The fireball that never died out: the excitement ricocheting off every viewers’ walls is growing ever prominent as the season two premiere nears, and here’s why.
Wyatt Earp means masculinity, catching the bad guys, and the Gun Fight at the O.K. Corral. So ‘Wynonna Earp‘ was always going to be a stretch. Throw in some demons, an immortal Doc Holliday, a lizard-type Secret Agent Xavier Dolls, a rifle-wrenching gutsy little sister Waverly and Police Officer Nicole Haught who’s as haught as the name suggests—you have ‘Wynonna Earp’.
‘Wynonna Earp’ is the rocket that launched in 2016. In a year now where we celebrate the Hidden Figures behind the USA’s astronomical achievements, ‘Wynonna Earp’ is surely up there in terms of celebration.
Emily Andras and Beau Smith Ranch’s brain-child could not have come at a better time. With the LGBTQ community down in the dumps after the callous way ‘The 100′ treated its vulnerable viewers, it was about time some kickass women stomped down the door and told everyone to get up, and get rockin’. This wasn’t just about LGBTQ audiences, though Andras took it to heart. This was about having a rollicking good time. And it quickly transformed from having a genuine, almost disbelievingly, good time to something truly important.
There’s a lot more to the world of ‘Wynonna Earp’ than just its LGBTQ relationship ‘WayHaught’. Headed up fearless Emily Andras (‘Lost Girl’), we knew we were in for a ride when we saw her name attached to the project. What we didn’t expect was a colossal machine in the works. ‘Wynonna Earp’ is international. It’s smashing down barriers and it’s smashing into your television sets at home.
You watch out, 2017. ‘Wynonna Earp’ is about to steal it from you.
Let’s kick this off with our eponymous heroine: Wynonna
Undoubtedly, years 2016 and 2017 will surely be the years of ‘girl power’. It’s a phrase we’re never going to get tired of here at TV After Dark (we’re waiting for ‘boy power’…any takers?) but it was most beautifully exemplified in Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano).
Scrofano’s depiction of the deeply flawed Wynonna was ironically spot-on. This was a heroine who did not give a flying bleep about her flaws. She drank whiskey straight from the bottle. She was the town pariah on a Saturday night. Temptation to her was something to pounce on, as Tim Rozon’s Doc Holliday would back us up there. Scrofano’s Wynonna allowed us right into her heart—where everything had hardened around the throbbing muscle. A steely case of jagged imperfection, it was difficult nigh on impossible to break down her guard. But when faced with her long-lost sister Willa (Natalie Krill) and her adorable younger sister Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) something melted into an entrance.
Wynonna was brash, reckless and non-committal—to say the least. But never has a character staggered onto the screen with so much baggage and so much love. The love she yields for her sisters is otherworldly, and that is fitting considering this story concocted by Andras and Smith Ranch is anything but normal.
Wynonna allowed herself to stumble into lust with Doc. She allowed herself a brief, tender moment of affection with Dolls (Shamier Anderson) in the finale. But mostly, she had her head screwed on right. Whatever obstacles were designed to be thrown in her way, she stumbled over them with Peacemaker in one hand and perhaps a doughnut in the other.
Rocking leather and looking good, Scrofano’s Wynonna was the perfect depiction of imperfection and a lack of desire to be so. She had her weak spots, for sure. However, she was often the steady foundation for Provost-Chalkey’s Waverly. She was the one foiling those pesky Revenants’ plots, week in and week out.
She was the one who shot a couple of bullets in a nightclub, condemning herself as a “crazy chick with a gun“. Well, here’s a drink to that, Wynonna—and lights out, bitches.
Aside from Wynonna, the cast—female or male—are characters of their own.
There are relationships on the show that you just cannot tear your eyes away from. Most recently, WayHaught actresses Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Katherine Barrell appeared at ‘ClexaCon’ to discuss their characters’ relationship. It was a sign of how quickly the fandom had responded to their whirlwind romance.
But the show didn’t stop and focus on just them. Outside of Nicole and Waverly, we had Agent Dolls, a mystery at the beginning, until we delved deeper into his weaknesses. Like everyone in the aptly named town of Purgatory, he had a secret to hide. It resulted in frequent, and hilarious, team-ups with the gentlemanly Doc Holliday, who seemed as if time hadn’t moved for him.
