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An Oral History Of 'Schitt's Creek's "Rock On"

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An Oral History Of 'Schitt's Creek's "Rock On"

“It made people genuinely sad that night,” Schitt’s Creek actress Jennifer Robertson tells me, recalling the night she shot Season 5, Episode 6’s “Rock On.” She’s not referring to the episode’s plot, or filming, but to a singular prop that provided the episode’s biggest punchline: Jocelyn’s haircut. “People in the crew kinda looked at me, and I said, ‘It's just a wig!’”

The wig might have drawn the most laughs (and misplaced on-set sympathy), but the 2019 episode — in which new mom Jocelyn enjoys a rare night out with the Jazzagals at a casino — serves as a comedic tour de force for the entire Schitt’s Creek ensemble. Not to mention an emotional tug, thanks to a rare heart-to-heart between Moira Rose (Catherine O’Hara) and Jocelyn that anchors the episode. (“Whatever you do,” Moira tells a down and out and sheared Jocelyn, clad in an ‘80s- and Poison-inspired outfit, “rock onwards and upwards!”)

Schitt’s Creek may have ended last April (Rest In Paisley), but I decided to combat the withdrawal by speaking to writer Michael Short, director Laurie Lyd, and actors Jennifer Robertson (Jocelyn Schitt) and Karen Robinson (Ronnie) about the emotional and hilarious “Rock On” — and discovered some behind-the-scenes details fans didn’t see along the way.

The Idea

Five seasons in, Schitt’s Creek’s writers felt it was time for Jocelyn to break out of her mold. And her post-second-child phase proved the perfect opportunity to show that the soft-hearted mom was capable of being a little hard-rock.

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