On the new Apple TV+ series The Reluctant Traveler, Eugene Levy hops around the globe to some not-terribly-remote places like the frozen lakes of Finland, the Costa Rican jungle, and the five-star hotels of Venice to take in the local cuisines, customs, and moderately adventurous outdoor activities. The idea is that Levy knows himself to be someone who doesn't enjoy traveling or stepping out of his comfort zone, but at age 75, it's time to try new things.
If nothing else, The Reluctant Traveler is a great excuse to watch beloved Canadian comedic actor Eugene Levy on TV again. He maintains his inherently awkward yet endearing appeal no matter what the location. And while Levy proves to be game for almost everything his local hosts cook up for him, he retains that baseline sense that this would not be his first choice of leisure activity, and there's a genuine charm to that. It's also just nice to check back in with the elder Levy now that it's been three years since Schitt's Creek wrapped. The Pop TV series that began as a modest Canadian sitcom ended its run as the exemplar of TV comedy with a heart, something that its clean sweep at the Emmys in 2020 underlined.
Since the Schitt's Creek series finale, the four main cast members' trajectories have diverged considerably, which only makes sense: Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy were established veterans whose careers weren't likely to change all that dramatically despite this flush of success. Meanwhile, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy were previously unknown performers who would need to figure out the next step in their careers' respective evolutions. Over the last three years, all four of them seem to have stepped into a particular niche, with Murphy making a small handful of bold career choices, Dan Levy stepping out as the newly minted comedy talent who showed up everywhere, and both Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy taking slower approaches. Here's a quick catch-up to how the last three years have treated them.
It makes sense that the younger Levy, who co-created the show and wrote nearly a third of the episodes, would emerge from Schitt's Creek with a plethora of opportunities. Of course, emerging from your hit show into a pandemic isn't the easiest transition, so it's not a huge surprise that things moved a bit slowly. Levy was among the many boldface names who starred in HBO’s Coastal Elites, a movie that managed to combine the worst of Trump-era timely commentary with the worst of pandemic-era timely commentary. Nowhere to go but up! Levy had a small role in the Hulu holiday comedy Happiest Season in 2020, which was fun, as well as a guest-voice appearance in Netflix's woefully underappreciated queer superhero cartoon Q-Force.
In late 2022, Levy created, executive produced, and was an on-screen judge in the HBO Max reality competition series The Big Brunch, which showcased his charm and easy appeal. And Levy's career prospects are only getting brighter: He landed a role in the upcoming HBO series from Sam Levinson (Euphoria) and The Weeknd, The Idol, as well as Disney's upcoming Haunted Mansion movie. He also joined the cast of Netflix’s Sex Education for its upcoming fourth season.
Most exciting is the romantic comedy film that Levy is writing and directing for Netflix, titled Good Grief. Levy has described the film as "a cautionary tale about friendship and loss and all the mess that comes with it when the truth is something you’ve evaded for most of your life." He'll star in the film alongside Ruth Negga, Himesh Patel, and Luke Evans.
Annie Murphy has been very deliberate about not repeating the same Alexis Rose character beats in whatever projects she jumped to after Schitt's Creek. She could easily have ended up pigeonholed after playing someone as demonstrably and idiosyncratically flighty as Alexis. Her career choices since Schitt's Creek have been impressive: She took the lead role in the AMC drama Kevin Can F*** Himself, playing the wife of a sitcom-style schlubby guy who attempts to break out of her subservient role in the far more messy "real" world. Kevin Can F*** Himself may not have always delivered on its promise, but the ambition to blend genres, break the fourth wall, and generally screw with the television audience's expectations makes it a thrillingly bold choice for Murphy's first post-Schitt's role.
Murphy followed KCFH by joining the cast of Russian Doll for its long-awaited second season. Murphy played the younger version of Elizabeth Ashley's Ruth character in the show's turn toward a time-travel storyline. Again, Murphy opted for a more ambitious project rather than seek out ones that might have been more of a surefire cash-in of her Alexis Rose persona.
Coming up, Murphy will star in the sci-fi relationship drama Fingernails on Apple TV+. In the film, from Greek director Christos Nikou, she joins a cast that includes recent Oscar nominees Jessie Buckley and Riz Ahmed, as well as recent Golden Globe winner Jeremy Allen White.
Look, the man is in his late 70s, and the last time he was in a cultural phenomenon, he spent the better part of the aughts making direct-to-DVD American Pie sequels. So, you'll forgive Eugene Levy for taking it easy. He immediately followed the final Schitt's Creek season by appearing in the Robert De Niro movie The War with Grandpa that thankfully no one remembers. Levy was also one of the celebrity cameos in the Kacey Musgraves longform music video for Star-Crossed. But that was pretty much it for the actor until Apple came calling with a request to send him around the world to talk about how he'd rather be in his hotel room. The Reluctant Traveler is a solid, low-stakes show for Levy, an actor whose legacy is already more than secure.
Similarly, Catherine O'Hara could do nothing else for the rest of her career and her legacy as one of the great comedic actresses of her time would be secure. Which is good, because since Schitt's Creek ended, O'Hara has focused on the occasional guest presence on TV shows. She lent her voice to an episode of the animated Apple series Central Park. As a good and loyal Canadian, she made a guest appearance on the revived The Kids in the Hall as a microdosing fan.
The future looks a bit more active for the O'Hara-holics out there, though. She's in the all-star cast of the upcoming Matthew Vaughn-directed spy movie Argylle, alongside Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bryan Cranston, John Cena, Samuel L. Jackson, and Dua Lipa (making her film debut). So, yes, you can all soon stop waiting for the first Catherine O'Hara/Dua Lipa collab to drop.
O'Hara will also co-star in the Netflix drama film The Pain Hustlers starring Chris Evans and Emily Blunt, and directed by Peter Yates, who helmed all those Harry Potter movies. The film is said to be a heightened drama, in the style of Wolf of Wall Street and Big Short, about the pharmaceutical industry and fraud.
Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.
TOPICS: Schitt's Creek, The Reluctant Traveler, Annie Murphy, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy, Eugene Levy