This is Syfy’s new offering based on the comic book written and drawn by Beau Smith and Joan Chin, published by IDW. I caught the premiere. I’m sure many people will say (or are already saying), “It’s just Supenatural with girls.”
Well, yes and no.
Wynona Earp is taking a bus home to attend a funeral. The bus breaks down, another passenger gets off the bus to go pee and gets eaten by a demon. Wynona goes after her, too late to save her, and fights off the demon (after the bus has left without her). In this sequence we discover that Wynona can see demons, she’s a fighter, she’s related to Wyatt Earp, and it’s her birthday.
In town, we soon meet Wynona’s spunky younger sister Waverly, get the tragic backstory of the sisters and meet the U.S. Marshall who is assigned to the “X-files,” Marshall Dolls. And then we start meeting demons. Several of them. And there are more coming.
Here are the obvious ways this show is like Supernatural:
- Siblings fight demons.
- Samuel Colt’s presentation Colt Peacemaker that kills demons.
- “People think we’re crazy, but this shit is real!”
- “We’re country-folk. This is how we dress.”
- “Hi, I’m a mysterious supernatural creature who may be an ally or may not.”
In some crucial ways, though, at least based on the opening episode, this show is different from the CW’s long-running buddy-soap-opera.
1) No significant other has to die in the opening episode to launch the character’s arc. (To be fair, a family member does die in the backstory.) No gorgeous blond pre-law boyfriends/girlfriends are set on fire, although Wynona does threaten her sister’s squeeze by mistake.
2) Things happen in the daytime. In sunlight. Really gorgeous sunlight, by the way, in some beautiful part of Canada. Unlike Supernatural, which seems to pride itself on shooting in the ambient light from the producer’s cell phone, Wynona Earp takes advantage of light that spills like golden syrup across its actors. And yeah, nasty demons can move around in the daytime just fine, thank you very much.
3) There are people in the world who aren’t white! Marshall Dolls is Black, and he is not the sidekick or the character who makes it through one ep to get killed off. (Well, maybe he will be, but I doubt it.) He is actually, already, a character with a style and a point of view.
4) Neither sibling is a psychopath. Everyone thought Wynona was crazy, of course, when she was younger, but the story makes it clear that she is still able to connect with humans. So, that makes her completely not Dean Winchester. To me, the show has more of a Lost Girl vibe, which, as it turns out, is no surprise, since Emily Andras, who worked on Lost Girl, adapted Wynona Earp for television.
It’s still early days, and Wynona’s “country wardrobe” is a little hard to get past, although Waverly and tough Aunt Gus both dress like regular people. The idea behind the demons is shaky (really shaky) but the line-by-line dialogue is good. I liked it; but I liked Supernatural through the first season, too. Still, there are enough differences for me to invest some time.