Reviewing : Wynonna Earp

Wynonna Earp:

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I know, I know! I told you Wynonna and I would be getting to know each other this Summer but it seems that this show has a few problems…oh Hell, it has lots of problems that, while not deal-breakers, are definitely red flags.

Lets start with what I liked, follow that up  with the long list of things I disliked, things that I gave the side-eye,  and then things I absolutely detested. This show is what you’d call a fixer-upper, I guess.

I like that its on the Syfy Network. It’s about time the network moved on from things like Sharknado (Yeah, we didn’t forget you gave us that, Syfy!) and are actually showing shows. I mean real scripted shows vs. Reality Show shit, like John Edwards.

Its based on a comic book that, even though I read comics, I never heard of, probably because I never read comics with women wearing cowboy hats on the covers. I always think those things are going to be cheap, “nerdboy porn”. The show however is actually okay and not even lightly porn-ish.

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I liked Melanie Scofrano in the title role. She’s okay. She’s not great, but she looks promising as a fun, snarky, Buffy-lite. I liked Doc Holliday, played by Tim Rozon, who I never heard of, but he looks suspiciously enough like Tim Olyphant from Justified, that I’m suspicious that was done on purpose. At any rate, he still looks fine in a cowboy hat, and string tie. There’s  one black guy,  as a Federal agent named Dolls, and I wish he had more to do and more interaction with Wynonna.  I thought their conversations were the only interesting ones in the show. I didn’t notice any WoC, and the show could  use a little more color.

There’s a lot of schmacting in the show, where people stare earnestly into one another’s eyes, as if they’re imparting  the secrets of the universe, but are  only talking about their feelings or something, and I found that mildly annoying.

I took special pleasure in Waverly Earp. She’s the most fun character on the show. She seems to have embraced the idea that this show is utterly silly. In fact, she seems to be having so much fun, that she may believe she’s in an entirely different show than everyone else, who all think they’re in some kind  of light-drama.

In the first fifteen minutes alone, I found myself yelling at my TV for several reasons. The stupid horror movie tropes that require that characters put themselves in danger so they can be killed or rescued, the way some of the male characters talk to and about Wynonna when they meet her, and entirely too much talking.

When the show begins, Wy is on a bus to the town of  Purgatory and the bus experiences a flat tire, after which one of the characters promptly decides to disembark and wander around in the woods because that’s what you do. She gets killed by what I  first thought was a werewolf but isn’t. Wynonna tries to convince the other characters to go looking for the woman but no dice and she goes after the woman alone. In the dark.With a cellphone and a knife.

Wy  doesn’t kill the creature tho’, who  looks like he just stepped out of an episode of Vikings, except with more grease in his hair and glowwy red eyes. I guess she wounds him enough that he has second thoughts about attacking her and just runs off somewhere, but this doesn’t seem to bother Wy, who sets off for home, IN THE DARK, heedless that the monster she just fought might have friends, or track her and kill her, or whatever.

The show is campy and fun, tho’. I actually like Wynonna.  She drinks and sasses and is kind of goofy because although she seems pretty good at mouthing off at people, and punching, she can’t shoot for shit. She’s  just no gunfighter and the show plays around with that idea for a couple of seconds, before people start back to talkin’.

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There’s a lot of blather as we meet the various townsfolk and some relatives,  some of whom are not happy to see Wy ,and some who  seem indifferent. In fact, the only character that seems happy to see her is her sister, but only after she’s tried to shoot her for sleeping with her useless ass boyfriend, who insists on calling Wynonna a whore.

In fact, that was my biggest and loudest complaint. That word whore  gets flung at Wynonna  by various male characters, including Holliday, and every time I heard it, I winced. I think the only characters that don’t call Wynonna a whore, are Agent Dolls and the bus driver, at the beginning of the show. It doesn’t just have the effect of making the shows male characters come off as raging misogynists, but this is not a word that belongs in a show that’s trying to be a light, supernatural comedy. It belongs in one of those gritty westerns like Deadwood and its jarring every time someone says it.

My next biggest complaint was the villain, who was a lot less impressive than he thought he was, especially after he lost his eye. He wore a really bad eye-patch, that looked like he had a cow-patty strapped to his face, which  was distracting. I spent a lot of time staring at it. I think the villain is supposed to be a demon or something, and at one point, Mr.  Dirty Viking Eye-Patch kidnaps Waverly as bait to get…well I’m not sure what. I think so he  can be shot by Wynonna or see if she has the Colt or something. The plot is much too complicated for its own good. Anyway, when Wy shoots him, the gun glows red, then he glows red and gets pulled into Hell, which was kind of cool, really.

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There’s not much to recap as there’s not much plot. Agent Dolls is investigating the death of the bus passenger and follows Wy into Purgatory. The villains are villainous, Waverly gets damseled. Most of the plot consists of people standing around discussing the plot-to-be.

This show suffers from the same problem of a lot of the shows on the Syfy Network. It keeps reminding the viewer of bigger, better shows. The tone is all over the place. Doc Holliday acts like he’s in an episode of Deadwood, with  semi-harsh language.  Agent Dolls is from The X-Files and Supernatural. Waverly is from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This would be  better if they  realized they were all in the same show.

The special effects are seriously bad, but I’ll give it a pass because that’s on purpose and kind of funny, and can’t possibly be any worse than the effects in  Sleepy Hollow this season. The villains aren’t remotely scary and there’s waaay too much damn talking. There’s so much talking, that after  thirty minutes, I mostly stopped listening to what was being said, and just watched people’s mouths move. I know I probably should have paid attention, because they were probably saying things important to the future plot, but the show is too new and I’m  just not ready for that level of commitment on our  first date.

Despite all my bitching and moaning, though, I am going to watch nest week’s episode. The show was kind of fun but I do want to go somewhere besides McDonald’s. (Maybe we can upgrade to Chili’s .) I wanna like it and the show is trying to be liked. It just needs to settle on what it wants to be. Does it want to be a serious drama like Hell on Wheels or campy fun, like Buffy.

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