Wynonna Earp: Review: Series 1 Episode 1: Purgatory

show_art_WynonnaEarpThe Earp family curse strikes the eldest child on their 27th birthday – and Wynonna has rolled back into town on that exact day…

The short version of this review – if you’ve been missing a fix of Buffy-style kickass demon-bashing, then you’ve found a supply here, even if this is a bit more a methadone version than the hardcore Joss Whedon drug. There’s plenty of potential in this new Syfy show, based (quite loosely from what I can see) on the IDW comic, with some smart dialogue, interesting appearances for the demons, a decently defined set of characters and a mystery guy in the background. There’s no Giles equivalent – which might be handy for sorting out the rules of the game – but maybe s/he’s yet to appear: this opener very definitely feels like the first part of a two-part opener.

There’s more than a little borrowed from two other female-led series of recent times – the Canadian show Lost Girl (whose producer, Emily Andras is in charge of this), and the Netflix version of Jessica Jones. Melanie Scrofano’s Wynonna definitely has the Jessica vibe – hard-drinking survivor of some bad mistakes in her past – while the relationship between Wynonna and her sister has the feel of Kensi and Bo on Lost Girl. Both of these are good templates to use, and there’s enough that’s different about the Wynonna version that it should chart its own path. I’ll reserve judgement on the rest of the set-up until after next week’s episode, but again much feels familiar…

Verdict: Although it’s quite derivative, there’s enough about Wynonna Earp to lasso me back for a second week. 7/10

Paul Simpson

Wynonna Earp airs on Syfy in the US, and begins on Spike in the UK on Fridays at 9 pm from July 29

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