An Ode to Wynonna Earp

Hello, friends. Some of you may identify as Earpers, AKA fans of Wynonna Earp, the best demon-hunting show on TV right now. If you’ve clicked on this link, it’s likely that you do.

Recently, I read an article about my beloved show from a very respected magazine. How do I know it’s respected? Well, they hate 45 and also my mom has a subscription. And if Maggie Lesbiyinzer thinks you’re worthy of a yearly subscription, well, then I guess you have your shit together.

Though I can certainly appreciate the well-deserved attention that it’s bringing to my little show, I disagree with a lot of its tone.

This article calls Wynonna Earp a “guilty pleasure,” and I guess I get that. I mean, it’s a little silly, sure. It’s about a descendant of Wyatt Earp who sends demons to Hell with a special gun called Peacemaker, who also happens to have a romantic relationship with the immortal Doc Holliday. But the entire tone of the article seems to indicate that nothing in the show is serious, and I respectfully disagree.

It says that the WayHaught storyline is the most serious and the most popular, which, again, I respectfully disagree with. I love that storyline, and as a queer woman, it means a lot to me. I’ve spoken in volumes about representation and how important it is to see queer people on TV, so I won’t bore you with that again. But to insinuate that it’s the only “serious” thing about the show is incorrect.

We watch Wynonna struggle with killing things in every episode — human, demon, liquor. And we see the aftermath in her face, her words, her actions.

We see her relationship with her sisters and her lover/potential lover. We see her relationship with Gus. We see her relationship with Bobo. And all of them are “serious.” She breaks our hearts EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

This article feels personal, like it’s attacking “my” show. Attacking a show that’s female-led and -driven and not attacking, say, Supernatural, a show that was in its prime when it didn’t take itself so seriously. And also before it started treating its women like every single one was expendable. But that’s another topic for another time.

I guess what hurts the most is that this article doesn’t get it, and we Earpers — well, we do. We watch our show with our heroine(s) kicking ass and taking names, and we let it inspire us.

We watch Wynonna battle demons of both the literal and personal variety, and we use that as inspiration. We say to ourselves, “What Would Wynonna Do?” And then we do that thing. We get that promotion. We stand up to that bully. We ignore that person who says we are weird or different, because you know what? Who fucking cares? We are weird and different and so is she. And she is the goddamn Earp heir, and we are whoever the fuck we are. And both are important.

We use Nicole as our guardian angel when we’re walking around a town that we don’t understand; in a place where we feel like we aren’t wanted. We look to her for confidence to hold our heads high in a restaurant where everyone is staring at us. We see her being who she is in a tiny little place where unicorns are probably less unusual, and we stand up a little bit taller. Because of her.

We use Waverly as an example of courage when we come out to our families. We see how she struggled with telling her sister, and we know that it’s okay that we did the same. But we see OURSELVES onscreen every week, and we know that we are not wrong.

To discount the impact of this show because it’s “silly” and “campy” is, quite frankly, not giving any of the fans any credit, because we can look past all of that and see it for what it is.

Just because a show doesn’t take itself seriously doesn’t mean it’s not important. Just because it makes an easy sex joke about spiders making you wet doesn’t mean the same character also won’t break your heart 15 minutes later.

If Wynonna Earp isn’t “prestige TV,” then I guess I’m not a fan of whatever is, because every week, it brings the humor, the feelings, the representation, and the motherfucking sharp-as-a-tack writing. If that’s not prestige, I don’t know what is.

The tone of the article I read kind of felt like “at least you tried, and you made a funny thing.” But this is what I say to you, creators of Wynonna Earp — you tried, and you succeeded. You made a show that is hilarious, heartwarming, and important. You gave us a place to be ourselves. You gave us characters to love and to inspire us.

And I’m sorry — if that’s not the most important thing a show can do, I don’t know what is.

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2 thoughts on “An Ode to Wynonna Earp

  1. beth says:

    supernatural is a guilty pleasure of mine, and i feel guilt because of the things you said. i agree with you about WE that it is not guilty.

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