Stream it or Leave it? Yellowjackets
100% on Rotten Tomatoes... can it be THAT good?
This week we put on our retro soccer jerseys and dusted off our CD wallets to take a trip back to the 1990s.
Showtime’s hit series Yellowjackets, partly set in one of our favorite decades, comes packed with a serious dose of nostalgia.
It also comes with a ton of buzz. A critical darling, (as of this writing ) it boasts a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Too good to be true?
In the latest episode of Stream It or Leave It, Shindy, Jeff and Mat cut through the hype and tell you if it’s worth 10 hours of your time.
What else we’re watching (01:36)
Jeff: Aziz Ansari: Nightclub Comedian and dark comedy The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window, both on Netflix.
Yellowjackets: First impressions (10:13)
Yellowjackets follows a girls’ high school soccer team whose plane crashes in the remote wilderness. The feisty group have to survive for a year and a half in a spooky cabin in some spooky woods – and there are strong hints of cannibalism very early on. In a second timeline, we follow some of the girls 25 years later in the present as they deal with the fallout and trauma from that time.
Mat: “It came from out of nowhere - all of a sudden, everybody was talking about it, the critics were going crazy. It kind of took over the conversation, in the way that The Squid Game did. Which is very impressive.
But he was concerned that the Lost-meets-Alive concept was “so generic.”
Shindy: “The show does a great job of transporting us back into the ‘90s, just like how Stranger Things does with the ‘80s.”
They do that with a killer playlist – and some intriguing casting.
Shindy: “When you think of the ‘90s and big actresses in the ‘90s, Juliette Lewis is definitely one of them, as is Christina Ricci.”
But Mat wasn’t so convinced by all the actors.
Mat: “They clearly ran out of budget for the male casting,” he joked, adding that if fits into the fact that “women are front and center in this show.”
Jeff did not fully buy the story or the “Lady of the Flies” concept, but added: “That aside, the setups, the performances, the flip of the gender roles, the sort of attitude and snicker behind the script and the show itself is really exciting to see.”
Mat was left “kind of curious” about the mysteries of the 1990s timeline, but his main hang-up was the present-day timeline with “forced” and “dull” storylines of blackmail and infidelity.
Shindy: “You feel that the present day story is kind of pedestrian, but I feel like that's very reflective of real life, right? I mean, affairs happen … The most exciting thing that's happened to most of these women's lives was the event.
“For me, I think the biggest hang-up was just that the beginning didn't come full circle by the end.”
Everyone enjoyed the ambiguity of the spooky happenings in the forest (26:04).
Shindy: “It's not quite obvious, which is why it's a lot of fun. That throughout the whole show, you're trying to guess, is somebody crazy? Or is this a deeper, darker force that's befallen these girls?”
Mat: “It could be trauma from a crash. It could be from the things that are eating that could be seeing things, or it could just be down to religion. So I think it's probably one of the most sophisticated aspects of the show is playing with that.”
Jeff thinks Hollywood has “very little understanding of mysticism… so I think they use it sort of more as a plot device than anything else. And with this one, it feels more or less like a traumatic tribal response.”
Stream It or Leave It? (32:20)
All in all, the show gave the team lots to talk about and although they are looking forward to seeing where it goes the second season, they can’t quite fully recommend it.
Jeff: Stream it!
Mat: Leave it.
Shindy: Stream episodes 1-3 and 7-10.
Deep dive with spoilers (33:11)
If you’ve already seen Yellowjackets, join the team in the spoilerific deep dive, where they debate the various plot twists and bring out their own theories of what is really happening.
They also have fun casting some characters we have yet to see grown up for Season 2.