For decades, it’s been interesting television fodder to see a diverse mix of people survive the risks — and exult in the joys — of the outdoors. Nothing gets an audience’s blood pumping quite 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 girls 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), along with the announcement that Karyn Kusama (“Jennifer’s Body”) would helm the pilot. Ashley Lyle (“The Originals”) and Bart Nickerson (“Big Little Lies”) conceived and executive produced the series, which feels like a cross between “Lord of the Flies” and “Big Little Lies” (“Narcos”).
While the series has been picked up by Showtime (through Deadline) and the pilot has already been shot, the rest of the first season will be shot in Vancouver, Canada, until the end of September (via Variety Insight).
In early 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 earlier reports.
Release date of Yellowjackets Season 1
The survival thriller “Yellowjackets” has no official release date, but thanks to the teaser, we know it will premiere on Showtime sometime in the fall. There’s no apparent season tie-in here — unlike, say, assuming the programme would premiere in October if it’s a horror show — making the premiere window even more difficult to pin down. While we know that the majority of Season 1 will be filmed 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” will most certainly premiere in mid-October at the earliest.
We also know that “Yellowjackets” will be on the air for two and a half months, in addition to the release date. The first season of the Showtime show will consist of ten episodes, each lasting an hour. Given the length of this first season and the timing of the launch of “Yellowjackets,” this programme might be a major player in the early fall, with speculations abounding regarding any and all secrets revealed.
Yellowjackets Season 1 Cast
The cast of “Yellowjackets” includes a crackerjack trio of actresses who initially became famous in the 1990s and will be heading a strong supporting ensemble. Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynskey, and Juliette Lewis lead the cast of “Yellowjackets.” Each of the three actresses will play a grown-up version of an adolescent Yellowjackets player. Misty will be played by Ricci, with Sammi Hanratty playing the younger Misty (“Shameless”). Shauna will be played by Lynskey, with Sophie Nélisse playing the younger version of the role (“47 Meters Down: Uncaged”). Natalie will be played by Lewis, with Sophie Thatcher playing the younger version of the character (“Prospect”).
Keeya King (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), Ella Purnell (“Sweetbitter”), Tawny Cypress (“House of Cards”), and Pearl are among the remainder of the “Yellowjackets” cast. 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 actors who have appeared on the show (“Shades of Blue”).
Plot of Yellowjackets Season 1
According to the Showtime page for “Yellowjackets,” the plot of the upcoming thriller is as follows:
“The journey of a squad of phenomenally talented high school girls soccer players who become the (un)lucky survivors of an aircraft crash deep in the isolated northern wilderness is told in ‘Yellowjackets,’ which is equal parts survival epic, psychological horror storey, and coming-of-age drama. The series follows their transformation from a complex but thriving group to savage clans, as well as the lives they’ve sought 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 explain, however, is how rapidly 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 appears 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 happening on, but it hints at how far the “Yellowjackets” survival narrative may devolve into craziness. We also don’t know how each of the adult characters interacts with one another two decades after the disaster, nor do we know how they chose to conduct their lives after the crash. The answers to these questions, as well as any additional that arise in the premiere, will be revealed throughout Season 1.