Willa had her own back-story. Even the big villain Bobo del Rey (Michael Eklund) had his own story. Doc had spanned relationships with not only Wynonna and Dolls, but a particularly touching one with Waverly. The chemistry between Rozon and Provost-Chalkley would be something that would be a crime to miss. For a seasoned actor like Rozon to come blow-to-blow with young Provost-Chalkley was something magical written on paper; it was even better to watch unfold on-screen. The bond they shared did not just stop after a certain number of episodes. Andras is not one to suddenly stop and start; Waverly and Doc’s relationship remained crucial, whether in crisis or out of sudden hilarity.
Nicole and Dolls could easily have faded into Waverly and Wynonna’s love interests. But they didn’t. Throughout the entire season, both characters developed solid, question-raising arcs—especially Dolls. Nicole’s somewhat of an enigma. With extra social media snippets such as Nicole’s tumblr diary, it provided us with an out-of-camera excerpt into how Nicole was fitting into Purgatory life. It was as entertaining as it was essential. Barrell’s performance as the quietly determined, forever seeking justice officer—and eventual Black Badge Division member—has spawned so much popularity that Beau Smith Ranch has even released a comic solely for her.
If that doesn’t scream fan-favourite, we’re not sure what will.
Yes, let’s talk about #WayHaught.
Waverly and Nicole (their portmanteau being ‘WayHaught’, rather appropriately) stole our hearts with a hip-swaying soundtrack, a beer machine that sprayed everywhere, and Waverly getting stuck whilst trying to wriggle out of her top, playing the ‘officer, help me, I’m stuck’ card. It was evident on Waverly’s face that it was a killer, and whilst we recovered from the scene behind our fingers, it was really quite charming.
Waverly and Nicole fell for each other, hard and fast. Though obstacles stood in their way—including a cringeworthy misunderstanding of words in episode nine (oh Waverly, you had to go for lesbian unicorns)—Waverly and Nicole remained strong. Unashamed of their relationship, to a seemingly oblivious—and really rather dense—Wynonna, Nicole openly talked about sexy black dresses and dinner dates. Waverly and Nicole had no shame in making out in the sheriff’s office(!) and though Willa caught them getting hot and flustered in the barn, it all led up to one big revelation from young Waverly:
Waverly: [To Wynonna] Please. I love her.
It’s easy to dismiss their relationship as somewhat of a whirlwind. It was all so quick. But why do we have to have relationships that drag on for centuries on television, just to verify it? Can’t we fall in love quickly? Isn’t that what Waverly and Nicole exemplify?
Their pride in their relationship, undeterred by the homophobia displayed by Champ (Dylan Korroll) is likely a moment of pride for the LGBTQ community. How many Champs are there in this world, who’ll snarl that your relationship is disgusting to your face?
Don’t you just want to deck that homophobic attitude in the face?
That’s what Nicole Haught did—and that’s why we deemed her our Fitzwilliam Darcy of the year.
Alright, alright. There’s a demon-killing descendant of legendary Wyatt Earp about to kick some ass, an immortal Doc Holliday and a gayer-than-gay LGBTQ relationship. I’m in.
‘Wynonna Earp’ has captured fans internationally not just because of its surface level fun. Yes, it’s amazing to see the LGBTQ community represented fearlessly in the horrible world of Purgatory. And yeah, it’s kind of nice to see that the heroine of the story isn’t some polished, size zero princess. That relationship and this heroine will not represent everyone.
This is not an article to rant about why ‘Wynonna Earp’ is perfect, because it isn’t, in so many ways. There are many rooms for improvement, and if ‘Wynonna Earp’ bravely takes them strides, then it’ll be bloody magnificent. However, here lies a show—as flawed as its loveable heroine—unafraid to take on the world. And it’s that tenacity, driven by the fiery Emily Andras, that we truly admire.
If you want to explore, intellectually, why humans exist and how we can evolve and move to Mars, then maybe ‘Wynonna Earp’ is not the programme for you. If you want to sit down for an hour or so and let your senses be obliterated by fun, cursing, action sequences, ridiculousness, snark and a whole load of gay, then be our guest.
‘Wynonna Earp’ has never promised anything other than a bucket-load of fun. It isn’t a stupid show. It makes you think. It’s got a plot. It’s twisted and quirky and—for crying out loud, the lesbian’s cat doesn’t like men.
But here’s what we propose: if you want a bundle of joy wrapped in some kickass sequences, some excellent characterisation, imperfection to its core topped off with a rainbow bow, then take ‘Wynonna Earp’. Andras & co dug into their hearts and this popped out. It’s made of love—so why don’t you give it some?
It’ll knock your socks off.