After filling up my Twitter feed during its Friday debut on Syfy, Wynonna Earp debuted Monday in Canada on CHCH. One of the interesting things I read during the social media barrage was the comparison folks have made between Wynonna Earp and the dearly-departed Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I certainly get the comparison, and showrunner Emily Andras has mentioned Wynonna and the beloved Buffy in the same sentence. I didn’t watch Buffy at all, so I didn’t have that as a reference during Monday’s debut. Instead, I went in with clear eyes and ready to judge Wynonna on her own merits.
I was very, very impressed. It takes less than a minute to learn Wynonna is headed back to her hometown via bus for her uncle Curtis’ funeral. Moments later, the bus has broken down, a silly girl has ventured into the woods for a pee and Wynona’s unique abilities—and family history—are called upon. She’s the great-great-granddaughter of legendary gunslinger Wyatt Earp and she is fully capable of kicking demon derriere. Good thing, because there are a lot of them; those who Wyatt killed during his time have returned from the dead and Wynonna—with help from sister Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley)—must return the red-eyed beasties from whence they came.
Based on the IDW graphic novels by Beau Smith, the only holdover is Wynonna. Andras and her team concocted the supporting players in Waverly, Agent Dolls (Shamier Anderson), a head demon named Bobo Del Rey (Michael Eklund) and Wyatt’s one-time best bud, Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon). Those players, set in the backwater burg of Purgatory, gives Andras plenty to play with. I watch a lot of television. So much that, as my family can attest, I can often guess what the next line of dialogue or action will be. I couldn’t do that with Wynonna Earp because I never knew what the hell was going to come out of their mouths or what they were going to do next. Wynonna asking if her aunt if her uncle’s body was “intact,” using the promise of coitus as a way to question a ranch hand about Curtis’ death, and a demon literally holding another’s tongue are just three of many snicker-worthy moments.
The pilot episode of a series is usually the weakest because so much needs to be crammed in with regard to the characters and main story, but I didn’t find that here. By the episode’s closing moments viewers picked up Wyatt’s gun, now in Wynonna’s possession, is the only thing that can send them back to hell and they want it. Wynonna can deliver roundhouse kicks with a little extra on them, and Agent Dolls has enlisted Wynonna as a member of his black badge division of the U.S. Marshals to investigate the unexplained. Also? Waverly and Wynonna are quickly becoming a one-two punch in demon-bashing badassery. I’m looking forward to more.
Wynonna Earp airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CHCH.