Here’s Why Most Shows Should Have a Lesbian Couple

WayHaught, current (“Wynonna Earp,” supernatural Western horror on cable network Syfy)

WayHaught, the portmanteau for Waverly and Nicole Haught on “Wynonna Earp,” is a social media juggernaut. Technically, I can’t say that WayHaught got “Wynonna Earp” a second season because that would be a disservice to the amazing acting, writing, directing, etc., on the show…and because I haven’t got solid proof of that…but I will strongly imply just such a thing. The show was on the bubble after season one, but it got renewed. Make your own conclusions.

“Wynonna Earp” is the epitome of a show embracing and celebrating its lesbian pairing and the fanbase responding back with overwhelming support. In fact, there is so much evidence for WayHaught being the primary love story for the show that it’s hard to even find specific datapoints for it. So here are just a few ways that WayHaught overshadows the Wynonna-Dolls-Doc heterosexual love triangle:

You’re cuter. No, YOU’RE cuter. You stop. No, YOU stop.

  • Twitter support is strongest for the WayHaught actresses: Although obviously not all Twitter followers for Dominique Provost-Chalkley (Waverly) and Katherine Barrell (Nicole) are because of WayHaught, most of them are, so it’s one way to gauge WayHaught’s relative popularity on the show. Kat has 67,000 followers and Dom has 65,400, while Melanie Scrofano (Wynonna) has 60,700 followers, Tim Rozon (Doc) has 35,400, and Shamier Anderson (Dolls) has 25,500. For additional context, the official show Twitter handle only has 60,000 followers, meaning that the stars of WayHaught are literally more popular than their own show and every other actor on the show.
  • WayHaught has a wide Twitter reach: Even though “Wynonna Earp” is in the off-season, in the last week #WayHaught was used 6,400 times, reaching an incredible 1.2 billion people, according to talkwalker. That’s 1/6 of the world, by population. Only half of the Tweets originated in the U.S. #WynDoc had two mentions during the same period, while #WynDolls had one. This massive reach is in part because WayHaught’s fanbase is so international: on Facebook, there are WayHaught fangroups for Germany, Poland, Italy, Asia, and for Spanish speakers. The only WynDolls Facebook group has 23 members, and there is no group for WynDoc.
  • WayHaught fanfic destroys the competition: Wattpad is a free site for people to upload literary content. A WayHaught collection of one shots on the site has had 30,200 views. The only WynDolls story has 182 views, and there are no WynDoc stories. On Archive of Our Own, a fanfic-specific site, the top WayHaught story has 94,512 hits, while I’m not even certain the site has WynDolls or WynDoc-specific fanfic.

superthumb

Sometimes you’re so busy protecting your girlfriend that you don’t actually notice she’s been possessed by an evil tentacle demon.

  • WayHaught is finally starting to make headway in polls: WayHaught won the 2017 Pure Fandom TV Award for Best Ship, although somehow it has missed out on other major polls, possibly because it’s on a cable vice broadcast network.

Wynonna-Earp-202-wayhaught-almost-kiss

Was this the only time Haught wore a ponytail? I really liked that ponytail.

Social media metrics-based evidence for the intense popularity of lesbian storylines is compelling. That said, all metrics should be taken with a bigger or smaller grain of salt. For example, the number of YouTube views should be taken as a comparative, not an absolute; the number of views is not the same thing as the number of individual viewers. Nevertheless, as comparatives they’re just as powerful.

The meaning of Clexa achieving millions of views and Bellarke only achieving half as many is unambiguous and represents both the size of the Clexa fanbase and the intensity of their viewership. Also, it must be acknowledged that polls are liable to manipulation through the use of bots, which may explain why lesbian couples keep winning the Zimbio March Madness poll. If nothing else, lesbians are determined that their couples win.

Overall, studios should do more to recognize the importance of social video platforms when assessing the popularity of a couple, particularly since lesbian fandoms tend to be highly international and use these platforms as their only way to access a couple. Networks have to release (and track) their lesbian content in order to gauge its success with viewers. If studios are worried about an inability to monetize social video platforms and prefer to restrict content sharing, they should remember that had Globo put the Clarina scenes—and just those scenes—on a controlled site and charged $1 per viewing session, the conglomerate would have made at least $11 million dollars.

maxresdefault

At the same time, in full disclosure, not all lesbian TV couples are or will be as immensely popular as the likes of Clexa, WayHaught, or Clarina. While most couples gain at least a small and dedicated fandom, a few, like damp tinder, just don’t spark and catch on with the lesbian community; they end up forgettable duds. However, a show can consciously work to try and ensure that the lesbian couple does catch fire and boost viewership. The more enthusiastic the cast and crew and the better the storyline, the more invested the fanbase. So you’re welcome, Hollywood. Now you know how to grow your viewership. Call me if you want to know the secret of how to create the perfect lesbian pairing that will maximize profits.