Schitt’s Creek swept the 2020 Emmys last night with a staggering nine awards. This delightful piece of comedy is incredibly deserving for so many reasons and high up on that list is Catherine O’Hara’s masterful depiction of Moira Rose. Here are five (of many) things that make this character one of the best to grace our screens:
1. The oddity that is her vocabulary and her equally inexplicable accent. What other tv show character do you know that can incorporate ‘prestidigitator,’ or ‘pettifogging’ as seamlessly and casually as Moira Rose? And even more intriguing is the way that she utters these words with the concoction of an accent that has you hanging on to every word she says. Part Canadian, part British, and mostly Moira, her accent is an absolute delight.
2. Her wardrobe
The show does a phenomenal job of matching the Rose’s family eccentricities with their wardrobe, but none stand out the way Moira’s do. Her outlandish-and then some- outfits, often paired with a bold red lip and a signature wig (that we’ll get to) are at the very core of the character’s make-up. How casually she dons these over the top pieces against the much blander backdrop of the small town and its inhabitants is nothing short of perfection. A personal fave is the pope-inspired look she wore to officiate David and Patrick’s wedding, that would have fit right into the 2018 ‘Heavenly Bodies’ Met Gala.
3. Her wigs
Affectionately dubbed “her girls,” Moira’s wigs are easily the piece-de-resistance to the character’s makeup. Each has a name (after a real-life family or friend of Catherine O’hara) and a personality to match, a fun touch that was revealed to be entirely O’Hara’s doing. Apart from how obviously funny they were, the wigs broke down the image of the conventional yuppie rich white woman so well- making it difficult not to find her endearing.
4. For the most part, she’s a good wife/mother/friend
Sure, she once forgot David’s birthday, or accidentally took home the wrong child (in her defence, “Alexis looked Chinese as a baby”)- which one of our parents hasn’t had a cheeky misstep? But mostly, Moira’s character was written so carefully as to avoid her ever being callous. She is bold, dauntless and even a little self-centred but never mean. Any foot-in-mouth moments she has are never laced with malicious intent. She never berates her husband for his countless failed attempts to get them out of the town; she allows her kids the freedom to express themselves however they please, while being emotionally supportive when they need (she championed David& Patrick and took Alexis on a night out when she was reeling from her breakup with Mutt); even Jocelyn warms up to her eventually.
5. Her commitment to performing
Whether it was with the Jazzagals, the mother-son duet with David, or the capricious Crows role she secured, Moira stayed true to her craft. After she got over the initial shock of having to move to Schitt’s Creek, the matriarch took up acting and singing again- at first seemingly to pass time, and then eventually, with devotion. We witnessed her go through the motions with her career, which makes it even sweeter that last night Moira finally got her Emmy.