I Want To Be Stevie Budd When I Grow Up
Long have I been singing the praises of Schitt’s Creek. I’ve written about it — more than once. I talk about it with anyone who will listen. I even wear clothes that give free advertising to Rose Apothecary.
There are about a million things to love about this show. There’s David’s sweaters and Johnny’s wry humor.
There’s Moira’s… well, just Moira. And there’s Alexis’s multiple renditions of David.
But as much as I find these characters amusing, I can’t really relate to any of them. I don’t understand their lifestyle, fashion trends, or mannerisms. While I am thoroughly entertained by their witty banter, it can also leave me feeling inadequate too. Like, why can’t I be that quick-witted and sharp and funny?
Over and over, episode after episode, the character I kept coming back to was Stevie. Plain, flannel-wearing Stevie.
Like Stevie (played by Emily Hampshire), I was raised in a small, rural community (Stevie in rural, upstate New York; me in Wisconsin). I, too, dismayed and frustrated with the nonsense of that other, more “glitzy” world that the Rose family came from. I, too, live in comfortable clothes and can’t imagine wearing uncomfortable shoes if my life depended on it.
Unlike Stevie, I’ve somehow felt like these were things I needed to apologize for. But Stevie, on the other hand… she owns it. She wears her small-town upbringing with sass and spunk. She uses her scrappiness to make the best of whatever situation she’s in, instead of trying to escape the situation. Even when she’s discontent with her life (see the trailer for Season 6), she is pragmatic, determined, and refreshingly self-aware. She isn’t here for your bullshit, and she makes no apologies about it. (People-pleaser, she is not.) She knows who she is — and who she is not — and she owns it like a goddamn queen.
To put it bluntly, I want to be Stevie Budd when I grow up.
Emily Hanneman recently wrote in TV Insider that Stevie Budd is the unsung hero of Schitt’s Creek, and I couldn’t agree more.
“Stevie’s development is quieter than that of the Roses, but it’s the relative ordinariness of it that makes it extraordinary,” Hanneman wrote. “As Moira says, she is very cool. Stevie was never not cool; But come Season 5, she’s letting more people in on how cool she’s always been.”
But even more than her coolness — and she is uber-cool — Stevie is all about the glamour of the everyday. She doesn’t need the Hollywood; she shines in a theater full of friends cheering for her as she belts out “Maybe This Time” in a small-town rendition of Cabaret.
She doesn’t need the spotlight on her, because she understands the value in supporting those closest to you and seeing them shine.
She doesn’t want to change, nor does she seem to particularly care about whether others change; rather, she is the epitome of what it means to strive to be your best self.
She is Stevie Budd, badass of Schitt’s Creek. And don’t you forget it.
I know I won’t.
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