The Earpers aren’t your typical fans. That is a fact that has not only been made abundantly clear thanks to the Fight for Wynonna, but it’s also evident in the way they show up for the Wynonna Earp cast and crew on so many other non-Wynonna projects. For instance, during the Wynonna hiatus, Noelle Carbone also wrote on Coroner and for Season 3 of Cardinal, winning the Canadian Screen Award for Best Writing in a Drama Series in 2020 for the episode she co-wrote with Patrick Tarr and Aaron Bala. Wherever Carbone went, there were the Wynonna Earp fans as well. That’s not something that usually happens for television writers, and it’s just another aspect of what makes working on Wynonna Earp so special for Carbone and many others.
The Wynonna writer and co-executive producer recently joined The TV Junkies to discuss feeling that love from Earpers, how her Coroner bosses were equally supportive of her work on Wynonna, and what she’s learned from being in the Wynonna writing room for two seasons now. Carbone wrote this week’s episode of Wynonna Earp, “Holy War: Part 1,” and it was directed by Ron Murphy. In it, trouble at the Homestead leads to payback time for a deadly deal. While Carbone can’t give away any spoilers about what happens, she did also preview a bit of what fans can expect this week.
The TV Junkies: After working on other shows during the hiatus, such as Coroner, what did it feel like to finally get back into the Wynonna writing room again after the Fight for Wynonna ended?
Noelle Carbone: I actually had a good long cry on the drive to the Wynonna writing room that first day back. (And then I spent 10 minutes hiding in my car in the parking lot fixing my face and my makeup so no one would know I’d been crying.) Wynonna is a once in a lifetime job. Truly. And I felt such profound gratitude that I was getting to go back to work with people I love, on a show I adore. A show that means so much to so many people, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community. I keep joking about getting a tattoo that reads: “Those Wynonna Earp People” because LOOK WHAT YOU GUYS DID!!!! But is that a joke? Or am I seriously getting this tattoo?
I would also like to shoutout my Coroner family too. Morwyn [Brebner, showrunner] and Adrienne [Mitchell, executive producer] and the other producers made it very clear that, if at any point during my time on Coroner, Wynonna got up and running again, they would release me from my Coroner deal so I could go back. They were totally invested in the Fight for Wynonna too, which was so inspiring – seeing all these incredibly talented, powerful women in our industry acknowledging how groundbreaking Wynonna is and rooting for it to get back on its feet. Women supporting women!
TTVJ: Speaking of other shows you work on — Cardinal and Coroner — it seems that Earpers did their thing and turned out to support both of those. What was it like still feeling so much support from Earpers, even when you’re off on other projects?
NC: We talk about this at Coroner all the time! How awesome it is that a community like the Earpers has such love for their show, that they’ll follow the writers of that show to other shows, and cheer on those shows too! This is what I mean by Wynonna being a once in a lifetime job. Name me one other show where the fans even know who all the writers are, let alone care enough to support them in their other work. I need to stop talking about this or I’m gonna cry again. I swear I’m not usually this emo, Bridget.
TTVJ: We talked in Season 3 about how that was the first time in your career that you had written for a genre TV show. Now that you have a couple of seasons under your belt, do you ever find yourself taking things you’ve learned from genre and incorporating them back into the more procedural shows you write for?
NC: Is there gonna be a gnome wife on Coroner, probably not. (Spoiler!) But one thing I’ve learned on Wynonna, that I won’t compromise on when I write network dramas, is allowing my female characters to be true, raw representations of the female experience. Instead of idealized women who have to conform to some old-timey idea of what femininity should be. You can’t imagine how liberating it is, especially as a female-identifying writer, to get to write for Wynonna, Waverly, Nicole, and now Rachel, and to be told to dig into their flaws, instead of pretending they don’t have any for the sake of making them “likeable”.
It’s why I like working on Coroner so much. It’s full of whimsy and the protagonist, Jenny, is allowed to be exactly who she is and have all the struggles a recently widowed, single mom with an anxiety disorder, and a very stressful job would have. Admittedly, Jenny drinks and swears way less than Wynonna, but in some alternate universe, I’d like to believe they’d be friends. Not BEST friends. Wynonna already has one of those. *sobs forever*
TTVJ: I’ve waited long enough, but we need to know, how far into your t-shirt were you when watching WayHaught’s reunion in Episode 402?
NC: BRIDGET! Fine. Because you’re my friend, and the Queen of Canadian TV Coverage, I will answer. I was so far into my shirt, I almost ended up in my pants. THAT IS A JOKE!!! All kidding aside, I don’t know that I’ve ever watched a sex scene that jaw-droppingly beautiful – and emotional! Everything about it was stunning. I did see it before it aired because Emily had to watch a cut of it one day in the story room when Matt [Doyle] and I were there. And that was a suuuuper fun experience and wasn’t at all like watching the sexiest scene that’s ever been on tv while sandwiched between your siblings.
TTVJ: On a more serious note, after the WayHaught reunion episode, you tweeted that you “went from a show that refused to let me use the word “lesbian” in the pilot, to THIS.” Can you expand on that a bit, and what it means to be on a show that has such positive queer representation?
NC: It was exhausting having to justify my life experience to people with so much privilege they didn’t even realize they were being homophobic. The thing about the team behind Wynonna – Emily, the other writers, the producers, the network, and the cast – is that they understand what meaningful representation is. They understand that having a character proudly declare their queerness on screen can literally save lives. They’re not just speckling their ensemble with token gay characters to satisfy some diversity requirement or to titillate straight audiences, or to queerbait a community they don’t actually care about.
Joining the Wynonna writer fam was a godsend. To be allowed to celebrate my queerness in my writing – and through characters who boldly declare who they are, and who they love – means everything to me. I felt like I could finally bring my full self to work every day.
TTVJ: Last week’s episode we met the Clanton family, aka “Wyatt Earp’s greatest enemies.” I know you can’t spoil anything, but can you share your thoughts on them? They seem terrifying!
NC: There is nothing I love more than a family dinner scene, especially when that family is as f*cked up as the Clantons. That great scene in Matt’s episode was like a cross between Succession and Deliverance. I don’t want to spoil anything, so here’s all I’ll say… when writing scenes for the Clantons, we thought a lot about the saying, “History is written by the victors”. If that saying is true, how full of rage and spite would you be if you were the “losers”?
TTVJ: Is there anything else you can preview for us about this coming week’s episode?
NC: It’s got a pretty epic beginning and a pretty epic ending. And the middle part is… fun? I don’t know, Bridget. Stop trying to get me fired!
TTVJ: Finally, which two characters do you most want to see KISS! KISS! KISS?
NC: [Laughs.] I get such a kick out of seeing people tweet that every single time any two characters come within ten feet of each other. Makes me feel so seen. Honestly though, and this is gonna surprise a lot of people because I don’t usually advocate for the straights – although is any character on this show actually straight-straight? – but I’m desperate to see some KISS! KISS! KISS! action between the two characters in this week’s “quest” storyline. They’ve earned it, goddammit!
Wynonna Earp airs Sundays at 10/9c on SYFY and CTV Sci-Fi.