Unless you've literally been living in a fallout shelter for the last year, chances are you've seen some buzz accumulating around a show called Wynonna Earp. The supernatural Western series has earned well-deserved comparisons to TV predecessors like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural, but with a freshman season under its belt Wynonna Earp has carved out a space all its own within the quirky horror genre. Since its premiere in April 2016, the show has been a part of some of the most important television-related conversations over the past year—including the significance and impact of queer female representation amidst several high profile series killing off LGBT characters.
All that aside? It's deliciously funny, super empowering, just plain smart television.
So what's it all about? Cliff's Notes version: the show follows the character of Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano), the great-great-granddaughter of famous Old West gunslinger Wyatt Earp. After inheriting a special gun from her ancestor dubbed "Peacemaker," Wynonna returns to her hometown of Purgatory and accepts her calling to send all of Wyatt's resurrected kills (known as "Revenants") back to the Hell from whence they came—but every special destiny usually gets paired with the necessity to play well with others. Over the course of the first season, Wynonna (albeit reluctantly) teams up with Deputy U.S. Marshal Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson), who works for the covert "Black Badge" Division, as well as her younger sister Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley)—undoubtedly the biggest smarty-pants in the Earp family. Other characters like Wyatt Earp's former partner Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon), who has super mysterious origins as well as a special connection (ahem ahem) with Wynonna, and local police officer and girlfriend-to-Waverly Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell) round out a super solid central cast.
In case you're still not sold on why you should be watching this show, allow us to provide you with a few more reasons.
IT'S WICKEDLY FUNNY
Put on any episode of Wynonna Earp and one of the first things you'll notice is the dialogue: it's smart, sharp, clever, and gives the series a voice that stands out apart from any other on television at the moment. Within the demon-packed world of Purgatory itself, each of its characters is set apart and uniquely defined—with witty dialogue to match. Wynonna is usually the first one to make a snarky comment, while her sister Waverly is the one more prone to endearingly nerdy references. Meanwhile, everything Doc Holliday says feels akin to watching the slow drip of molasses on a warm summer day, and you can always count on Dolls to be perfectly deadpan while providing his own commentary.
(Besides, any show that pulls off a masterful usage of innuendo more than earns a spot in the pantheon of supernaturally-inclined shows.)
SISTERS ARE DOIN' IT FOR THEMSELVES
One of the best parts of Wynonna Earp is the relationships forged between characters—and it could probably be argued that no bond is stronger on the series than the one between the Earp sisters. Although Wynonna and Waverly aren't on the best of terms for a whole host of reasons when Wynonna first returns to Purgatory. Waverly is nursing the hurt associated with Wynonna leaving town in the first place, and Wynonna isn't really sure she wants her kid sister around at all—but the two quickly come to the realization that they not only need each other to survive, they depend on one another when the going gets toughest.
Not only is it encouraging to see a strong bond between siblings on television, but the show explores the ways in which these two sisters complement each other. Wynonna has the street smarts, while Waverly is undoubtedly the book nerd who loves diving into research; as the season progress, however, there are moments when it's plain to see that they're rubbing off on each other in good ways and bad. (No doubt Waverly's picked up a little of Wynonna's headstrong tendencies and willingness to be daring, and Wynonna is putting those she cares about ahead of her own interests.) And because Wynonna's destiny is tied to her own bloodline, that automatically ensures that the importance of family gets placed at the heart of the show.
THE MYTHOLOGY IS EXCITING
If you like shows about young women embracing their sacred calling, you're going to get a lot of mileage out of Wynonna Earp. If you prefer your worldbuilding to include a dash of classic Western films mixed in with unapologetic feminism, even better. This series is the perfect blend of old and new stories, pairing some of the most famous names in Wild West history with fresh fictional additions that make the world of Wynonna Earp feel grander and more complex even though the majority of the first season takes place in one small town.
Besides, once you establish that demons exist in-universe, you pretty much have the ability to include other supernatural characters as needed—which is how we've wound up getting witches, cannibalistic killers, and creepy cults all within the first season alone.
THERE ARE STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS GALORE
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention this aspect of Wynonna Earp, and the good news is that fans are almost spoiled for choice when it comes to the women on the show. From a kickass female lead to solid supporting characters, each of the ladies on this show are important and valuable additions to the story, and they're all portrayed in equally thoughtful ways.
Too often shows go the route of only defining a female character by the man she's in a relationship with, or making her so perfect she's just a Strong Female Character and nothing else, or worse, using her story to further a male lead. (Raise your hand if you're sick and tired of the "female sidekick" trope, too, especially when it's clear she's way smarter than the dude she's helping out.) Fortunately, the women of Wynonna Earp all evolve as their whole selves—not as one part of a half.
THE CORE ROMANCES ARE WONDERFUL
Even though Wynonna Earp's ladies aren't defined by their romantic relationships, that doesn't mean that they don't have love in their lives. One of the best 'ships on the show to date has been the one playing out between Waverly Earp and Nicole Haught (appropriately dubbed "WayHaught" by the internet), which eventually developed into the most stable example of romance within the first season.
Meanwhile, Wynonna herself hasn't chosen to settle down with anyone just yet, but that hasn't stopped her from engaging in a little between-the-sheets action with Doc—or from having undeniable tension with Dolls. When the first season concluded, it was unclear whether or not she'd commit to something more serious with either of them, but the on-screen chemistry sizzles no matter what.
The good news for potential Earpers is twofold: season one will be fully available on Netflix beginning April 1, and showrunner Emily Andras has confirmed that season two will premiere June 9 on Syfy and Space! So what are you waiting for?!
Images and GIF Credit: Syfy