Year of the Woman: Wynonna Earp

Amy Gildert takes a break from her usual column to bring us another show with a

Amy Gildert
19th February 2018
Image Credit: YouTube

After being disappointed by supernatural and action television for so long, Wynonna Earp has filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t even know I had.  Gone are the days of queerbaiting and plots that circle around themselves like dogs chasing their own tails. Amongst a proliferation of good television to choose from, Wynonna Earp should definitely be on your radar.  

The show revolves around the character of Wynonna Earp, the descendent of infamous gunslinger and western sheriff, Wyatt Earp. But it turns out that Wyatt was no ordinary sheriff. His hometown of Purgatory lies within the Ghost River Triangle; a cursed area of land which is haunted by all of the outlaws that Wyatt killed. Resurrected as revenants, the outlaws want nothing more than to break out of the Ghost River Triangle and wreak utter destruction wherever they go. Wynonna has intertied the job of sending each of these revenants back to hell with an aesthetic revolver named Peacemaker. If she fails and is killed before she can send them all back, then each revenant she put down will be resurrected. From the premise of this show alone, the stakes are high. And although Wynonna Earp is not currently a show with a big budget, it certainly doesn’t shy away from fight scenes between Wynonna and the revenants, which are always satisfying and perfectly choreographed.   

"If you’re looking for a strong leading lady, Wynonna is definitely the gal for you."  

While supernatural dramas are aplenty these days, it is the characters of Wynonna Earp that really make it stand out. If you’re looking for a strong leading lady, Wynonna is definitely the gal for you. Kick ass and wiseass, she swings a punch and knocks back a shot in the same move. Yet while she fights against an uprising of demons, she is also undeniably real in a way that few female characters are allowed to be. She is awkward and clumsy, tripping over her words and winging it as best as she can. And while she may on occasion dress like the femme fatale, she gets stuck in her dress as she attempts to take it off. Little moments like this come together to create a character that is utterly real as a result of her being allowed to have flaws. This is a quality that is continued over the rest of the characters, and it must be noted that three out of five principal cast members are women, which is a pleasantly surprising fact when the majority of film and television gives us one female character surrounded by a cast of men.   

FACT: The show is based on a comic book series by Beau Smith and was recently renewed for a third season. 

When I first began watching, I was prepared to witness the baiting of a romantic relationship between two of these female characters, similar to the treatment of Dean and Castiel in ABC’s Supernatural. But for once, you don’t need to worry about this. The relationship between the characters is handled amazingly, and I would just like to shake someone’s hand for finally having some healthy queer relationships on my screen.   

With so much television available at our fingertips, it’s easy to see the same sort of shows repeated and remade. But Wynonna Earp is a completely new twist on both the historical legacy of Wyatt Earp and the supernatural genre. And although it’s not perfect (as no show is), the representation it gives us definitely makes it worth a watch.  

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