'Schitt's Creek' Season 4 preview: A dead body, romance, and Asbestos Fest

The Roses are back. Season 4 of Schitt’s Creek begins tonight on Pop, and the comedy picks up right where it left off — the morning after Moira (Catherine O’Hara) surprised Alexis (Annie Murphy) by showing up at her belated high school graduation, David (Dan Levy) and Patrick (Noah Reid) shared their first kiss, and Johnny (Eugene Levy) and Stevie (Emily Hampshire) sold out the motel for the first time.

“Over the past three seasons, we’ve explored the idea of self-love and family. Season 4 centers around the Roses learning to trust people and themselves and their instincts,” Dan Levy tells Yahoo Entertainment.

David and Patrick’s fledgling relationship, already a favorite with fans, will continue to grow. “The idea of David getting a boyfriend was both exciting and really daunting because we didn’t know who that person was and what they really looked like,” Dan says. “We had a vague idea when we wrote it, but what kind of person could tolerate David long-term? That’s a really special person. What Noah has brought to the character of Patrick is this loving, calm balance to David. He really seems to be charmed by everything that has thrown people off of David in the past.”

It’s the most difficult storyline for him to write, Dan admits. “Because I just don’t want to mess it up. I never really had gay characters when I was growing up that I could relate to. Not that I feel we have a responsibility, but you want to tell it accurately,” he says. “You want to be able to connect with not just people in the queer community, but anyone who’s gone through the early stages of finding someone who could be the love of your life.”

Alexis, meanwhile, is perhaps his favorite character to watch this season. “Just because she’s come so far. She’s been the most hopeful and the most optimistic I think out of all of the Roses, which in a weird way makes me quite emotional for her because she’s really trying her best. Season 4,” he says, “really finds her making mature and rational decisions for herself. She’s deciding to put herself first instead of wasting time wallowing over a guy, even though we do have some regrets that we’ve peppered in there. But it’s really about her seizing her singlehood and trying to make something of her life in this town. It’s really fun to see. Annie plays the character with such a tender touch that you always end up rooting for Alexis. Even though on paper she’s insanely self-obsessed and self-absorbed, there’s such a lovability to that character that Annie just intrinsically has.”

The season is also another great showcase for O’Hara, whose Moira worries that she contributed to the death of a guest in the premiere, and in later episodes agrees to headline the Schitt’s Creek Asbestos Fest and becomes the victim of an internet death hoax. “The challenge with Moira is she will never not want to leave. It’s about how do we keep her from slipping into depression ultimately,” Dan says. “The great thing about Moira is that she will get involved if she feels whatever it is requires her services. She takes a slightly more authoritative hand this season. She’s a little more active on council. She’s trying to continue to educate the community with her experience and endless pool of knowledge and opinions. I think leaving at the end of Season 3 when she showed up to Alexis’s graduation and made this choice to put her daughter over her own self-interest, we are slowly continuing to poke holes to let the light through with Moira this season.”

For more on what the new season holds for Johnny and Stevie’s partnership, check out the conversation we moderated this week at New York’s 92nd St. Y below. The cast (minus O’Hara, who missed the evening due to the flu) also revisits those moving scenes in the Season 3 finale and teases what may be the best Moira ensemble to date and another memorable musical moment.

Schitt’s Creek Season 4 premieres Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. on Pop.

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