It took all of 10 or 15 minutes of watching Syfy’s new series “Wynonna Earp,” to know that I was hooked.
This came as a big surprise to me, because I don’t have the fondest of memories of the 1990’s short-lived comic book published by Image. I didn’t even buy it when it first came out, I think I picked it out of a dollar bin a couple of years later.
Anywho, you gotta remember that the original Wynonna Earp comic came out during the industry’s “Bad Girl” craze of the mid 1990’s. And Wynonna Earp’s design mirrored that era, as you can see below:
But let’s get back to the “Wynonna Earp” tv show, shall we?
The series stars Melanie Scrofano as the title character, the great, great granddaughter of the legendary lawman Wyatt Earp, returning home to the Western town of Purgatory after years avoiding her family’s legacy.
In addition to the family name and a handy firearm named Peacemaker, (a Colt .45 pistol with a 12-inch barrel), membership in the Earp clan includes inheriting a particular set of specialized skills and also a dark curse: when an Earp heir turns 27, he or she must battle demons who are the spirits of the not-so-nice people Wyatt Earp killed during his illustrious career.
These demons are known as “revenants,” and are led by the mysterious Bobo Del Ray. These revenants are plotting something big and bad for Purgatory and only an Earp heir can stop them.
Like any good demon hunter, Wynonna doesn’t work alone, so also along for the ride are Wynonna’s plucky sister Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) who stayed in Purgatory and developed some skills of her own. And by the way, Waverly is one of the best parts of the show, and don’t think she’s just the comic relief because she’s much more than that.
A new face in town is Agent Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson), part of a secret government agency with interest in the supernatural. One of the more underrated characters is Nicole Haught, played by Katherine Barrell. Officer Haught is also new in town, and she knows there’s some wacky stuff going on, but she doesn’t know what exactly. She’s only been in a few episodes so far, but considering her new relationship on the show, I’m hoping she becomes a regular if the show is picked up for season two.
And last but certainly not least, Tim Rozon stars as Doc Holliday. Yes, that Doc Holliday, formerly Wyatt Earp’s buddy, who is somehow back in Purgatory. I’d explain more, but I don’t want to spoil too much about Doc. But I will say his current motivations remain unclear.
Wynonna and her sister both have a lot of personal scars over the deaths of their father (accidentally shot by Wynonna), and older sister (the original heir), as well as the disappearance of their mother, which happened at the hands of the revenants.
One of the things I like most about the show is that even the most harrowing moments are always counterbalanced with humor, usually courtesy of Melanie Scrofano, Dominique Provost-Chalkley or Tim Rozon. All three have unbelievable amounts of charisma, and the scripts allow them to shine in every episode.
Syfy’s Wynonna Earp was developed for television by Emily Andras (“Lost Girl”), and the pilot was directed by Paolo Barzman. There are plenty of similarities between “Lost Girl” and “Wynonna Earp,” from the badass lead and her plucky sidekick, to the supernatural threat the humans in town don’t know about or don’t want to know about. So needless to say, if you’re a “lost Girl” fan, you’re bound to enjoy “Wynonna Earp.”
Anyways, I’m very happy to say that the “Wynonna Earp” tv series blows the original comic book out of the water. This is one of those rare instances where the tv adaptation is much better than the original material.
I’m picky about comic book adaptations, but I’m glad the show runners turned Wynonna from an absurdly curvy blonde in revealing outfits into Scrofano’s sarcastic, sexy-yet-relatable tomboy. By the by, there is a more recent Wynonna Earp comic from IDW that looks to be much closer to the tv show than the old Image comic. But I haven’t read the IDW books, so I can’t tell you if it’s a nice companion to the Syfy show or not.
The bottom line is: the “Wynonna Earp” Syfy show is sharp, funny, sexy, and filled with solid stories, and its definitely worth a look.
“Wynonna Earp” airs Fridays,10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy