The pure savagery of female adolescence is the basis of Showtime’s psychological thriller Yellowjackets. Viewers couldn’t get enough and the new series quickly became a huge hit for the cable giant. The critically acclaimed drama stands as the No. 2 most-watched streaming series in the network’s history.
The Yellowjackets news follows the record ratings of another recent Showtime hit, Dexter: New Blood, which became the most-watched series in Showtime’s history by averaging over 8 million weekly viewers across all platforms. Led by these two series, the cabler delivered the most signups in its history during the fourth quarter of 2021.
Yellowjackets was included on nearly 50 year-end “Best of” television lists, received a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a tidal wave of online buzz followed. It delivered one of the biggest Showtime debut seasons ever averaging over 5 million weekly viewers across platforms, which is the highest for a freshman series on the network since Billions in 2016. The finale amassed 1.3 million viewers across platforms on Sunday alone, more than doubling its audience from its premiere. Overall, viewership quadrupled over the course of the season.
Viewers couldn’t get enough of this psychological horror story that follows a team of wildly talented high school girls soccer players who become the survivors of a plane crash deep in the remote northern wilderness. The story brilliantly unfolds in two timelines. We follow the young teenagers in 1996 as they attempt to survive and flash forward to the present-day as the women contend with the unresolved damage done to them. Each is haunted and forever changed.
The series was so addicting and its timing couldn’t have been better. It came just as audiences had showed their love for the survival drama Squid Game. Bloodthirsty viewers just couldn’t get enough and longed for another tale that included interesting characters desperate to survive horrendous circumstances.
The one-hour drama was co-created and executive produced by husband-and-wife duo Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, who also serve as co-showrunners alongside Jonathan Lisco. The cast includes Melanie Lynskey, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci and Tawny Cypress as the modern day survivors. Also starring are Warren Kole, Ella Purnell, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Samantha Hanratty, Sophie Thatcher, Sophie Nélisse and Steven Krueger.
It wasn’t just the fans that loved Yellowjackets. Both the series and Lynskey have received Critics’ Choice nominations and just last week, the series received WGA Award nominations for Best Drama Series and Best New Series.
The 10-episode survival epic premiered in November and fans were forced to wait as the cabler only dropped one episode per week. The build-up between episodes led to a social media frenzy as various theories about the characters were debated online. It led to the overall fun of watching and trying to figure out what actually happened out in the wilderness after more than 18 months fending for themselves.
Well, we knew within the first moments of the pilot that ritualistic murder and cannibalism were two major plot points but what we learned slowly, like peeling back the layers of an onion, was how a thriving soccer team devolved into a savage clan of cannibals.
In a November interview just after the premiere, Lyle, Nickerson and Lisco explained how this girls-gone-wild tale represents the complete destruction of society. Though it has been referred to as the female version of The Donner Party, the trio explained that their aim was really to dissect the oftentimes ferocious depth of female friendships.
They also gave some clues about a second season if they were given the chance. Lyle explained at the time that this was never going to be solely about what these girls resort to but how they got to this place. And though they hadn’t yet gotten the green light to keep writing and creating, they had very clear ideas as to where the story would go.
In December, due to the huge popularity of the series, Showtime announced they would be getting a second season. Lisco gave a good clue as to just who made it out alive. “We have always felt that there are more survivors out there.”
This certainly explains who may have come for Lewis’ Natalie. The real question is, can fans wait another year to find out? We’re on the edge of our seats.