Melanie Lynsky (Don’t Look Up) won Best Actress: Drama at the 2022 Critics’ Choice and Best Actress: Horror at the 2022 Critics’ Choice Super Awards for her performance as the unassuming Shauna, a now-adult survivor of a plane crash that stranded her wildly talented high school girls’ soccer team deep in the Canadian wilderness in 1996.
As her former teammates, Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers) and Emmy nominee Christina Ricci (The Matrix Resurrections) put in “their best performances in years,” according to The Guardian, which proclaimed Yellowjackets “the most fun TV show in forever.”
Among their uncannily spot-on younger counterparts, Jasmin Savoy Brown (Scream, The Leftovers, For the People), who plays the teenage Taissa, was nominated for Best TV Performance at the 2022 Queerties.
The ensemble cast also includes multi-award-winner Tawny Cypress (The Blacklist: Redemption), Ella Purnell (Jinx in Arcane), and Sophie Nélisse (The Book Thief).
Equal parts survival epic, psychological horror story and coming-of-age drama, Yellowjackets has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and became the second most-streamed series in Showtime’s history (topped only by Dexter: New Blood). Yellowjackets was also nominated for both Best Drama Series and Best New Series at the 2022 Writers Guild of America Awards.
Yellowjackets’ impressive directorial line-up includes the likes of Sundance winners Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) and Ariel Kleinman (Top of the Lake), SXSW winner Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project) and multi-award-winner Deepa Mehta (the Oscar-nominated Water).
“In both its flashbacks to the team’s desolate hell on earth and the almost bleaker present, Yellowjackets presents realities so taut with tension they seem likely to snap at any given moment,” Variety says, warning,“Don’t be fooled by its teen show trappings: Yellowjackets is a pitch black parable of human desperation that will creep its way under your skin given the chance.”
Yellowjackets has drawn comparisons to Lord of the Flies, Lost, Desperate Housewives and even Mean Girls, but creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson were most influenced by the ordeal endured by the survivors of the real-life 1972 Andes flight disaster (which also inspired the films Alive and The Donner Party).
That makes it surprisingly relatable right now, in the third year of a global pandemic. In an interview with The Guardian, speaking about the show’s success, Lynsky says, “I wonder if we’ve all just gone through this collective trauma and everyone’s feeling a bit shaken up and they don’t really know how to put the pieces back together. This plane crash and these people surviving – I feel like people are interested in that. I think people can relate to that kind of general feeling right now. But,” she adds, “I also just think it’s fun.”
As Cypress says, “You are in for a wild ride, so buckle up. It’s going to be crazy.”
One tip though – if you’re loving the mystery, stay off the web. The show’s renewal for a second season (yes, please!) has the internet buzzing again, and fan theories, post-mortems and spoilers are everywhere.
Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU2tRQBNhT0