If you’re currently furiously searching for a summer obsession, or simply on the lookout for a fun, new show, then look no further. We have you covered in the form of a gun-wielding smartass and her supernatural-western adventures in the small town of Purgatory.
As there seems to be a new supernatural or fantasy show released every week, it takes something special for a show to stand out so soon after its first few episodes. Which is why Wynonna Earp is on the quick road to success. The show knows how to set out an easy yet enjoyable storyline, focusing on creating intriguing characters and dynamics that hook you from the get-go.
Let’s start with the plot. The series begins on a bus, following our triple threat anti-hero female lead. In the first few minutes of the show, the tone is set pretty clear. The women are in charge, demons called revenants are making everyone’s lives a very real living hell, and the poor residents of Purgatory should update their insurance against supernatural threats. The show follows the damaged and lovable Wynonna and her sister, Waverly – who I’ll dive into more later – as they team up with detective Dolls and the walking, talking, somehow living and breathing, Doc Holiday himself.The show combines elements of the western, supernatural and family drama into one mysterious puzzle. And that’s the beauty of the series – it has the potential to explore lots of storylines, characters and themes. So far, we’ve seen characters dealing with guilt, hero complexes and family loyalty. We’ve even touched on Waverly’s anger over Wynonna being the so-called chosen one, which I thought was a pleasant take on the usual competition created between female characters. The Earp sisters are clearly the ‘talk it out’ kind, and their relationship really drives the heart of the show. Wynnona’s self-destructive nature contrasts Waverly’s bubbly personality, and there are moments when we see the two switch as well. It’s still early days for the show, but I’m certain there is a whole lot more to come between these two.
Wynonna Earp combines the creepy elements of horror – demons, revenge, bloody deaths – with the fun and campiness of sci-fi shows like Firefly. It has you cringing one minute, and laughing manically the next. The writing is fantastic and showcases a great deal of strengths in the freedoms of fantasy shows. It can take itself seriously or not at all, and sometimes both at once. Wynonna’s inappropriate comments and the show’s dry humour don’t dissolve the very real issues that the characters have either. In fact, it creates depth. Wynonna hides behind her eye rolls, and Waverly hides her repressed anger behind her smiles and kindness. Even Dolls, who still remains the biggest mystery, shows a respect towards Wynonna that comes from understanding.Let’s talk about a topic that scares a lot of fantasy shows, and that’s women. For whatever reason, the fantasy genre creates either incredible, well developed female characters, or writes them off as a stone-cold badass in skimpy tops. Fortunately, Wynonna Earp falls into the first category. It not only shows two unique female leads, but shows that having different types of strength is just as valuable. On the surface, Wynonna is the hit-first-ask-questions-later badass, throwing herself into fights and tossing back whisky in nearly every scene.
However, beneath the bravado is a complex character filled with regret, sadness and vulnerability. What makes the character of Wynonna so great is that she’s allowed to be both. She can get angry and rant, and open her heart to Waverly as well. The show creates real women, and it plays to the different strengths that a woman can have; not comparing them, but having them work together. Wynonna Earp throws harmful tropes and archetypes to the side.It would be impossible to praise the show and not mention the humour. It’s been a while since I laughed out loud at a show, but this is a whirlwind of snappy one-liners and comedic timing. The actors all do such a fantastic job at delivering the humour, especially Melanie Scrofano, who plays our lead. She delivers her lines with cynical wit, whereas Dominique Provost-Chalkley, who plays Waverly, is a joyous energy that will have you cracking smiles and laughs left and right.
So if you’re after a show that will have you excited about staying in on Friday night, then Wynonna Earp is the show for you. It has everything to hook its viewers. It’s fun, individual, hilarious and creepy. And although it is set in a small town, the show has so much potential to explore new settings. It could go outside the town or bring new things into it, much like Once Upon A Time. Keeping a show intriguing and fresh is hard these days, but Wynonna Earp does so with ease.
It’s already been renewed, which means there’s no worries about falling in love with a new show only to have it be cancelled. We’ve all been there. It’s not nice.
Wynonna Earp airs on Friday nights at 9PM on Spike UK.