Back in 2016, Syfy and Space Channel (in Canada) debuted a short season of a show based on a comic book from 1996, obviously not quite sure how their viewers would take the modern day western with a paranormal twist. Unofficially teased as “Supernatural meets Wyatt Earp’s Wild West, but with sisters”, Wynonna Earp won fans over with its flawed heroine and her reluctance to accept the curse cast upon her family generations before. Thanks to character creator Beau Smith and show runner Emily Andras, the television series, and subsequent Wynonna Earp: Season 0 prequel comic, ran headlong into topics most other shows would have stumbled over or ignored, gaining even more fans in the LGBT+ communities. The show was simultaneously released on YouTube in poor quality before being pulled and sent to Netflix, which expanded the love for the self professed “sh*t show” worldwide.
** WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE SHOW EXIST IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPH **
And the fact that the show doesn’t take itself too seriously, with the cast and crew regularly chatting with fans and live-tweeting episodes, just helped endear them even more with the people that turned on the show for a momentary escape from reality. It was this love that, after the initial 13 episodes, fans (self titled “Earpers”) created a “no chill” campaign and inundated Syfy execs and social media with pleas for a second season. Before Season 2 even finished airing this past summer, a season that included, much to fans’ surprise, [hover for spoiler], the outcry was loud for a third season. Producers listened and, when Syfy announced a rebrand for their 25th anniversary, they included the slogan “It’s a Fan Thing” – a very obvious nod to the power of the fans and taken to heart by Earpers.
Those that identify as Earpers, myself included, have come together as a single family, teaming up for great acts of kindness and generosity, embracing each other and helping where possible. This includes a special shirt by Fangirl Shirts that donates proceeds to Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, a response after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. The family formed from being a Wynonna Earp fan isn’t just about public or monetary support, though. With the new year and the annual expectation of creating self-betterment resolutions, there was a noticeable call for something more: moral support and help with accountability.
Earpercize: What Is It?
Earpercize is a Facebook support group set up by Twitter user Docstache, arguably Doc Holiday’s biggest fan – or at least the Doc Holiday Tim Rozon portrays on Wynonna Earp. The group itself is a closed group so that only group members can see the posts, creating a safe space for any personal venting of frustrations with weight loss or health issues. To join the group, there is a short questionnaire about Wynonna Earp to make sure only human fans (and not revenants or bots or others) gain access.
Earpercize: Why Join?
When faced with the daunting task of a lifestyle change, having a solid support group is scientifically proven to help. This is why the paid-programs have their meetings. But Earpercize is free, and each person involved has their own path to travel, whether it be for weight loss, healthier living, a marathon, or just a daily struggle to not eat all the sweets. Not everyone that has joined posts and not everyone reads every post in the group, but everyone has joined for the community. I, myself, lurk most days; however, I do try to interact with the posts by ‘liking’ or ‘hearting’ accomplishments as I see them. GIF reactions and celebrations aren’t uncommon for new goal accomplishments. And, for those that struggle, they are not alone. In one post in particular, an Earper was (jokingly) self-deprecating, claiming to be “unsightly”, and using that as their motivation for the day with their end goal being to get into better shape for an upcoming Earper convention. The outpouring of love and body-positivity hit almost immediately. It was a bright beginning to a Monday morning! It was a show of force, evidence of the claim that Earpers are all about inclusivity and positive body image.
Becoming an Earper means gaining a family and a group of friends. For Jules Brindisi (@julesbrindisi), Wynonna Earp was a source of friendship she hadn’t had before. Jules binged Wynonna Earp‘s first season after seeing the #WayHaught gifs and recaps that were dominating her twitter feed. Jules is a line cook and EmBassador to Emily Schromm (Nutritional Therapy Practitioner & Fitness Trainer), and joining Earpercize has been a way to blend her love of food, nutrition, and fitness in a way that she never considered before. She works to help others with creating foods specific to their dietary needs, from gluten-free to nut-free to removing allergens and more. The same people she helps also help her: “I have friends, people I may rely on for support in times of need (sadness, anxiety, when I came out, etc.) and to obsess over all things Wynonna Earp and everything else in between, which is amazing.”
Those same people find their own support through Earpercize. Patricia Ogura (@patriciaogura) is a runner that finds the group chats to be the kick she needs to get off her couch some days. For her, Earpercize is a way to combine her love of Wynonna Earp with her passion for running – and she has first hand knowledge that Fangirl Shirts’ “white Peacemaker shirt looks awesome for the Color Run.”
For Teri Ann, Wynonna Earp was her light at the end of a tunnel of depression. Finding someone as flawed as her on Netflix that can somehow pick herself up and “get the job done” was the first sign she would love the show. Seeing a piece of herself in the rest of the cast of characters just pulled her in deeper. Before the fandom claimed her, she watched an interview with lead Melanie Scrofano that stuck with her: Scrofano talks about being bullied in high school and refusing to give in, instead pushing ahead with the idea that anyone can be anything they want. When it came to the fandom, Teri was welcomed with open arms and it was the kindness of Earpercize creator, Docstache, that prompted her to join the fitness support group. The Facebook community has helped motivate her when she needs it and helps keep her on track with her on-again-off-again vegan diet.
For me, Earpercize is just the push I need when I don’t feel like that trip to the gym is all important. Seeing everyone post about hitting a goal or accomplishment is that little impetus that I need some days. It leaves me thinking, “That could be me,” and I drag myself out the door. Or, I’ll look at my Fitbit Work Week Challenge (set up by another Earpercize member) and realize I’m dead last in step count and need to get up and walk around my office.
Whatever the reason for becoming an Earper, joining Earpercize has helped people with motivation and nutrition advice. Is it for everyone? Like all things, no, but for those that respond well to community uplifting and support, it can be just what is needed. The goal of Earpercize is to provide a place for fans of Wynonna Earp to gather and push each other and celebrate accomplishments, both big and small. If this sounds appealing to you, join us!
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions that you are still keeping up with? Or are you struggling and in need of some assistance keeping them? If you are a fan of Wynonna Earp, Earpercize may be the group for you!