For decades, it’s been interesting television fodder to see a diverse mix of people withstand the risks — and exult in the joys — of the great outdoors. Nothing gets an audience’s blood pumping like seeing a group either unite or fall apart under the pressures of staying alive and getting help, whether it’s the relatively safe (but still intriguing) stakes of survival on the reality TV series “Survivor,” the gripping supernatural twists to staying alive on “Lost,” or, more recently, the YA drama-tinged thriller “The Wilds.”
With the arrival of “Yellowjackets,” a survival thriller that follows the dual timelines of teenage members of a girl’s soccer team as they survive after a plane crash and the lives of the handful of survivors who made it back to civilization 25 years later, Showtime will soon be adding a new title to this unique TV subgenre. Showtime picked up “Yellowjackets” in 2019 (via Deadline), with Karyn Kusama (“Jennifer’s Body”) directing the pilot. Ashley Lyle (“The Originals”) and Bart Nickerson (“Big Little Lies”) conceived and executive produced the series, which feels like a mix of “Lord of the Flies” and “Big Little Lies” (“Narcos”). While the series has been picked up by Showtime and the pilot has been shot (through Deadline), the rest of the first season will be shot in Vancouver, Canada, until the end of September (via Variety Insight).
Early in August, Showtime posted the first teaser for “Yellowjackets” on YouTube, giving viewers an exciting first peek at what will be a must-see series. Here’s all we know about “Yellowjackets” thus far, based on this teaser and other reports.
When do Yellowjackets come out?
“Yellowjackets” has no official release date, but due to the trailer, we know it will premiere on Showtime in the fall. There’s no obvious season tie-in here — unlike, for instance, assuming the show would premiere in October if it were horror-based — making the premiere window even more difficult to pin down. While we know that the majority of Season 1 will be shot until late September 2021, we don’t know much about the episode filming schedule, making predicting the release date more difficult. To be safe, “Yellowjackets” is expected to premiere in mid-October at the earliest.
We also know that “Yellowjackets” will be on the air for two and a half months.
The Showtime show’s first season will consist of ten episodes, each lasting one hour. Given the length of this first season, and depending on when “Yellowjackets” premieres, this program might be a major player in the early fall, with speculations abounding regarding any and all secrets revealed.
Who’s in the cast of Yellowjackets?
A crackerjack trio of actresses with who fans first fell in love within the 1990s will head a strong supporting ensemble in “Yellowjackets.” Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynskey, and Juliette Lewis star in “Yellowjackets.” Each of the three actresses will play an adult version of a teen Yellowjackets player. Misty will be played by Ricci, with Sammi Hanratty playing the younger version of Misty (“Shameless”). Shauna will be played by Lynskey, and Sophie Nélisse will represent the younger version of the character (“47 Meters Down Uncaged”). Natalie will be played by Lewis, with Sophie Thatcher portraying the younger version of the character (“Prospect”).
The supporting cast of “Yellowjackets” includes Keeya King (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), Ella Purnell (“Sweetbitter”), Tawny Cypress (“House of Cards”), and Pearl Amanda Dickinson (“Legion”), Tony Cornelisse (“Parks and Recreation”), Jasmin Savoy Brown (“The Leftovers”), Stephen Krueger (“The Originals”), Peter Gadiot (“Supergirl”), Liv Hewson (“Santa Clarita Diet”), and Warren Cole are among the cast members of the film (“Shades of Blue”).
What is Yellowjackets’ plot?
According to the Showtime page for “Yellowjackets,” the anticipated thriller’s premise is as follows:
“‘Yellowjackets’ is the story of a group of incredibly gifted high school girls soccer players who become the (un)lucky survivors of a plane accident deep in the isolated northern tundra. The series follows their decline from a complex but thriving group to savage clans, as well as the lives they’ve tried to piece back together nearly 25 years later, illustrating that the past is never truly gone and that what began in the forest is far from ended.”
What that plot neglects to tell is how soon the remaining Yellowjackets teammates degrade into a semi-feral, near-tribal culture in order to survive.
The trailer for “Yellowjackets” teases this particular element, which seems to be evocative of “Lord of the Flies” (a show reference point).
A shot of at least three youths wearing big fuzzy masks, animal skins, and animal horns appears at one point. It’s unclear what’s going on, but it teases how far the “Yellowjackets” survival story will go insane. We also don’t know how each of the adult characters interacts with one another more than two decades after the incident, nor do we know how they chose to conduct their lives following the crash.
We may expect answers to these issues, as well as any more that arise in the premiere, throughout Season 1.