The New American Dream: Neoliberal Transformation as Character Development in Schitt’s Creek
This article contextualizes the popular sitcom Schitt’s Creek within an era of unprecedented economic inequality and growing distain for the ultrawealthy. Via its over-the-top and self-effacing humor, the program invites audiences to discipline the Rose family for their former life of leisure and ultimately celebrate as each character is transformed into an ideal neoliberal subject via economic precarity and entrepreneurism. Through an analysis of the show’s 6 seasons, this essay articulates how the myth of the American Dream has adapted to neoliberal ideology that prizes precarity as a state of possibility and rejects leisure as laziness. Schitt’s Creek is emblematic of the way televisual rhetorics leverage myth and morality to maintain support for capitalism in times of crisis.