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A Cult Show’s Recipe for Success: Whiskey, Twitter and Complex Women

Category: Art & Culture,Arts

Ms. Andras’s feminist outlook is much in evidence. Last season, Wynonna was pregnant (as was Ms. Scrofano), but she didn’t let that slow her down. Both Doc and the former federal agent Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson) are attracted to Wynonna, but the romantic possibilities are just a part of the story, not the main point.

“She’s a female protagonist who is likable, but I think she’s likable because of the freedom we had — she didn’t have to live up to this weird archetype of the ‘strong female character,’ whatever that means,” Ms. Scrofano said.

From the start, Ms. Andras and the cast have had unusually tight bonds with the show’s enthusiastic, inclusive fan community. The well-known genre entertainment site Den of Geek noted recently, “[In] an era in which internet discourse can bring to light some of the most hateful and divisive values in the world, ‘Wynonna Earp’ fandom is a pretty wonderful, safe place to be.”

“It’s like you’re moving into a new neighborhood and everyone’s there with cookies. It’s an openhearted fandom,” said David Ozer, the president of IDW Entertainment.

Among the most influential fans are Kevin Bachelder and Bonnie Ferrar, who co-host Tales of the Black Badge, a podcast devoted to the show, and weekly video hangouts that sometimes include Ms. Andras and cast members. (Ms. Ferrar also runs the Twitter account @WynonnaFans.)

They and other fandom leaders, like Bridget Liszewski, the editor of the site The TV Junkies, actively promote and encourage a friendly, tolerant Earper culture that emphasizes consideration and community-building over factional flame wars or personal attacks. Respectful differences are accommodated; toxic meltdowns, like the ones glimpsed in certain sectors of the “Star Wars” fandom, are not. They don’t even record the video hangouts, a decision that aims to make guests, famous and not, “feel comfortable popping in to have fun,” Mr. Bachelder said. “It’s not going to live forever on the internet — everybody can just be themselves.”


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