Yellowjackets Review

Yellowjackets Review
Tawny Cypress as Taissa in YELLOWJACKETS, "Heart-Shaped Black Box". Photo credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

This weekend, Paramount+ unveils one of its most anticipated series in Yellowjackets.

We begin this story in 1996, following a woman’s varsity soccer team on its way to the nationals. The Yellowjackets consist of our main players Misty (Samantha Hanratty), the nerd with no friends and a dangerous personality; Natalie (Sophie Thatcher), the outcast who self-medicates; Shauna (Sophie Nélisse), the over-achiever bound for Brown University; and Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown), the level-headed student who’s harbouring a few secrets. Everyone’s flying high until they crash on an island where they stay for a truly horrifying nineteen months.

It sounds like a typical teen drama, but Yellowjackets flips the genre by making the main storyline take place 25 years after the crash when a reporter shows up wanting to write a book about their experiences. It’s here where we see what’s happened to Misty (Christina Ricci), now a nurse who spends her free time digging into cold cases with an online ‘citizens detective’ internet group; Natalie (Juliette Lewis), a gun-toting addict who’s in-and-out of rehab; Shauna (Melanie Lynskey), who got married young and now lives in the suburbs with a surly teen daughter and a husband who’s never home; and Taissa (Tawney Cypress), who is running a campaign for public office and putting all the former Yellowjackets in the spotlight.

What happened on the island during those nineteen months, and what came of their team captain Jackie (Ella Purnell)?

Created by Narcos alums Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, the first three episodes serve up two different genres with ease. There are some nice twists which will keep you engrossed as each character is flushed out and secrets start to unravel.

The casting is sublime, with Ricci and Lewis true standouts, although there isn’t really anyone to fault in this line-up.

With its top notch cast, stellar performances and engrossing storyline, don’t might the flight as Yellowjackets is one of the best things you will watch this year.

5 Stars

Yellowjackets drops on Paramount+ today, with new episodes weekly.