Think of your favorite TV love stories. I mean the ones that made you say, "I want that kind of love," or, "That’s just like me and my partner." Or "goals," if you’re the kind of person that says "goals."
Do the names swim straight to the top of your mind — names like Jim and Pam on "The Office"? Probably lovely on-screen connections, all. But have you heard the ballad of David and Patrick?
The relationships in "Schitt’s Creek" — the sixth and final season premiere airs 8 p.m. Jan. 7 on Pop TV; seasons 1-5 are on Netflix — are responsible for tempering the sitcom’s (delicious) acidity. As the once-wealthy Rose family warmed to the weirdos among them in the titular small town over five seasons — and as they perhaps realized that the weirdos were in the mirror all along — they also found love. (The eternal flame of passion between Moira and Johnny Rose, played by Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy, has always burned bright.)
As the show closes on the end zone, we’ll find out what happens to superficial but kind Alexis Rose (played by Annie Murphy) and her hunky veterinarian boyfriend, Ted (played by Dustin Milligan). I’m most excited to find out where the remaining episodes take newly engaged David Rose (played by series co-creator Dan Levy) and Patrick Brewer (played by Noah Reid).
The pair’s story began as they opened their Rose Apothecary together, and it blossomed into love between the fussy David and even-keeled Patrick. In perhaps the most well-known moment of "Schitt’s Creek," Patrick serenades David with a tender, acoustic cover of Tina Turner’s "The Best" at an open mic night. (There the show goes, chasing the sour with a shot of sweet; more than even the shared small-town setting, I think that’s its strongest shared DNA with "Parks and Recreation.") After a brief rocky patch, David returns the favor in his own way, treating Patrick to lip-sync-and-make-up rendition of Turner’s original.
We all love Moira’s wigs and Alexis’ empty-calorie trash-pop song, "A Little Bit Alexis," which is a strong second-place musical moment for the show. But I think "Schitt’s Creek" owes its word-of-mouth success most to David and Patrick’s love story. I’m so fascinated (which is too nice a word) by people who grouse about LGBTQ subject matter being "crammed down our throats" or "shoved in our faces." TV’s been around for a long time, but the list of great same-sex relationships in the small screen’s canon is short. Cam and Mitchell from "Modern Family"? Spend most of their time sniping. Willow and Tara from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"? Ends in tragedy. It’s rare and refreshing to see a gay romance treated so matter-of-factly and rapturously, especially in a TV show not primarily meant for LGBTQ viewers, like "The L Word" or "Looking." And trust me, I’ve spent a lot of time searching.
To be blunt, there’s a lot of cowardice about LGBTQ content in the world. Dan Levy recently called out a U.K. channel for cutting a couple of romantic moments from reruns of the show. Censorship of scenes depicting queer sexuality in movies like "Booksmart" and "Rocketman" still happens in certain markets and on in-flight screenings. We need more Davids and Patricks — on billboards, even, like the one show producers recently put up of the characters locked in a kiss.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume David and Patrick — whose "Schitt’s Creek" scenes brim with warmth, laughs and actual chemistry — will get their happy ending. But I can’t wait to see how Levy and company get there. I also can’t wait for it to inspire countless beautiful dreams in the heads of gay folks watching around the world.