YELLOWJACKETS – Review by Susan Granger

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Without doubt, Yellowjackets on Showtime is the most provocative new show of the season. Combining the classic premise of Lord of the Flies with the skittery, supernatural spookiness of Lost and the horror thriller Alive, it’s about teenage girls on a New Jersey high school soccer team.

After qualifying for the 1996 national championships, they board a private plane to fly to the state of Washington. But there’s an accident, and they crash-land in a remote forest somewhere in the Canadian Rockies.

Apparently, some of them were eventually rescued – because we meet them again – 25 years later – in 2021. They’re now adults, but they’re all traumatized, haunted by what happened in the 19 months during which they became feral, foraging, farming and, basically, struggling to survive.

Most of the savage drama of the first season revolves around young Shauna (Sophie Nelisse), Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown), Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) and Misty (Sammi Hanratty)…and their adult counterparts: Shauna (Melanie Lynsky), Taissa (Tawny Cypress), Natalie (Juliette Lewis) and Misty (Christina Ricci).

Initially, tension erupts between insecure Shauna and her popular best-friend, team captain Jackie (Ella Purnell) because, apparently, Jackie’s boy-friend Jeff (Jack Depew) was not only unfaithful but impregnated Shauna just before the plane departed. Now – in present time – Shauna is married to Jeff (Warren Kole) and they have a teenage daughter, Callie.

Back in the woods, there’s also deeply religious Laura Lee (Jane Widdop), spiritual Antler Queen Lottie (Courtney Eaton), and hard-hitting Van (Liv Hewson), along with Coach Ben (Steven Kreuger), Travis (Kevin Alves) and Javi (Luciano Leroux).

Showrunners Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, along with Jonathan Lisco, have concocted an eerily disturbing, ongoing mystery that’s not only sinister (hinting at cannibalism) but constantly surprising. Before long, you’re hooked – and it’s horrifying!

And Ashley Lyle has confirmed that other survivors are out there – somewhere – and will appear next season.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, Yellowjackets is an unpredictably intriguing 8 – streaming on Showtime – with Season 2 already in the works.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.