So we’re actually going to start with the bad on this show, and that’s because, quite frankly, I didn’t think the pilot was all that great. There was a long intro fight scene, which I found sort of confusing, and then there were a lot of characters and plot elements introduced in a very short period of time. The episode felt disjointed, and while I found the cast appealing, I wasn’t entirely sold on the rest of the show. But I’d heard good things, and I try not to judge the show entirely by its pilot, especially when there are some elements that are engaging. I understand that not everybody has iZombie‘s pilot game.
Anyway, now that we’re a couple more episodes in, I’m glad that I’ve stuck with the show. It really started to hit its stride with the writing’s comedic elements being more on point and the cast’s chemistry continuing to build.
Wynonna Earp takes place in the western town of Purgatory. Wynonna, and her sister Waverly, are the descendants of famed gunslinger Wyatt Earp. Back in the day some sort of curse tied together Wyatt’s descendants and the ghosts of the criminals he had killed. Now Wynonna, wielding Wyatt’s gun Peacemaker, is the only person who can kill the revenants. This curse has gone on for generations with the Earps failing to break the cycle and the revenants being reborn to plague the next heir. Now Wynonna hopes to be the last Earp to have to deal with the curse.
As I alluded to earlier, the cast is probably the best part of the show…which is good because things get pretty terrible quickly when that’s not the case. Melanie Scrofano does a great job as the series’ leading lady. Wynonna is a smart-ass and reluctant hero who is facing up to fighting these demons because she has to. Scrofano is great at delivering Wynonna’s quips and has some great facial expressions to match the ridiculous situations she ends up in.
Then there’s Dominique Provost-Chalkley who plays Waverly, my favorite character on the show. Waverly is upbeat and adorable, the type of person who sees the best in everyone. She is also the person who really wants to be able to end the curse and has put in a lot of time studying ways to do so. Unfortunately for her, she is younger than Wynonna, and so she can’t wield Peacemaker. Provost-Chalkley plays this role really well and always brightens up the screen whenever she appears. Also, Waverly scores the diversity points for the show, as she has been making some progress towards getting a Haught girlfriend (#PunsOfDamage).
The guys are second fiddle in this show, but Tim Rozon adds some great Western flair with his portrayal of Wyatt’s old friend Doc Holliday who has gained immortality and is now Wynonna’s on-again off-again ally. Then there’s Shamier Anderson who plays Agent Dolls, Wynonna’s partner and an agent of the classified and secretive US Marshals’ Black Badge Division, a group meant to handle supernatural incidents. He does a great job of playing the straight-man to Scrofano’s sarcastic lead, delivering the right amount of exasperation in response to Wynonna’s comments and schemes.
Plot-wise, the show follows Wynonna as she dispatches different revenants. It’s pretty standard fare for this sort of show, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The world and the characters are what make the show worth watching, and having familiar elements to ground it is fine as far as I’m concerned. Having an interesting female lead is also something that we don’t see to often, and this show is in many ways a nice reversal of the “strong woman/weird dude” trope I wrote about earlier this week.
If you like Weird West stories, or ever wanted to see Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a Western, or you just enjoy great female characters, then I definitely recommend you check out this show. As I said, I would give it more than one episode, but I think it’s well worth the commitment. Wynonna Earp airs on Friday nights at 10 PM EST on Syfy, and you can catch up on episodes of the show on Syfy’s site.
If you have any thoughts on Wynonna Earp, feel free to share in the comments and let me know if you agree or disagree with my assessment of the show, or if you’re excited to give it a look.