A blasting, fun romp that makes an hour feel like ten minutes, with star-fuelled performances by Melanie Scrofano (Wynonna Earp) and Dominique Provost-Chalkley (Waverly Earp).
SHOW: Wynonna Earp
Genre: Fantasy, Drama and a dash of Western
The Challenge: Give a show four episodes with which to draw you in, impress you, challenge you, make you feel something deeply. Four episodes for the chance to find out if you care what happens to the characters you’re watching enough to become invested in the story. If after all that, it does none of those things for you? Then no biggie. You gave it a good shot and you can move on. But if you love it, you’ll be glad you stuck around.
The Premise: Wynonna Earp, the prodigal daughter of Purgatory, returns to reluctantly fulfil her father’s legacy as a demon-hunter. A descendant of the legendary Wyatt Earp, she faces his enemies (in demon-form) to condemn them to hell. With some help from the Black Badge Division, Wynonna routinely faces a “revenant of the week” palava. Based off a comic-book series by the same name, the blossoming relationships and sharp humour will keep you grounded to its alluring rollercoaster of ridiculous fun. ‘Wynonna Earp’ stars Melanie Scrofano, Shamier Anderson, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Katherine Barrell and Tim Rozon.
#1 The females are just unapologetically badass.
The premise of a ‘dark, quick-thinking and kickass female heroine’ is something of a fashion now. However, Wynonna Earp is something different. Scrofano’s raw portrayal of Wynonna is so unique and subtle that sometimes you miss the genius of her performance. She is vulnerable and steel; threatening yet prone to humiliation; incredibly loving of her sister but anyone else, she’ll side-eye you ’til it burns. She doesn’t let Agent Dolls control her life or treat her like any kind of subordinate because she’s female. And actually, Dolls doesn’t do any of that anyway, which is refreshing.
Her most earnest trait is her ability to recognise where her faults lie, and her wrongdoings in life. Wynonna sometimes lets it haunt her. But mostly she pushes through this to initially, reluctantly fill Wyatt Earp’s shoes. And slowly she becomes acquainted to the role of Revenant protector. She’s absolutely imperfect. She can’t even shoot a gun straight. But she’s selfless and loving, and addictive in how likable she is.
Related l Syfy’s promotional video of ‘Wynonna being Wynonna‘
Others include Wynonna’s chirpy little sister Waverly. She’s in a relationship with a ‘boy-man’ Hardy Champ (Dylan Koroll). And she’s been busy since her sister left her as a child. Surprising both the audience and Wynonna, she has been collecting newspaper scrapings and findings related to the revenants, and she’s been working tirelessly to piece it all together. Meticulously, of course.
Waverly’s bubbly; she splutters hopelessly over her own words and gets stuck trying to wriggle out of her own top. But without her, the ultimate brains of the Black Badge Division, Wynonna and Dolls would be getting nowhere. She’s hapless sometimes. But the show allows her to be. The show allows her to make all these mistakes and generally be a giant dork without ever tarnishing her intelligence, her importance to the storyline, to Wynonna…and perhaps to Nicole Haught, too.
Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell) is something of a mystery. Having only appeared in two episodes, we don’t know much of her other than she works with the Sheriff and rocks the Stetson and beige trousers look. We still have a lot more to see of Officer Haught. Because even with the small screentime, Haught has already cemented herself as a fan favourite.
#2 The relationships and character development are simply to die for.
The chemistry between the cast is polished to perfection. Wynonna and Dolls have excellent back-and-forth relay banter in their reluctantly forged partnership that is incredibly fun to watch. It’s also refreshing for once that this lead couple aren’t pushed to be the romantic leads.
The best relationship on the show, hands-down, is between the two sisters: Wynonna and Waverly. Huge credit has to be given to the actress’ chemistry as they play the Earp sisters so well that it’s unimaginable for the Earp sisters to be anyone but them. Credit must also be given to the incredible executive producer Emily Andras (Lost Girl, Killjoys) for creating these unbreakable bonds and captivating our minds.
It’s clear that they would both do absolutely anything for the other. It’s this undying bond and trust they have in each other that’s so undeniably heartwarming. They, even after years of separation, are joined at the hip. They comfort and console and tease and laugh; they joke easily and they are instantly open with the other. It’s a beautiful relationship that blossoms every episode as they learn more and more of these Revenants, Wyatt Earp, and the danger that hangs over Purgatory.
Then there’s #WayHaught. It’s an Internet sensation. Haught is obviously interested in Waverly. She is so obvious about it that she might as well have a bat signal. And Waverly, briefly smirking as she catches Haught’s business card (“Hot. Of course.”) can definitely see the attraction there. It’s only a matter of time and episodes to see whether or not these two will develop into something real—or if this was a fun brush of opportunity amiss.
#3 It’s insane fun–enjoy the ride!
The plot is somewhat hard to swallow. It’s like you chewed up and garbled every generic fantasy/sci-fi/Western recipe together. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. It’s a blistering ride. The show’s so incredibly watchable and enjoyable that it’s genuinely gripping stuff.
The only weapon capable of sending these Revenants back to the pits of hell where they belong is the gun Wyatt Earp owned. It’s called Peacemaker, and it looks pretty damn cool. As Wynonna finds her feet sending these demons into the fiery depths of hell once more, she even develops a bit of a catch-phrase. “Lights out, bitch“. It’s just the perfect saying that sums Wynonna Earp up: she is absolutely no-nonsense when it comes to these meddling demons.
Related l Wynonna Earp – the official trailer
And with how annoying they are, it’s unsurprising she apparently takes a bit of pleasure into sending a Revenant back to hell. It’s lucky she didn’t ask Waverly, who would probably say something like “you terrible monster, may you atone for all eternity for your sins as the pits of fire in hell consume your horrendous soul!”
It’s just such a fun show. It’s a show that sort of hits you impact after impact, without really giving you much time to yelp in disbelief, cringe in disgust or laugh out loud. When a show can evoke that wide array of emotion whilst continuing to be a genuinely enjoyable, humble blizzard through SyFy, it’s a really, really good thing. Though the promotional pictures are impressive they don’t give the full scope of what the show’s about. There’s mythology, humour, horror, thriller, Western, drama, fantasy…all cocooned in one heck of a show.
FINAL VERDICT: A ballsy, fun, dashingly imperfect new series just exploded on-screen. It’s not pretentiously deep–but it’s so enjoyable that you have to sample it.
It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s not exactly Game of Thrones gritty/dark, but if you like shows like Orphan Black, the Shannara Chronicles, or even Once Upon a Time then this may be up your alley. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, it is smart, but it’s also incredibly charismatic, heartfelt and genuine. You can feel the love that’s gone into this project through the screen. Very rarely do shows leave us sniggering and grinning after an episode like Wynonna Earp does.
There has to be enormous credit to Emily Andras. Adapting a comic book series into something so watchable and fun is a task-and-a-half. But she and her writer’s room compels us with endlessly snarky dialogue. The direction can sometimes be amiss, but it’s all part of the raw, Syfy rollercoaster.
If it’s absolutely not for you, that’s totally understandable too. The television world is hugely subjective! But if it is your cup of tea, you suspect, then go all gung-ho and pop on the first episode. Or maybe do your own mental ‘four episode challenge’ and see how you feel after four episodes. Do you feel like you’ve gained anything from watching this? Do you feel it’s worthy of your time? It’s entirely up to you. Certainly, a horror/supernatural Western genre show with a motley band of mismatched badasses of boisterous female heroes to jolt the TV world awake? Sign us up!