Wynonna Earp: The Little Show That Could

I began watching Wynonna Earp because I broke my toes, was on a cruise ship and stumbled upon the hashtag for the popular ship “WayHaught” on Tumblr. It’s quite an odd story. Now, if you told little fifteen or sixteen-year-old me that the show that hashtag came from would end up being one of the most important things in my life five years later, I would most definitely have laughed at you, but here we are in 2021, and I can safely say that this show has truly changed my life.  

Wynonna Earp began airing on the SYFY channel back in 2016. The show follows Wynonna, played by Melanie Scrofano, as she moves back to her hometown of Purgatory to reluctantly take up the role that Wyatt Earp’s heir is destined for—hunting the resurrected souls of the criminals who were taken down at one time by Wyatt himself. Along her unplanned journey, we meet Wynonna’s sister, Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson), Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon), Mercedes Gardner (Dani Kind) and many more wonderful characters. At first glance, this show is simply about a woman on a demon killing spree, but it’s much more than that. It’s about love, family and truly finding somewhere to call home.  

There’s no better example of this theme than this quote from the season four finale,  

“They say life is short, but it is long and it is lonely, so if you manage to find  a group of souls that will tolerate you, and elevate you and one who will especially love you. Well, that is all it is really about. That is what the fight is really for.” – Doc Holliday, Wynonna Earp, Season 4 Episode 12. 

The fanbase of Wynonna Earp affectionately call themselves “Earpers”. While the characters in the show have their own chosen family, the Earpers also have theirs. The fandom quickly became a giant found family with all sorts of support systems coming from people all over the world who had been brought together through social media and their love of the show. In the wake of SYFY’s cancellation of season three of Earp due to financial issues, the Earpers banded together to up social media interactions about the show on all platforms. They created fan conventions solely dedicated to the show, and they also bought billboard time in Times Square to create “Earp Square” to continue to get the word out. After eighteen months, three weeks, and four days SYFY announced the renewal of the show for not only a fourth season, but for a fifth one, as well.  

As if the real-life production was as cursed as the actual title character was, COVID-19 restrictions forced production to shut down and break season four into two distinct parts. As 4A aired on SYFY, the cast and crew went back to work on filming 4B in Alberta, Canada. There was so much hope in the air for the future of the show as the 4B trailer dropped on YouTube to surprise fans, but at the same time as the fans got their trailer, SYFY announced the cancellation of season five, leaving the already filmed season 4B to serve as the end of the show. Instead of anger at SYFY for backing out of their promise, the fans pulled together and brought the #FightForWynonna and #BringWynonnaHome to life on Twitter. Even though the show came to an end on Apr. 9, 2021, the online fight to bring the show to a new network is still alive and well. Wynonna Earp not only brings smart, diverse and LGBTQ+ friendly storytelling to the Wild West. It has been and still is widely praised for its unique supernatural setting, fierce performances and touching upon many relatable topics, including family, sexuality, friendship, hope, love, resistance and truly redefining what a hero can look like.  

You can find and watch Wynonna Earp on Netflix, iTunes and the SYFY website. Also check out the hashtags on Twitter to watch the Fight for Five as it goes on.  

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