard and had some fun with that," Levy says.
Learning to love Schitt's Creek
The Rose family showed up in Schitt's Creek clashing in their cramped new living situation and doing everything they could to escape. But by the end of season 2, they are a tighter unit and respect the eccentric town.
Their growth culminates in a moment where Johnny (Eugene Levy) defends Roland (Chris Elliott), Jocelyn (Jennifer Robertson), and their new home when the couple grab dinner with old friends. "That was the first real weighted moment that we were building to," the younger Levy says. "I knew that it was coming, where I think we said to the fans, ‘There's more to this show than you think. There always has been, we just had to get you here.'"
Johnny and Moira leave that dinner to join a party at Mutt's (Tim Rozon). It's at the celebration that the Roses say they love each other for the first time in the series' history. Group sigh, right?!
Schitt's Creek's sixth and final season begins Jan. 7 on Pop TV. New episodes of EW's BINGE are released each Wednesday.