Doing something a bit different today, in that I’m going to review a television show that has been gaining popularity since it aired quite recently. Considering that I rarely watch television nowadays (nor tend to keep up with those which I do watch), this is quite a big deal.
Anyway, shall we get on with it?
WARNING: May or may not contain spoilers. Sorry about that in advance.
I’m reviewing the first season of Wynonna Earp, a Canadian horror-supernatural series which premiered just this April and had its season finale on June 24th. While at first I wasn’t really into the whole bloody, demon-killing idea of the show (I’m more of a comedy girl), I found myself actually enjoying it, to the point that I binge-watched all thirteen episodes from start to finish.
It centers on the eponymous heroine who essentially fights demons called the Revenants in her hometown, an aptly-named Purgatory, while also trying to uncover the secrets of her ancestor’s past (after all, she’s descended from the famous gunslinger *and apparently devil-seeker oops, spoiler alert!* Wyatt Earp). With the help and support of the tough-ass Deputy Marshall Dolls, spunky little sister Waverly, and the charming, mysterious Doc Holliday, Wynonna Earp (pronounced “why-no-nah erp”) takes down the Revenants one-by-one with her trusty, *magical* gun, ironically called the Peacemaker.
The pilot episode begins with Wynonna taking a bus ride back to her hometown of Purgatory, a place where she hasn’t been back for years. The bus breaks down on the way, and strange things start happening. Long story short, Wynonna ends up in the woods, gets attacked by an unseen demon, and discovers her hidden ability to, well, kick some serious butt (and creams the demon in the end). The rest of the episode follows her back to Purgatory, where we are introduced to the rest of the characters and see her interactions with the townspeople (apparently, she’s not very well-liked, due to the fact that she was quite the delinquent as a youngster).
For the next few episodes, we are introduced to Wynonna and her family’s backstory: Wyatt Earp, her great-grandfather, had made a deal with the devil back in the day, and from then on, his family descendants have been cursed with fighting off the Revenants, of which can only be killed with the Peacemaker to send them back to Hell. We see through Wynonna’s flashbacks of her as a kid, when she encountered the Revenants attacking her home, abducting (and presumably killing) her older sister Willa, and her accidentally killing her dad with the Peacemaker as he is being taken away by the demons. As you can see, it’s no wonder that Wynonna has a *hefty* burden on her shoulders, as she needs to battle demons both in her hometown and in her mind.
The first eight episodes follow Wynonna teaming up with Deputy Marshall Dolls (an outside-police force called in to investigate the strange killings in Purgatory) and her little sister Waverly (who stayed in Purgatory and is also trying uncover the secrets of her family’s past) to solve case-by-case murders from the Revenants themselves, bringing down “The Seven” (the seven Revenants who attacked the Earp’s home when Wynonna was a child), and also trying to take down Bobo del Ray, the leader of the Revenants who himself gives everyone the chills (even me). We also follow the enigmatic Doc Holliday, the right-hand man of Wyatt Earp whom we find out has been given eternity by the Stone Witch, who pops in a couple of episodes with some of her own reasons to meddle with the Earps, and also witness the budding *LGBT!* romance between Waverly and Nicole Haught, the new police officer who is unaware of the strange happenings in town.
Beginning with the ninth episode and ending with the season finale, we see everything falling together (or rather, falling apart) with Bobo del Ray continuing to wreck havoc on the people of Purgatory, as well as being introduced to Willa, who apparently was not dead this whole time and may/may not be as good as she seems. In between all of this, there continues to be lots of family-secret unearthing, ominous threats, and of course, more kick-ass action.
In an attempt not to ruin more of the show’s spoilers, I will now share my thoughts on the show: overall, I would say that, while not my genre of choice, Wynonna Earp did win me over in the end. I attribute it to the fact that there was a notable (and growing!) fan base, as it had just wrapped up its first season and faces uncertainty over whether it’ll be renewed for a second one (I hope so!).
In particular, the fan base in question wasn’t just on the show, nor over Team Dolls or Team Doc, but Team WayHaught, which has all of the LGBTQI audiences (and me) swooning. That was how I even got started watching the show in the first place; while the relationship between Waverly and Nicole doesn’t get much screen time, the moments when it does are not only fan-girl worthy, but also well-done. The chemistry between the two lead actresses, Dominique Provost-Chalkley (Waverly) and Katherine Barrell (Nicole) is undeniable, and I like how the relationship isn’t forced nor necessary to advance the plot- it just is. ❤
Can we also acknowledge that the show’s actors are seriously hot? Canada certainly knows how to do their people right: even other Canadian shows that I’ve glanced over (Lost Girl, Saving Hope, You Me Her) contain *extremely attractive* Canadians doing *extremely attractive* things. What can I say? I’m an American who loves Canadians. Love thy neighbor, eh? 😉
Anyway, I digress. True, Melanie Scrofano, who plays Wynonna Earp, is a looker (she’s also a model), but it’s her onscreen sister, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, whom I love. Her portrayal of Waverly, the youngest Earp sister, is totally goals (did I just say “goals?”): with a balance of sweet, bad-ass, and just plain hilarious, she ends up stealing the scene (and my heart!). Seriously, she’s a cutie- and a total babe! ❤ ❤ ❤
As for the men players: Am I Team Dolls or Team Doc (god, flashbacks of Team Edward/Team Jacob from Twilight here…except better!)? Let me be straight with you (see what I just did there?), and say that I would have to go with Team Dolls: I’m aware that some people might find Doc smooth and sexy with that old-fashioned, cowboy charm, but if anything, the actor’s take on the wild West accent sounds more Southern to me (which is a different thing!). Plus, that mustache…when I see him kissing other women with that ‘tache, I’m sorry, but I feel unsettled- I’m not the one for mustaches. Dolls, while not having the womanizing charms of Doc, is nevertheless a tough-as-nails, but sensitive beef-cake who cares about Wynonna.
I think generally speaking, Wynonna Earp is well-acted, offers plenty of complex characters, and enough material to look forward to for a second season (I mean, that cliffhanger in the season finale…you can’t just not renew the season like that!). Only bit of criticism about the show is that at times, it gets a bit repetitive: you can’t imagine how many times I see Dolls drawing his gun in almost-every scene or Wynonna brandishing the Peacemaker as a threat- it’s reflex, I guess. The first few episodes, especially battling The Seven, were quite formulaic in trying to take down each of the seven Revenants, leaving the last episodes a bit free-floating; I would’ve liked it to be a bit more organized in that sense.
Any case, I could go on and on about this show, but I ought to wrap it up here for the moment. Wishing for a season two now…let’s hope it happens!
Have you seen Wynonna Earp? If so, what did you think of it? Let me know!
— The Finicky Cynic
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