In June of last year I was performing my daily-scroll through Tumblr and stumbled upon a gifset of two brunette ladies looking all badass, confident and strong. After some delving into the tags I found it was for a new show called ‘Wynonna Earp’. My initial reaction? ‘Sign me up!’
So after a bit of Googling I found out that the series would be airing in the UK the following month, so I waited with bated breath for the series to premiere. My god I am so glad I hopped along for the ride.
‘Wynonna Earp’ first started out as a comic series, created by Beau Smith. The concept for a TV series was picked up by Emily Andras (famed for showrunning ‘Lost Girl’). Based in the quirky town of Purgatory, Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano) works alongside her bookworm sister, Waverly (Dominique Provost Chalkley) to seek out the truth behind the illustrious ‘Earp Curse’. With the help of Agent Dolls (Shamier Anderson) and Doc Holliday, yes, that Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon), Wynonna is determined to hunt-down the revenants (evil demon cowboys returned from the dead) pillaging her town.
So let’s look at the reasons why Wynonna Earp is an important show to have on our screens…
1. The Earp Sisters
The relationship between the two Earp’s certainly has its ups and downs. With Wynonna taking off for much of her adulthood leaves Waverly feeling a bit hesitant on her return to town. But despite the rocky start these two women prove that the bond of sisters runs deep, and that chemistry is delivered beautifully by both Melanie and Dominique. You almost don’t realise that these two actresses were complete strangers before joining this show, they have such an intense connection that comes off so naturally. The close bond that they share is one that can only be understood when you have a sibling, and their relationship really reminds me of the one I have with my brother. Apart from, you know, the whole curse thing…
2. Badass Women
I’ve already touched on two of the badass women in question above, but this show is filled with SO MANY badass females; both good and bad. The Earp Sisters lead the way with their badassery, followed by our lovable (but steadfast) rookie Officer, Nicole Haught (Kat Barrell) who’s role in the show grows from strength to strength. We also have Gus, the Earp’s Aunt and local bar runner leading the charge for the older generation – she’s one badass broad! Taking the helm for the bad guys is the deliciously evil Constance Clootie, also known as the Stone Witch, who finds herself a little bit stuck and feeling salty (see what I did there?) after a run in with Wynonna and Doc. As well as the unexpected return of one Willa Earp halfway through the first series, who’s character isn’t quite what we think. In short there are LOADS of women in this show, and the thing I love about them is that they’re not you’re stereotypical female there to serve the men of the show. Very reminiscent of the days of Buffy, these women are here to kick ass and take no prisoners.
3. LGBT Rep
The beauty of this show is the ‘Wayhaught’ relationship as it is dubbed. When the confident new rookie from Purgatory PD, Nicole Haught first steps in to Shorty’s bar and leaves poor, soaked, Waverly in a fluster I thought it was going to end there. They may become ‘gal pals’, but that would be it. But no, in true Andras style we got a slow burn to what is one of the sweetest and real lesbian relationships on TV. It moved at a true-to-life pace, they didn’t rush straight into it and then end with some untimely death like some (you know who you are), in fact they were saved by one well place bulletproof vest! They covered the entire ‘coming to terms’ period for Waverly beautifully. With the younger Earp sister trying to figure out her feelings for Nicole and what it meant for her sexuality, when up to this point she had only ever been in a relationship with boy-man Champ Hardy (ew). And the thing I love the most is that their relationship hasn’t been used as a gimmick to earn ratings. They have continued to evolve in S2, with both characters having plenty of screen-time outside of their relationship.
4. Well rounded characters
The perfect segue from my previous point! Every character on this show is three-dimensional, something that Emily and the cast have all previously said that is important to them. Whether it’s the usually strong and confident Wynonna showing her emotions, or the normally nervous Waverly being brazen, these characters are real. And that’s what makes them so relatable. It is so easy for a showrunner these days to pander to their audience and portray everything as ‘happy-go-lucky’ when it shouldn’t be. I think Kat Barrell said it best in an interview recently in that Emily Andras isn’t afraid to make these characters ‘ugly’ and show their flaws and faults, because that’s what makes them authentic. We feel like we can associate our own lives with theirs, they go through things that we as an audience may be undergoing at the time, and can help us through those hard times. And we can always count on Doc for some words of wisdom when we’re feeling our most vulnerable.
5. A quality story
Demon cowboys? A quirky town called Purgatory? A family curse, with a magical gun? All sounds a bit farfetched huh? But what this show has is a lot of heart. Emily’s execution has been spot on. This show could have been completely insane, making no sense in the slightest, but it does. And what it does best is takes the original concept of the comics, the mythological Western family curse, and ties it in seamlessly with 21st Century life. We get to see legendary gunslinger Doc Holliday try his hand at driving, and learn all about ‘selfies’, while Waverly gets her nerd on with research into the roots of their family history.
One of the greatest things to come out of this show is the community. The ‘Earpers’ as we dub ourselves are a powerful and passionate bunch. When S1 ended, and it looked like there may not be a pickup for S2, the Earpers rallied, went 100% #NoChill on Twitter, spoke out about the importance of the show, the cast, the community, the representation to the networks and fought for their show. When S2 was announced I think everyone involved let out a collective sigh of relief, whilst also feeling immense proud that we’d played our part to get our show a second season. The community has grown from strength to strength, with people of all ages, countries, races, religions, sexuality’s coming together every Friday night (or Tuesday if your in the UK) to tweet along with the cast, discuss fan theories and generally just freak out over the work of Emily Andras. Having been part a number of fandoms in my lifetime, this is probably the most welcoming one I’ve had the pleasure to be involved with. I’ve met some seriously lovely people through this fandom (shout out to my #SoloEarpers!) and am looking forward to meeting them all at EarperCon, in September.
So there we have it, whether it’s the kickass female characters, a seriously well thought out plot or whether you just want to become part of an incredibly lovely community, Wynonna Earp has something for everyone.
Wynonna Earp Season 2 is currently airing on Spike, Tuesday night’s at 10pm.