If the phrase “Peak TV” best describes the current reality of what’s available to watch on the small screen, then “Peak Genre” works just as well to characterize a particular facet this moment as well. Superhero stories lifted from the pages of comic books dominate theaters and televisions alike, as do tales of monsters, demons and the heroes who vanquish them. Or to be more specific, heroines, like the title character in this hugely popular Syfy series, which is back with Wynonna Earp season 3 on Friday.
Created by Emily Andras, the show follows the adventures of Wynonna, the great-great-granddaughter of the famed lawman Wyatt Earp, as she endeavors to protect herself, her sister Waverly and the residents of the small town of Purgatory from the demons her family is cursed to fight. Canadian actress Melanie Scrofano, who brings Wynonna to life with a mesmerizing combination of wild wonder and wit, spoke to us about Wynonna Earp season 3 ahead of her appearance at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. She also drove home the point that, while Wynonna Earp is definitely a combination of seemingly disparate genres like science fiction, horror and westerns, it is most assuredly a “human” tale.
Melanie Scrofano on Wynonna Earp season 3
“It’s about a woman facing her demons. She can either crumble, or she can wake up every day and decide to fight. And how human is that?” she explains. “At the base of all monster stories, there are real human people having to deal with real life issues, like finding out who they are and their place in the world.”
She adds that “the family dynamics are huge on our show” and references her rapport with Dominique Provost-Chalkley, who plays Waverly. “It’s about sisterhood, motherhood and how you navigate those during the crazy moments in your life. At the end of the day, the thing about genre is, it’s all just a metaphor for what’s going on in real life. It’s just a girl choosing to face her demons instead of hiding from them. I think you can really find strength in that.”
Wynonna Earp is very much a show about family, both blood-related and otherwise, and everything Andras and her cast do successfully makes this a reality. At the same time, the incredibly vast fandom that supports it also serves as a testament to just how important the concept of “family” is to a series about a woman who uses a magical gun called “Peacemaker” to kill demons.
Writing for the New York Times, critic Maureen Ryan notes that Wynonna Earp’s fanbase, otherwise known as “Earpers,” displays “a striking level of commitment for a program that only debuted two years ago and has aired a total of 25 episodes.” New episodes are regularly attended by trending hashtags on Twitter, and conventions devoted entirely to the show are popping up in Toronto, London and New Orleans. According to Scrofano, this means the world.
“It just really reinvigorates the reason you’re doing it,” she says.”With genre, it’s easy to become complacent and go, ‘It’s a monster. It’s a whatever.’ But when you meet people, or talk to them on Twitter, and see how engaged they are, how invested they are in your character and others, or how it has affected them, it just reignites that thing inside of you that makes you want to make it real for them. It just sort of reignites the spark.”
Asked if the positivity of the Wynonna Earp fandom always works in this way, even on the bad days that everyone has on occasion, Scrofano agrees. “Exactly. They’re like the fuel of the show. It basically gives me the gas to keep going. Oh, you should definitely print that!” she laughs. “They give me gas.”
Wynonna Earp season 3 release date
Wynonna Earp season 3 premieres Friday, July 20, at 9 p.m. on Syfy.