Wynonna Earp is the new Syfy original series about a “bad” girl with a smart mouth, her perky (and apparently bisexual) little sister/sidekick, a nasty family curse inherited from their gunslinging great – great grandpappy Wyatt, and a lots and lots of red eyed revenants a.k.a. demons – 77 to be precise. Imagine Supernatural with the Earp sisters instead of the Winchester brothers and a leading lady who resembles Jessica Jones, a reluctant heroine with an affinity for whiskey. Wynonna, although not quite as strong as Jones, does have some pretty awesome combat skills and she sports a magical, super-phallic, long barreled Colt 45 that lights up when she is about to disperse a demon to their final resting place. Showrunner Emily Andras of Lost Girl helms this modern day western and it shows. Let’s run down the Lost Girl playbook checklist, shall we? Hot, bad-ass babes who kick butt – check. Evil otherworldly beings – check. Clever, quotable dialogue – check. Cool outfits but uber cheesy special effects – check. Queer ladies – check. So in short, if you liked Lost Girl you will probably like Wynonna Earp, if you didn’t then it’s probably not for you.
Based on the IDW comic book of the same name, Wynonna Earp is set somewhere in Western Canada in a town appropriately named Purgatory. In Purgatory resides the Earp homestead and the saloon Wyatt used to drink in, or eat ice cream in, depending on who you ask. It is also home/prison to all the revenants of outlaws that ole Wyatt shot. They can’t leave. They are quite literally trapped in Purgatory, but desperately seeking a way to escape so they can loose their demonic plans on the world. Our reluctant heroine Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano) returns to town after years of self imposed banishment to attend her Uncle’s funeral. See, she had kind of a rocky childhood. Her older sister was abducted by demons and they tried to drag her father away too. Even at the tender young age of twelve, Wynonna was not one to sit idly by and watch her daddy get dragged off. So she shot at them but unfortunately killed her dad instead. Oops. So needless to say no one believed her story and they had her committed for a while. It was kind of all downhill from there.
When grown up Wynonna returns home she quickly realizes that the demons are in fact real and not just in her head. And they killed her uncle. The Wyatt family curse exists and now that she is 27 she becomes the “heir” and only she can wield Wyatt’s ironically named “Peacemaker” revolver, the ultimate weapon that will return the hell spawn to Hades. She reconnects with her younger sister, Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) who is quite gun-ho to go after the demons. Wynonna digs up Wyatt’s gun out of the well she hid it in as a kid. Unbeknownst to her she also digs up an immortal Henry “Doc” Holliday (Tim Rozon) who has some unfinished business of his own. She meets the humorless Deputy Marshal Dolls (Shamier Anderson) who is in town investigating the “unexplainable”. Dolls drafts her into the U.S. Marshals Black Badge Division, which is apparently their version of the X-Files. Oh and the Black Badge Division is conveniently part of a cross border task force which gives them jurisdiction in Purgatory. This is super handy for Dolls since they are in Canada and all.
There is a ton of chemistry between Wynonna and Dolls, even though the guy never smiles. And episode two introduces us to Officer Haught (pronounced hot) (Katherine Barrell) who has the “hots” for Waverly. Their first encounter was laden with subtext. And showrunner Emily Andras has promised on Twitter that the show will get “hella gay”. So look for some sparks to fly between those two. Check out the clip at the end for a little preview.
Wynonna Earp is a fun little show with a lot of potential. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Most of the cast regulars put in solid performances. Tim Rozon as Doc Holliday is particularly fun. Some of the guest actors could use a few more acting classes though. The special effects can be a bit lame especially the fire hole when the demons get sent back to hell. Apparently they spent all of their budget on music – which rocks in the first episode. Overall I’d say it’s worth your time to check out at least the first two episodes and see what you think.
(Historical side note – the real Wyatt Earp was born in Illinois; he was not Canadian. He lived in a number of states in the west and did spend some time in the Yukon Territory and Alaska, but ultimately settled in California.)