To say that a series is heir to Lost is usually the kiss of death. The success of the J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof was so huge in its time that it led to the production of a multitude of mediocre series that tried to arouse the same levels of obsession with its combination of drama and a frustrating barrage of question marks. Flashforward, the deplorable The I-Land or Manifest are just a few examples. Yellowjackets, on the other hand, is one of its own exceptions: Lost's reference is as obvious as its ability to emancipate itself from comparisons with an overwhelming personality. It should be the obsession of anyone who considers themselves addicted to the series, as was the case with the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 at the time.
This production of the American channel Showtime, the one that before dominated the television conversation with series like Dexter and Homeland, also includes a crashing flight in the pilot episode. The Yellowjackets players, a high school soccer team, were heading to a competition with a private plane when it crashed in a forest. It was 1996. In the present, the viewer can see how the survivors try to lead ordinary lives despite being famous for tragedy and the aura of mystery that surrounds them. How did the players who survived the accident die? Is it true that they practiced cannibalism?
Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) is a bored housewife who is seduced by a very attractive man who is younger than her; Taissa (Tawny Cypress), who was the most competitive, is running for senator with the support of her wife; Misty (Christina Ricci), who always had socialization problems, has become a nurse at Annie Wilkes' school; and Nat (Juliette Lewis), already rebellious in her youth, is fresh out of rehab. They, who agreed not to reveal anything of what happened and to keep their distance, have no choice but to get back in touch 25 years later after fearing that they are in danger, persecuted by that past that they hid from the whole world.
What is interesting about the proposal by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, a sentimental couple and creators, consists in the combination of genres: black comedy, thriller, horror with the possibility of being supernatural, adolescent drama and mystery, trying to channel the tone of gothic tales. It also resides in the fragmentation of the story into two time lines where both work at the same level, both for their plots and for the talent of the young actresses, among whom Jasmin Savoy Brown stands out, now fashionable for being a member of the new generation of Scream, or Sophie Thatcher, who also drew attention in 2022 with a role in The Book of Boba Fett.
Yellowjackets, in fact, has the audacity to be original and unbridled, especially for entering such dangerous terrain in television with the combination of the past and the present, the parallels with Lost and the dilation of the question marks and emerge unscathed. As? Offering answers from time to time, although these are sometimes partial, while the characters are defined and built to perfection with the help of a cast in a state of grace. Lynskey, Cypress, Ricci and Lewis follow in the footsteps of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Linney, Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz in Big Little Lies as one of the most inspired female casts of this millennium.
And the most exciting? That Yellowjackets has a story that could derail at any time after taking a false step and, instead, this Friday it returns to Movistar with a second season that, at its start, maintains this impossible balance with the most twisted characters on the air. What a joy that quality television has a work with such a daring, commercial and indebted female perspective in a good way of a contemporary classic like Lost. The soundtrack that mainly chooses classics from the 90s is also the icing on the cake.