Part psychological supernatural thriller, part horror mystery and part teen drama (think Lord of the Flies meets Heathers), Yellowjackets could have easily been cheesy and sleazy but it somehow managed to be cool and compelling instead. Much of the credit goes to the large adult/teen ensemble cast, which includes Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynskey, and Tawny Cypress, along with their teenage counterparts Sophie Thatcher, Sammi Hanratty, Sophie Nélisse, and Jasmin Savoy Brown.
The basic premise of the series, nominated for seven Emmys, is straightforward: a high school soccer team headed to Nationals gets stranded in the wilderness for 19 months. One timeline takes place with the teens in the woods, and in another, it’s 25 years later, and we see how the survivors were affected and mysteries unfold of how they covered up the horror of what they had to do to survive.
The heart of what makes this series work is how relatable the good and bad dimensions of high school relationships are portrayed. The situations are carried to almost unbelievable extremes, for sure. And the show is definitely twisted ( I had to close my eyes during some of the gorey violence), but the mysteries are well set up, and the acting is so good that I binged my way through the series as quickly as my binge-averse husband would let me.
As long as you’ve got the stomach for it, I’d definitely give Yellowjackets a thumbs up.