Get ready, campers! The hotly anticipated season 2 of the ridiculously buzzworthy show “Yellowjackets” is coming to Showtime on March 24th.
I swear, I’ve now made Yellowjackets my entire identity. It’s my religion, and I worship at the altar of this dark, twisted, super stylish, girl-powered thriller.
I was fortunate to be invited to a VIP preview of the epic Yellowjackets pop-up at this year’s SXSW. I jumped at the chance. The only problem? I had not yet seen the show everyone was buzzing about.
That’s on me. I can’t begin to count how many times someone I knew and trusted recommended I watch it. “You will love it,” they promised time and time again. “It’s right up your alley.” It’s not that I didn’t believe them. I had seen the trailer and read about the show. I knew it was the kind of show tailor-made for me, one I’d almost certainly enjoy.
But you know how life is. There’s never enough time. And because I watch so many movies, committing to a new series is really hard for me.
I can recall one friend in particular who was so sure I’d eat up this show that she would constantly bring it up and then get downright angry when I had to explain once again that I had not yet made time for it. “What are you even doing with your life?” she’d bemoan. And I’d laugh and think, “Can it really be that good?”
Now, however, I had a definitive reason to watch, as well as a firm timeline.
I sat down to watch the show, preparing to enjoy an episode a night for the next couple of weeks. In one night, I obsessively binged all ten episodes of the first season. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t do anything productive. I gave my body, mind, and soul over to Yellowjackets, and it was heavenly.
Can it really be that good? That’s a resounding and emphatic yes!
The hit mystery thriller follows members of a high school women’s soccer team, the titular Yellowjackets, across two timelines. One timeline puts us in 1996, following the devastating crash of the plane meant to take the girls to the State championship. Stranded in the wilderness for 19 excruciating months, the girls must find a way to survive the elements and avoid starving to death when faced with harsh winter conditions.
The second timeline fast forwards to 25 years later to 2021, as some of the now-grown women still struggle to move on from the traumatic events of their youth and the knowledge of what really happened in the wilderness.
Part survival horror, part mystery thriller, and part psychological drama, the show explores how a close-knit group of teenage girls must adapt to an unthinkable situation, how friendships devolve in the face of fear and desperation, and how trauma and secrets forever shape and change the girls far into adulthood.
Besides a stellar premise and a slew of compelling mysteries — some of which are resolved by the end of season one, but many more still left to unravel — the show boasts a phenomenal soundtrack and a pitch-perfect cast of talented young and veteran actors playing the same characters.
The real star power comes from the adult cast, including the always magnificent Melanie Lynskey (who you’ve probably far more than you realize, including Happy Christmas and, most recently, the HBO Max show The Last of Us), Tawny Cypress (The Good Wife, House of Cards, The Black List), the incomparable Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear, Natural Born Killers, From Dusk till Dawn), and horror icon Christina Ricci (The Addams Family, Wednesday, Sleepy Hollow, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles).
With acting chops like that to compete with, you might think the young cast pales in comparison. But they are truly outstanding and just as compelling, lighting up the screen and more than holding their own.
Leading the cast of teens is Sophie Nélisse (47 Meters Down: Uncaged), Jasmin Savoy Brown (The Sound of Violence, The Leftovers), Sophie Thatcher (The Exorcist show), Samantha Hanraty (Salem, Shameless), Liv Hawson (Before I Fall, Inhumans, Santa Clarita Diet), Ella Purnell (Kick-Ass 2, Maleficent, Army of the Dead), and rising star Courtney Eaton (who you can catch in the upcoming SXSW hit from Brittany Snow, Parachute).
The show is brutal, violent, and quite nasty at times.
But there are also moments of delicious dark levity, thanks largely to the extraordinary team of Lewis and Ricci.
Showtime announced the series’ season 2 renewal earlier this year, halfway through its first season. It was at that time that viewers were given a big twist. All would not be revealed by the end of the first season, and viewers should expect many more surprises.
In fact, based on the overwhelming success of the show and positive reception — it currently has a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a Critic’s Choice nomination for best drama series — the show has already been renewed for a third season.
The Emmy-nominated drama will return for its second season starting this Friday, March 24, on streaming, and it will air on network television beginning Sunday, March 26.
I was lucky. Because I was late to the game, I didn’t have to sit for too long in agonizing suspense, waiting for more answers and finding out how many popular fan theories would be proven correct. But you can bet I’ll be ready at the starting gate of season two, beyond anxious to dive back into this insanely compelling but seriously messed-up world.
The official synopsis reads as follows:
“The Yellowjackets barely made it through summer, but now as winter begins to bite, we’ll see if hunger and desperation turn into full-on psychosis. Meanwhile, 25 years later, each survivor must determine if the darkness is coming for them or from them.”
We’ve been told to expect some surprises in terms of the characters.
We still have a ton of questions about who survived and what exactly happened in the wilderness. We’ve also been prepared to welcome some new characters we’ve yet to meet.
We do know at least one fan-favorite character from the ’90s cast is returning with an even bigger role, and two adult cast members will be introduced for the first time, played by Lauren Ambrose and Obi-Wan Kenobi actress Simone Kessell.
Now, I don’t want to give too much away for anyone who hasn’t yet seen season one, but it left on a pretty big cliffhanger that introduced an entirely new, very twisted twist into the show’s mystery. And Kessell will be playing a pivotal role in that development.
As much as I love, love, love how much of a female-driven powerhouse this show is, there are a few men and boys rounding out the cast. And while these men tend to take a backseat to the women, they are nevertheless an important part of the narrative. Now that one very famous male face is being added to the cast, he might be able to direct some of the spotlight away from the fierce female leads.
That actor is none other than Elijah Wood.
However, rumor has it that Wood is being heavily paired with Ricci, so he definitely has his work cut out for him if he plans to steal any scenes.
Season 2 of Yellowjackets will consist of nine hour-long episodes.
The episodes are released one per week (except for the weekend of April 28, when the show is on temporary hiatus).
First, episodes will debut via on-demand streaming at 12:01 a.m. ET/PT on Showtime and Paramount Plus with Showtime. Some people may watch Yellowjackets on the actual Showtime channel, but those episodes won’t air until 9 p.m. ET/PT.
The season finale will air on May 26 (streaming).
Check out the intense season 2 trailer below and tune in to catch the premiere on Showtime this Friday, March 24th. If you have yet to catch the first season, hurry and get caught up by binging the show on Showtime or renting it on demand from Amazon or iTunes.