It all started with Instagram. In August 2020 there was a video that caught my eye late one night in the Explore section of Instagram. The video starts with this snowy, stark landscape and then a woman comes running behind a tree and then another woman in a beanie comes out of a house shooting a shotgun… what is going on here? Oh wait, they’re hugging. Aww… they’re friends… oh wait… k, yep, they’re really good friends. The video continues for roughly another minute and at the end I’m a. not quite sure what I just witnessed and b. certain I’ve never seen anything like it before.
I had absolutely no clue where this clip was from so I looked through the comments and found out it was from the most recent episode of a show called Wynonna Earp. I vaguely recalled promos for the show airing on SyFy and recalled the promos over the summer with the line “Jon Snow in a B Cup” playing repeatedly through the latest Harry Potter marathon (which is usually the only reason I watch SyFy).
The next day I watched episode 4.02 to get more of a frame of reference. Then I watched 4.01 to catch up. Then I proceeded to Netflix and watched season 1 -3 in approximately 2 days. 2 days… that’s all it took to become completely enamored with this ragtag cast of characters and the people who bring them to life both in front of and behind the camera.
Watching the rest of 4b was an interesting experience to say the least. The live tweeting, the absolutely insane plot points: chili cookoffs (for freedom!), frog love, Property Brothers references, incantations. This show really does have everything, but then I found out it’s so much more than a show.
Prior to Wynonna I really had no experience with fandoms or conventions. I mean I’ll watch DC and Marvel movies like everyone else, but personally I’m more into cartoons and LEGOs. After 4.06 aired is when I found all the various YouTube videos of Wynonna content (thanks for keeping me entertained on 10 hour drives) from worldwide conventions (both commercial and fan-driven) as well as the dearth of Wynonna specific podcasts (I believe there’s around 10 now). I was never really a podcast listener before this but now I genuinely look forward to weekly updates from the various outlets to hear their reactions to episodes and/or interviews with the cast.
From the countless videos, podcasts, articles, interviews, memes, etc it became very apparent this was so much more than a show. Hearing the various cast and crew share their personal journeys through various issues and how that has impacted people is truly moving. Personally, listening to the passion they have for their work has reignited a spark within myself in my own career.
I go back to that first scene clip I saw of Waverly and Nicole reuniting and have realized this is the part of the show that makes it stand out from others. With other shows I’ve enjoyed over the years it seems that when the will-they/won’t-they tension is resolved the dramatic conflict falls off and I am no longer invested. With Wynonna, the relationships aren’t the conflict instead they are the anchor.
I thought I had found an amazing show about a found family with great one liners, flagrant disregard for the bottom half of shirts as well as the Alberta winter out to bring order to a chaotic world and protect an angel at all costs. Instead I found a movement celebrating acceptance, flaws, mistakes, redefining what it means to be a hero, and most of all love. Which we now know lives in the butt.
ABOUT JACKIE GUELKER
Jackie Guelker is a proud Aggie (and Earper) currently splitting time between Dallas and the family farm in Edinburg, TX. She loves Dr Pepper, coffee, LEGOs, and convincing her family to do things they never thought they wanted to. Huge Beauty and the Beast and Frozen fan and may have made her sister wear matching shirts to the Frozen II opening. Currently planning a west coast road trip with her mom and faithful sidekick Buster Gus the yellow lab.