A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wynonna Earp is a rock-'em-sock-'em series that centers on the adventures of its eponymous heroine as she battles the demons plaguing her hometown of Purgatory. Yes, Wynonna is related to the infamous Wyatt Earp: He's her great-grandfather. Based on a comic book series of the same name, the show leans heavily on its misunderstood "bad girl" lead: She drinks too much and uses her fists (and her sexuality) to get her way. Having an unapologetic woman at the helm of this supernatural action series is somewhat progressive, but the show also has plenty of small town gender roles and brutal violence -- against both human demons -- weighing it down.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Back in her home town following the death of her uncle, WYNONNA EARP doesn't even make it off the bus before she's drawn into the family drama she fled from three years ago. But when you're the heir of the late, great Wyatt Earp and your hometown is Purgatory, that drama involves demons, curses, and dead sisters. But Wynonna inherits more than just a famous name on her 27th birthday: She becomes the chosen descendent of the Earp clan. As such, she's duty-bound to fight the enemies dispatched by her forebears, known as "remnants." Later recruited into a special supernatural division of the U.S. marshals, Wynonna welds Wyatt's weapon -- an antique "peacemaker" -- and is the only person who can send the remnants back to hell.
Is it any good?
It's unlikely that kids and teens are familiar with the comics the series pulls from, so if they're drawn to this show it's likely because they're into time-bending sci-fi. Teens might relate to Wynonna's rebellion against her family name, as well as her sarcastic and world-weary demeanor.
Wynonna Earp is visually stylish and the costumes are great, but that's pretty much where the quality begins and ends. The actors feel wooden in their clichéd roles, and the predictable plot and clunky script do them few favors. There's inherent danger in glossing over the origin story of Wynonna and her sister: After a horrific childhood trauma, it seems there wasn't much in the way of support for the remaining Earp sisters. Extended family members have little sympathy for the titular heroine, which is unnerving given how young she was when involved in the death of her father. There are much better, more self-aware versions of this kind of story that elevate their chosen antiheroes; this one is formulaic and dull by comparison. Plus, the level of violence and sexualization of characters is tough to justify for a show that's this skin-deep.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes Wynonna an antihero. Who are some other famous antiheroes in popular culture? Are some traditional heroic attributes more important to have than others?
Families can talk about how Wynonna's upbringing affects her development. How can witnessing violence as a child lead to a difficult adolescence? What kind of support might be needed to transcend a troubled past?
Families can talk about Wyatt Earp's place in the history of the American frontier. How was his story emblematic of life in the Old West in the late 19th century?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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