When I first saw Wynonna Earp appear on Netflix, I didn’t know what to make of it. Now, a few episodes in, I have to say, I like it.
Wynonna Earp is a descendant of the well-known Wyat Earp. Wyat Earp was a Marshal in the nineteenth century. He brought many men to justice. What only a few know, is that he was also cursed and all the men he killed came back as revenants, haunting a triangular area around the town of Purgatory. The eldest of the Earp line carry the curse.
When Wynonna was young, her father was the heir. Wynonna’s elder sister Willa was supposed to succeeded him. Then, one faithful night, revenants killed both, leaving Wynonna and her little sister Waverly behind.
Fast forward to the present. Wynonna has grown up a rebel who pissed off her family and the law, but she returns to her home town to attend her uncle’s funeral. Things quickly escalate when it turns out a revenant killed Wynonna’s uncle.
Wynonna is the main character of the show. She’s a no-nonsense woman who is haunted by the trauma of her youth and is now forced to take on the mantle of her forefather Wyat.
Waverly is Wynonna’s sister. She’s always been a good girl. She’s lived her whole life in Purgatory, learning about Wyat Earp and the family curse. Where Wynonna hates her calling, Waverly has embraced it. Unfortunately, Waverly is not the heir.
Marshal Dolls is part of a secret branch of Marshal Service responsible for handling supernatural things. He deputizes Wynonna and starts an investigation into Purgatory and the curse.
Finally, there’s Doc Holliday. He’s one of Wyat Earp’s original companions who’s apparently still alive. He was trapped in a well. When Wynonna returns to Purgatory, she unwittingly helps him escape his prison.
The first episode didn’t pull me in. Or the second. The show comes across as a Buffy the Vampire Slayer clone spiced with Supernatural.
However, like several other shows (Killjoys, Orphan Black, and Dollhouse), I found the show only really gets on its feet after a few episodes. The first few episodes are good enough to keep you watching, but it’s only after a while that things really start to become interesting.
The first episode, especially, did Wynonna’s sister Waverly a disservice by showing her as a slightly dreamy girl in too tight pants. It only becomes apparent later that her exterior ‘girliness’ is an act behind which is a complicated person with a smart head on her shoulders.
All in all, the show has really grown on me. The characters act like normal people. There’s no idiot plotting or sock puppeting. Not only do the characters act like rational people, the bad guys quickly evolve into people with their own good and bad sides. The characters all come in their own shades of grey: Wynonna is a borderline criminal, Dolls has his dark side, and the revenants sometimes have their good sides, and have their own goals.
If you liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, or shows like it, go watch Wynonna Earp. If you can’t understand the allure of a show about a woman walking around with a six-shooter killing undead… walk away.