When a group of teenagers survive a plane crash in 1996, their adult selves in 2021, played by Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, Lauren Ambrose, and Simone Kessell have to deal with their previous unscrupulous survival methods, coming back to haunt them.
In 1996, a girls’ football team from a high school in New Jersey goes to Seattle for a national competition. The remaining members of the crew are stuck for nineteen months when their jet crashes in the middle of nowhere while flying over Canada. The team’s fight for survival, with some members pushed to cannibalism, is brutally explored in the series. Also covered are the survivors’ life in 2021, twenty-five years after their rescue, as the circumstances of their ordeal still impact them.
In the first few episodes of Yellowjackets Season 1, the tone is intriguingly balanced. The survival timeline is a living nightmare, filled with creeping terror and disturbing images of wickedness. The flashback ensemble cast is powerful enough to hold their own in a drama; the young female actresses all excel at playing characters that are both unique and believable reflections of their adult selves, but it is Christina Ricci, who like a matured wine, has boldened her craft in her portrayal as the adult Misty, who is always scheming behind her thick rimmed glasses, devouring the small small screen with her devious charm.
Underscored with a nostalgic musical playlist from favourites of 1996, the plot can be a little confusing at times, combining elements from Lord of the Flies, It, and Lost.  With the overuse of flashbacks and the series’ attempts to juggle too many genres, rather than focusing on its strong mystery-thriller aspects, make Yellowjackets a difficult and often tedious watch.

However, the show becomes completely engrossing when it fully embraces its spine-tingling tension in its development of the disturbing, mystifying backstory.

Moreover, it elevates what could have been a very boring genre work by finding interesting ways to examine themes like trauma and the personas we cultivate from childhood into adulthood. Now showing on Netflix.

-Dirk Lombard Fourie

Scroll to Top