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5 Reasons Why You Need to Watch Yellowjackets

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As we head into yet another lockdown in Toronto, there is no better time to let go of your pandemic blues and indulge in a new and exciting escapist TV show. Not sure what to watch? Let me introduce you to Yellowjackets

Yellowjackets is a weekly Showtime drama about an elite American high school women’s soccer team (known back home as the Yellowjackets) that gets stranded in the Canadian wilderness after their plane crashes on the way to nationals in the mid-90s. The show cuts between the past, when the girls are actually stranded, and the present, where four of the now grown-up women struggle to overcome the trauma of what they experienced and resorted to while stranded.

Not convinced by the plot alone? Here are five reasons why you should check out Yellowjackets:

It’s a perfect mix of petty high school drama and brutal survivalism.

Yellowjackets isn’t confined to one genre. It blends effortlessly between horror (which is the primary genre the show falls under), drama and comedy. The ethos of the show is about the ferocity of girlhood and all of the many ways that ferocity can manifest itself, both physically and psychologically. Even when the girls are fighting for their lives in the woods, they are still teenagers with complex interpersonal relationships. Their issues with each other can’t help but trickle into how they go about trying to stay alive. Romances are sparked and friendships are ruined even while they’re starving. But the physicality of attempting to stay alive is never lost, and the Yellowjackets are often torn between their alliances and their own survival. 

It’s excellent female-led horror. 

Although the show isn’t exclusively tied to the horror genre, it effectively utilizes horror tropes to build suspense and instill fear in the audience. The woods are, after all, a perfect setting for eerie psychological destruction and a fight against the elements. As a female horror fan, I love when women are at the centre, and Yellowjackets doesn’t shy away from painting all of the characters as complex monsters capable of both incredible good and evil. All of the characters have the ability to commit atrocious acts of violence against the others, but they also act as a family unit in an effort to keep each other alive. Fair warning: if you’re not a fan of gore, maybe sit this one out.

The cast is amazing. 

The performances put forth by both the older and younger actors are incredible. Each character is distinct and complex, offering lots of room for the actors to showcase their talents. Despite the majority of the cast being quite young, the actors are able to tap into the unhinged nature of survival and trauma. If you’re a fan of 90s movies, you’ll be pleased to see Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis giving stellar performances as the older versions of Misty and Natalie. Both (older) characters provide some much-needed comic relief throughout the show. Their younger counterparts are equally as excellent, played by Sammi Hanratty and Sophie Thatcher. 

There’s a secret that the audience is privy to — but we still have to fill in some blanks. 

From the beginning of the very first episode, we as viewers have an understanding of what the Yellowjackets have had to succumb to in order to stay alive, but we don’t know how they got to that point in their attempt to survive. Given the number of women that we see as adults, we know who survived, but we don’t necessarily know who didn’t. As viewers, we have no choice but to follow along, waiting to see how the Yellowjackets reach this horrific moment prior to their rescue. At the same time, the current day Yellowjackets are fighting to stop this secret from leaking to the public, but it all begins to unravel as they are blackmailed and followed. It’s impossible not to want to follow along to see what happens, and who exactly is responsible for everything, past and present. 

There is a killer soundtrack. 

This may seem a bit superficial, but if you’re a fan of 90s music, specifically 90s rock, then Yellowjackets is worth checking out. There are great needle drops throughout, ranging from the spooky whispers of PJ Harvey on “Down By The Water” to the soft romance of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You,” to the crowd pleasing Montell Jordan track “This Is How We Do It.” Even if you aren’t familiar with some of these songs, you’ll probably find a few sneaking into your regular rotation after watching. You can find the official playlist for the show here

Sarah Sparks

Ryerson '23

Sarah is a Creative Industries student at Ryerson University. She is passionate about many things, especially film. She can generally be found attempting to say hi to dogs on the street, quoting Fleabag to herself, or watching any version of SKAM she can find with english subtitles.
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