Wynonna Earp showrunner Emily Andras reveals how a sci-fi comic book adaptation became one of the most feminist shows on television. Based on the same-named comic book series by Beau Smith from Image Comics/IDW Publishing, Syfy's adaptation premiered on the network last year, quickly garnering an avid fan base. Following the titular character of Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), a distant heir of famed lawman Wyatt Earp, she uses the family's revolver - called Peacemaker - to vanquish demon Revenants from her hometown of Purgatory and the surrounding Ghost River Triangle.
Wynonna Earp returned for season 2 earlier this summer, bringing back season 1 characters Waverly Earp (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson), Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon), and Officer Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell). Midway through its second season, Wynonna Earp is tackling a storyline that action-based series - let alone any based on comic books - rarely showcase: the titular heroine getting pregnant, dealing with it, and still kicking butt. Now, showrunner and executive producer Andras discusses the series' feminist leanings.
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During Comic-Con International in San Diego, Andras credited Syfy with not asking her to reel back Wynonna's crude humor or the show's handling of its female protagonist, "I really think Syfy the network deserves credit. They have not once said to me 'Can you tone it down with the vagina talk?'" Andras went on to discuss the benefits of working within a genre like science fiction and the importance of showcasing a well-rounded lead character.
I think genre as a rule is really inclusive, right? Since the time of Star Trek... certainly hopeful genre portrays a world that we want to live in, one that celebrates diversity and equality. So I almost think it's easier in genre to kind of comment on that stuff. And really, I didn't pull any punches. When I pitched the show I was like, 'I want to do a Western but with all the traditional male characters as women', so I don't feel like I've tricked anybody. ... It's just really important to me. I've never written on a show without a female protagonist. It's just kind of been my privilege in my writing life, and now I feel like it's kind of my jam.
Certainly, Wynonna Earp has featured a number of dynamic and compelling female characters, including the show's titular heroine, as well as her sister Waverly and Waverly's girlfriend Nicole Haught as well. Plus, the series has also included a number of female villains, like season 1's Stone Witch and season 2's Gardner sisters - though, arguably, they're possessed by mysterious evil creatures. Perhaps most importantly to the series' viewers however, is Wynonna Earp's handling of the main character's pregnancy and the fact that the show hasn't let it slow Wynonna down. She's still got demons to kill, after all.
That said, labeling a single piece of media as feminist is tricky, since viewers often argue over what constitutes a show or movie as feminist. Still, Wynonna Earp features well rounded female characters and, particularly in season 2, a show that center's Wynonna's unique struggle as a female hero. At the end of the day, Wynonna Earp tells an entertaining sci-fi/paranormal story with compelling characters and exciting action. When all these aspects of the series come together, it's easy to see why Wynonna Earp has inspired such a devoted fan base.
Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10pm on Syfy.