Dan Levy Saved My Life

Many of my acquaintances have recently confessed something to me. They sidle up as if it’s early 2020 and they’re in possession of a secret stash of toilet paper. Do I look like someone in the market for bathroom tissue that fell off a truck?

They pull me aside and they tell me their dark secret.  They look around to ensure they won’t be overheard.  

“I don’t watch or read or listen to the news anymore,” they confess. “I just can’t.” They then report that they’re too stressed, too saddened, too overwhelmed to allow the world’s horrors into their lives.

These are bright people, many of them highly engaged news junkies. When I was working in public radio, I couldn’t avoid the news because it was piped throughout the station, including the restrooms. Imagine needing to use the facilities and the voice of the president accompanies you as you take care of business. My friends and I talked politics incessantly, at dinner parties, at lunch, on the phone – everywhere and all the time.

But that changed, sometime in 2020, or for some, even earlier. The world was in chaos and remains so, with the war in Ukraine, threats to women’s healthcare, more than the usual number of lying politicians, and whatever other dangers you want to throw in there.

I am in no way advocating for the burial of heads in sand, ignoring terrible events like the recent mass shootings when we all can – and should – do our parts to make the world a better place. I am merely describing a phenomenon that I’ve become acutely aware of in recent times.

This global malaise coincided with my diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. It was bad enough that I’d been stricken with a treatable but nonetheless incurable illness, but my new personal health challenge was the last straw on this pile of misery.

I fell into excessive medical marijuana use to alleviate my Parkinson’s pain, while I searched for the antidote to my melancholy. And I found it in Schitt’s Creek.

As sometimes occurred with a book, movie, or television show, my first viewing of the series left me indifferent. It was nothing special; I may have made it through the first few episodes.

But a couple of years later, people seemed to be talking about the show again, so I figured I’d dip into it one more time. And this time, I fell in love.

On paper, it seemed too broad and silly to capture my fandom. But the characters were, each and every one of them, distinctive, hilarious, and all too human. Now it’s my turn for a confession so here goes: I binged it twice. Like, immediately after the first viewing, I wolfed down the entire series again in short order. I honestly think I made it through that period of pain with my sanity intact due to Schitt’s Creek.

If you’re not a fan, I encourage you to give it a shot.   If you are, I recommend watching an episode every once in a while when you’re feeling blue.  It just might help.

To entice you, I’ve collected some gems from the show.  Whether you’ve watched or not, these will give you some of the flavor of the characters.  Note: these are sort of spoilers; when you watch, you won’t be experiencing these quotes for the first time.  Just so you know. Enjoy!

Moira’s (Cartier South Sea, price upon request)  Pearls of Wisdom

  • Our lives are like little baby crows, carried by a curious wind.
  • Very dapper, Mr. Rose, like the maestro of a Lebanese orchestra.
  • Turtles do not a pet make. You may as well put a leash on a raw chicken cutlet.
  • Look at you, Bob, (clad head to toe in black leather) with a herd of Holstein on your back.
  • Let’s not count our poultry before it’s incubated.
  • David, stop acting like a disgruntled pelican.
  • Just taking a few reference photos…a few dozen snaps….picturettes really (Picturettes! Tee hee)
  • Gossip is the devil’s telephone. Best to just hang up.
  • Mucho dias, mes amies (my personal favorite)
  • You’ve just provided a Passover seder for a family of hawks (upon killing a cat with the car)
  • There’s a good reason I’ve avoided these conventions, taking your picture with a motley crew of pale dewy-faced salamander people.
  • How mercurial is life! We all imagine being carried from the ashes by the goddess Artemis.

Count on David to be SO pithy

  • I’m gonna pass.  I’m not really in the mood to be a victim of a hate crime tonight, so….
  • From the looks of it, they’re blonde and mostly naked, so….
  • My sister’s a broken shell of a human being, that’s where that’s coming from, so…
  • There’s a woman in Paris who makes them by hand, so…
  • I do Coachella every year, so…
  • I have a thing about bugs with milky exoskeletons.  I have this irrational fear they’re going to crawl into my mouth at night, so…
  • Some snippy teen told me my life was a mess, so….
  • I saw a lot of my body and I didn’t like it, so….
  • Alexis said she wasn’t coming but this is a bar and she is single, so….
  • So……

Alexis’s Escapades and Misadventures

  • Taken hostage by Somali pirates on David Geffen’s yacht
  • Private jet with Tiger Woods
  • Escaped from a Thai drug lord’s car trunk
  • Blind date to Bali with Leo
  • Dated sultan’s nephew
  • Picked up by the South Korean secret police on New Year’s
  • Parallel parking for driving test wearing a burka
  • Seven-year-old child drove her around Mumbai
  • “I didn’t go missing. The FBI knew where I was the entire time.”
  • First kiss was Jared Leto
  • Trapped in the palace of a Saudi prince
  • Dated Sean Penn
  • Kirsten Dunst was jealous of her bangs

ATTENTION: AHEAD LIES A SPOILER for what may be my favorite moment in the entire series.  So if you haven’t seen the show, don’t read the next sentence.

And finally (or enfin as Moira might say), the show’s funniest moment, Moira in full papal regalia to officiate at a wedding.

And now, I bring you…Schitt’s Creek.

Bonus: Here’s another favorite for when I’m feeling low. For immediate uplift, Curb Your Enthusiasm can’t be beat. Larry David is a genius – who else could make comedy gold out of the words “Shabbat Shalom?” Just try it already. It’s prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay. good.

Finally, a terrific piece on the benefits of boxing for Parkinson’s patients.  

Till next week!


11 thoughts on “Dan Levy Saved My Life

  1. Charlotte

    I had the exact reaction as you. Watched one or two episodes, was not impressed but then all my friends were talking about it so I gave it another try. Binge watched it & loved it!! Glad it brought you up & I think it will do that for anyone who watches.
    Take care!!


  2. B

    Another terrific column Andi. Brilliant & heartwarming. It’s not just your ability to find the humor and humanity in the small details but you make them sing. You give them voice.
    As for the premise of this week’s article- count me as among those who have tuned out the news. It’s just too much.


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