If you haven’t been introduced to the Syfy series Wynonna Earp, allow me to make the introduction via this post. You’ll want to follow up by actually watching the show, and since you only have one season to catch up it is an easy weekend binge. I can best describe the show as “Buffy meets Tombstone;” as a fan of both, I really enjoyed the series. Since I want you to watch this show I’m not going to throw out any spoilers or ruin any of the lovely cliffies or moments of “Ahhhhhhh,” in this article. You are welcome.
Well, Hello there Doc Holiday.
Based on a comic series of the same name, Wynonna Earp tells the story of a descendant of Wyatt Earp who has inherited the “Earp Curse” and must now kill demons. She does this in her hometown called Purgatory. With a special gun called Peacemaker. And her kick-ass little sister named Waverly. And a federal agent, last name “Dolls.” And the long-dead-but-still-yum, Doc Holliday (just ignore the fact that he “died” in 1887 because history clearly got that wrong). Also in the mix is Officer Haught (pronounced “hot”), representative of the local police force; Willa Earp, the eldest dead/not dead Earp sister; a Big Bad Demon Dude named BoBo (?); and various and sundry town folk and leftover demons from the 1800’s. It’s a big bowl of awesome with characters that are layered and clever and a storyline that builds momentum with each episode, culminating in an exciting season finale.
Wynonna, Dolls and the Doc; they clean up well.
Hollywood News Source recently had the good fortune to participate in two cast phone interviews about the show’s first season. These were conference call interviews so not all questions were asked by HNS, but nonetheless they were all great questions! I have combined the two interviews and edited the Q’s and the A’s so this doesn’t become the longest post ever (second longest post, maybe), but I have not changed the context of the Q’s or the A’s. Here are highlights from the interviews:
Present in the interviews was Emily Andras (the Showrunner, ie, she runs the show); Melanie Scrofano (Wynonna); Natalie Krill (Willa Earp) and Katherine Barrell (Office Haught).
This is BoBo. He owns a bar and kills people. He is a bad
This question was for Emily, the Showrunner:
Question: Emily, you’ve previously spoken on how Wynonna Earp is like your baby and everybody else might look at it and think it is ugly but you love it because it is yours. And now that the show is coming to an end and you guys are finishing off the season, how are you feeling now like the positive reception your baby has gotten?
Emily Andras: Right. Well, I’m so glad the end of your question wasn’t, “And you’re right, nobody likes your baby. Bye.” But — oh, I honestly, like I know people say this all the time, but I am completely blown away by the response. And so delighted. Like I wanted people to like it. You just want to make people feel something and then to enjoy it. But I feel like the fact that people have just fallen in love and really understood how talented this cast is and how once in a lifetime this cast is, has made me so happy… So I honestly could not be more thrilled. I feel like just completely delighted and proud. So proud. I’m so proud of these guys on the line. I just think they’re so exceptional and we were so lucky to have them.
Next question! Without spoiling it, Willa and Wynonna have a rocky relationship for many reasons. Some of it is just sister stuff, some of it is Curse related, and some of it boils down to not being happy with the choices our loved ones make and what the heck can we do but get mad?
Wynnona and Willa: solving problems, together.
Question: I really liked the struggle going on between Willa and Wynonna, and Wynonna trying to bring her, you know, to kind of bring her back in the fold a little bit. Talk about that, in filming those scenes and creating those scenes, what it was like.
Natalie Krill: Well, I’ll just say from Willa’s perspective I think she does love Wynonna deeply but what’s driving her is she thinks she’s doing something that’s for the greater good. So she’s a martyr. She thinks, you know, like nothing else matters because she’s going to save everyone, this — and this is what she has to do. You know, it doesn’t matter about her relationships and this and that, it’s just that she has to do this.
Melanie Scrofano: Yes, and the same thing for Wynonna, like, I think they’re both — they both really believe that their way is going to be the thing that saves the world so to speak. And — but it’s also that tricky thing for Wynonna, this is her big sister who was her best friend and, you know, besides her father, this is who she idolized. And to be able to see her for what she is now is really difficult and really — you know, there’s that block that happens when you love somebody and you don’t want see them honestly, which was really sad.
Wynonna Earp has a bit of everything: action, adventure, history, romance… One of the themes that was asked about is the lesbian romance developing between Waverly and Officer Haught.
Waverly and Officer Haught
Question: People say that this show sets an example as far as being able to treat your gay women with the respect that is not afforded of some other shows. Other shows seem to kill off their gay female characters recklessly. How would you say your show differentiates from having to resort to that?
Emily: As a show runner, I always am careful to say there are a thousand, thousand things that go into any decision on a show, especially when you’re killing off a character. The LGBT community is, dare I say, desperate to see themselves represented on screen in a way that feels fully fleshed out. They want to see themselves as three dimensional characters. They want to see them as different characters. Not every lesbian is the same. It’s the same way not every straight guy is the same. Although sometimes it feels like it. I just feel like that I am lucky enough or I know what I want and what I really like is to write three dimensional female characters, that is very much I think what makes Wynonna Earp work. We have a variety of women on the show who range from villains to straights, to lesbians, what have you, to cops, to sisters. So I think if you are just writing a variety of women on the screen, no one woman has to represent all women. And part of that is just want to give satisfying storylines that don’t necessarily end in destruction, because of who they are or who they love.
Katherine: I have got nothing but beautiful, amazing, positive feedback and has been so incredibly embraced by this community and I feel really proud to represent a character that’s bringing so many young people – well, I mean so many people in general but especially young fans. A good role model is someone to look up to because we – media expects our culture so much especially in North America and I feel like media really – is a place that kind of dictates our cultural attitude and I think we need to see ourselves on TV, everyone needs to feel represented. And we’re getting there and things are getting better and better but it’s an uphill climb to start an equal kind of representation and I’m just – I feel incredibly proud to see – to be a part of that and to be a part of the show that is helping to create some positivity and a character that’s a very three dimensional, fully fledged character who’s not just on the show to be, you know the clear representation but she’s on a show because she’s an amazing character. She’s amazing person. People want to watch her and the fact that she’s gay is just an aspect of her personality. It doesn’t have to be everything that she’s about and I think for me that’s the most important thing. I wanted her to be a role model of a great person.
And lastly, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: All roads lead to Buffy.
Wynonna and Doc
Question: If you could write-in any other like property of demon-slaying, whether it’s the demon itself or whether it’s the demon hunter, who would you guys pick?
Emily Andras: I’m just going to back to the well for me personally and just go for Buffy. I would love to see Buffy at the age she would be now, so like 40 years old, late 30s, well past high school. I would love for her to land in purgatory and have to team up — team up with Wynonna Earp. That, to me, would be the ultimate. So if you could ask Joss Whedon and he’s cool with that. Not sure he is going to be super cool with it but that would be — that would be my fan girl dream.
Melanie: I was not going to say the same thing just because you said it, like I actually was going to say Buffy. But your answer was better because you made her like present day and — yes, and I would — but Wynonna would — we could do a training scene like she did with Dolls but with Buffy. That would be amazing.
To sum it up, this is a writer and a cast that cares about the story and characters they are creating. That was very clear. These characters are snarky and in some (good) ways cliche but they are also strong and vulnerable and trying to do the best they can with what they got. The show is fun to watch with twists and turns you won’t expect but will love to watch unfold. Now’s the time to catch up so you will be ready to go for Season 2. The cast and show has legs now so the best is yet to come.