Skip to content

Yellowjackets: All about the series

A critical and public success across the Atlantic, where it has fascinated millions of Americans, the Yellowjackets series will arrive on March 3 on Canal+ and myCanal.

Horror drama, survivalist, psychological… Difficult to put it in a single category. Loosely based on the novel Her Majesty of the Flies by William Golding, the series Yellowjackets, created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, follows the members of a New Jersey women’s soccer team who find themselves in a nightmarish situation after their plane crashes in a wild region of North America. Fighting for their survival, the high school girls gradually sink into savagery.

As we discover their ordeal, we also follow the current lives of some survivors, Shauna, Taissa, Natalie and Misty. Four adults who have not really emerged unscathed from all this, but who try to pass themselves off as balanced people. Twenty-five years later, they have made their living, but the past clearly still seriously haunts them.

Fans have fun coming up with theories

The viewers who followed the series on the American channel Showtime until last January were numerous to comment and deliver their theories on the series, Yellowjackets taking malicious pleasure in blurring the tracks and skillfully playing with suspense and mysteries. After the first images that announce the (definitely) bloody color of the set, we will begin by wondering who is the girl who is running for her life, pursued like big game by her former football partners now dressed in animal skins . The question will first be whether the latter were forced to indulge in cannibalism to survive, but this question will very quickly give way to many others… Mystery, we tell you…

The success is such that the series has been renewed for a second season. Actresses Mélanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress, Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis play the adult versions of Shauna, Taissa, Misty and Natalie respectively, while Sophie Nélisse (Shauna), Jasmin Savoy Brown (Taissa), Sammi Hanratty (Misty) and Sophie Thatcher (Natalie) interpret them in a younger version and the resemblance is stunning.

The two temporalities between which the series constantly navigates each explore different themes, in particular those of adolescence and bodies tossed about by hormones, and feminism.

We dive in turn to 1996, when a plane carrying the Yellowjackets crashes in the Canadian wilderness, and to 2021, when four survivors have reached middle age and are clearly fearful that the truth about their time in the wild will be revealed. be revealed.

“These girls were special,” recalls an acquaintance, in 2021. They were champions.” In 1996, the team performed well in the championship, but it was the boys’ baseball team, rather blah, that was praised. This understatement has a knack for exasperating the Yellowjackets, 1990s girl-power girls who long to be recognized for their true worth, and to pull themselves out of the suburbs where they grew up. Between the intellectuals, the popular, the harassed… It is also a fierce war that is being played out between them. A ruthless war…

Rage in the stomach

The soundtrack, with titles by PJ Harvey, Hole, or even Portishead – helps create the general rebellious atmosphere. The presence of Melanie Lynskey (Celestial Creatures), Juliette Lewis (rock n’roll actress seen in Strange Days, Born Killers, and also a singer in her group Juliette and the Licks) and Christina Ricci (the queen of indie cinema in the 1990s ), three idols of the teenage rebellion of the 1990s, is an integral part of the show’s underlying message (and the increased pleasure of watching it for those who grew up in that decade).

The similarities to His Majesty of the Flies lie in the question of how a group of young people stuck in the middle of nowhere manage to survive. “That was the basis of our idea,” says co-creator Ashley Lyle for Creative Screewriting magazine. “The theme of the novel in terms of belief, superstition, and the primal desire to make sense of the world also made its way into our narrative,” she continued.

“Yellowjackets explores female friendship and female rage,” Lyle shared. “We wanted to look at the best and the worst that people are capable of in bad circumstances,” she added. As for the influences, especially the touch of humor the creators wanted to infuse in small doses, “to deal with the darker moments”, said Lyle, they evoke The Sopranos, Welcome to The Dollhouse (Todd Solondz ) and Fargo (the Coen brothers).

Gore (their subsistence comes from hunted beasts), the supernatural (including a cryptic symbol), psychology, romance, crazy hormones, desire mixed with ultra-violence, and a touch of humour… The recipe which could be a mix between The Survivors, Blair Witch, the series for teenagers, Lost and the novel Her Majesty of the Flies (here not really flies but wasps, with venom and darts quickly unsheathed…), could on paper suggest an indigestible mix, but the execution is such that the whole thing is very catchy, hence the immense success met in the United States, and soon in France…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.