Five reasons why you should be obsessing about the twisty and terrific "Yellowjackets"
Streaming has spoiled us. Binge-watching shows has become the default for so many of us now that it becomes achingly difficult to wait for the installments when a fantastic show comes out, like Showtime's Yellowjackets. Now on its third episode, the riveting Yellowjackets is Showtime's best new arrival in years. Set in both 1996 and now, the series follows a group of women (and their teenage soccer-playing selves) after surviving a horrific plane crash that left the teens stranded in the Canadian Rockies for nearly two years. Sketchy things went down during that time, including possible incidents of cannibalism that the core group of women don't want the world to know. Now, twenty-five years later, someone is mailing the survivors postcards with ominous symbols, forcing them to reluctantly team up to find out why. So, if that isn't enough of a synopsis to have you firing up the pilot, here are five reasons why you will become obsessed with this jaw-dropping thriller.
It's positively star-studded with the best 90s It Girls. Christina Ricci. Juliette Lewis. Melanie Lynskey. This trio has been in the industry since childhood and made their marks as teenage actors in the 90s. However, they are even more remarkable performers as adults, bringing gravitas to their performances. Add in the captivating Tawny Cypress, and you have a powerful quartet of women to anchor the show.
One of the lead characters is a lesbian. Played Tawny Cypress in the present and Jasmin Savoy Brown as a teen; Taissa is a force to be reckoned with even at sixteen. We see glimpses of Taissa's affection for a fellow teammate during their time in the wilderness, and as an adult, she's an out and proud politician with a loving wife and son. If she was cut-throat as a teen (she may or may not have purposely injured a lackluster teammate), you won't want to cross her as an adult. In other words, she's the kind of complicated queer character we love.
It gets the 90s right. 90s nostalgia is having a moment, from Fear Street to Cruel Summer, but not every show gets the 90s authentically right. Yellowjackets nails much of the feeling of the mid-90s without becoming a caricature of the time. From the clothes to music, you'll feel transported. (My only beef has been with young Nat's hair, which is a contemporary soft wolf, not a style typically seen in the mid-90s.)
You'll be on the edge of your seat. Yellowjackets is as twisty a show as they come. You never really know what horror, or humor, may lie around the next turn. As the 90s portion tumbles deeper and deeper into desperation, daily teenage machinations melt into the fight for survival. Decades later, that trauma is present in each of the leads, just in different ways. Are they friends or foes? Can you ever really come back from hell on earth?
It's damn good prestige television. To call something prestige in a time where there is more content than ever is a bold statement. However, I'm standing by this. Between incredible performances by all, strong writing and direction, and a truly captivating story, Yellowjackets could make a place for itself among the Breaking Bads and True Detectives out there. Three episodes in and it has a fighting chance.
New episodes of Yellowjackets air Sundays at 10pm EST on Showtime.