Syfy’s ‘Wynonna Earp’ Is Back to Pit Gunslingers Against Vampires in Season 3

Syfy’s “Wynonna Earp” has no shame. This show talks, walks and shoots like a crazy B-movie with no intentions at good taste, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Going into its third season, this is yet another TV opus about demons and curses, hellhounds and bloody massacres. It is a western crossed with the kind of gothic geek plot you would get in movies like “Blade.” But it’s acted and shot with such gusto you just go along with it. For this new round an old demonic threat from the past returns, with a legion of stylish vampires doing its bidding.

The season opens with Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano) riding a mechanical bull at her favorite bar, downing a hefty mug of beer. She’s trying to escape from the stress of last season, when she made the decision to send away her daughter to keep her safe. Her lover, fellow demon fighter and the girl’s father, Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon) was not too happy about the choice. Wynonna and Doc will spend entire nights fighting and training, just to distract themselves. Wynonna’s sister Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) is understandably worried, as is her girlfriend, Officer Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell). Unknown to the group, a mysterious group of vampires cross into the town of Purgatory, they do this by putting a “glamor” spell on Sheriff Nedley (Greg Lawson). After carrying out a brutal massacre at the local bar, the vampires move on, but the Earps are soon at the scene. They realize these vamps are part of the Cult of Bulshar, who serve a demon long ago cast away by the original Wyatt Earp, now determined to get revenge on his descendants. The vampires soon try to cast glamor spells on Waverly and the others, while kidnapping Doc and taking him to their vampire van. The Earps need to fight back or risk becoming human sacrifices for Bulshar.

If the above description sounds whacky it indeed is. “Wynonna Earp” is part of the long stream of graphic novel adaptations saturating the airwaves right now, but it sets itself apart by not taking a single instance of itself seriously. It almost doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen the last two seasons, this one kicks off with a plot so self-contained and easy to follow, that what came before almost doesn’t matter. It’s a show meant to make you laugh, holler and throw a clenched fist whenever a villain gets annihilated. There is a charming goofiness to the way it’s written and executed. When Waverly is hypnotized by the vampire Petra (Clare McConnell), there’s no tension or fear, just hilarity. Under a glamor spell Waverly and Haught are turned into vampire groupies, admiring their bling and style (“her name is Petra and she’s a vampire and I love her!”). Only Dolls (Shamier Anderson) is saved because of his reptilian DNA. There isn’t much gore in “Wynonna Earp,” because what matters is that the action be hilarious and fun. The vampire party near the end of the season premiere, where the Earps and the other hypnotized sacrificial lamps are invited is so low-budget you wonder who funds the vampires’s outings, but this just makes it even more of a guilty pleasure.

It is also cheerfully feminist and celebrates female action figures. The romance between Waverly and Nicole is refreshing and full of heart. And while Doc may be a tough guy, laced with southern charm, but Wynonna is the one in charge. She made the decision to let go of their daughter and in the season premiere it is up to her to snap everyone out of the vampire spell. Melanie Scrofano has a rugged charm finessed with great comedic timing. She can be funny in a bad-mouthed biker sort of way while also being funny. In this season there is also more of her character’s mother thrown into the story, as Wynonna needs to tell Waverly she’s actually been visiting her in prison for a long time.

But “drama” in this show is small scale. What matters is whether the Earps can kill off the vampires or not, and how they will have a final showdown with the demon Bulshar. If you scoff at the notion that Doc Holliday could reincarnate in the present and impregnate Wyatt Earp’s descendent, then this isn’t the show for you. But if you enjoy watching gunslingers with attitude take down some ghouls and goblins, then this new season of “Wynonna Earp” will hit the right spot.

Wynonna Earp” season three premieres July 20 and airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.