Extreme emergency situations elicit a wide variety of reactions from people. A plane crash: some scream, some cry, others freeze. The 16-year-old Misty takes an ax and chops off her trainer’s lower leg, which has been completely crushed by an aircraft part, ties the arteries with a belt, pressure bandage on, done. One of the other survivors tried to reassure her friend: “The worst is behind us. We survived a plane crash.” And as always, when someone is so optimistic, things get worse. Much, much worse.
Yellowjackets is a really good new series. It’s about a high school women soccer team that crashed on a plane in the Canadian wilderness 25 years ago and there Lord of the flies-Style vegetated. The very beginning shows how much the young women lose themselves: in dirty, pink Converse and wrapped in furs, they follow one of their former team members through the forest. The girl runs barefoot in the snow until she steps into a pitfall – and is staked. But that’s not all: the dead woman is pulled out of the hole by the nightmare creatures who were once normal girls, bled to death, and then: eaten.
Well, one or the other might think now. The struggle for survival outside or even after civilization is no longer that new: Lost, The Walking Dead, The 100 – the list is long. Yellowjackets but can do more. The teenagers don’t just get stranded here and then give in to the escalation in the spirit of Hobbes’ Leviathan – no, they are actually found again – at least in part – after 19 long months. And then the question arises: What will become of people who have smelled more than just blood in a time that shaped their character?
It is a feat to tell two timelines in an exciting way
What really happened to the former soccer team “out there” is what they did and how they survived about it in the world of Yellowjackets speculated for years to come. The rescued are silent. But that doesn’t make a secret any less appealing, and when one of them poses as a state senator, the story boils again.
Yellowjackets So tells two strands of time in parallel. Once the time after the crash, alone in the dark forest. And then today, 2021: The teenage girls have become seasoned women with children, careers and problems – who try to escape their past and their deeds (i.e. everyone except ax-chop-leg-off-Misty, maybe).
Although the earlier of the two timelines is of course much more action-packed, both stories told in parallel are absolutely equally exciting, creepy, and sometimes funny – as you know from Executive Producer Karyn Kusama, who was already involved in the cult horror comedy Jennifer’s Body Directed. The cast is excellent in both the young and the older version of the former team, but the 2021 squad is particularly shining: Including the usual morbid Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, who has so far been criminally neglected by the award committees, and the indie queen Melanie Lynskey that many especially as Rose out Two and a Half Men is known.
Even if it is a bit macabre in between or a bit clichéd from time to time: Yellowjackets is worth seeing. The second season has already been ordered. For viewers, it will then be decided whether the series can keep the implicit promise to try more than just another housewife survival thriller – namely, to be a series about the freedom to run wild in the heart.