17 things to check out because you just miss 'Yellowjackets' so much
The tumultuous journey of Yellowjackets Season 1 is officially over, and like Natalie, we've lost our purpose.
Yellowjackets provided so much of what we love about television: Outstanding performances, intertwined genres, nostalgia, high school, and the joy of shared anticipation and discussion each week. We already miss it more than Misty misses Caligula during the workday, but the good news is that Yellowjackets shares aspects of its unique vibe with so many amazing shows, movies, and books you can get your hands on right now.
Here are 17 things to check out if you love Yellowjackets and can't wait for more.
1. Lost Season 4
I’m not here to tell you for the millionth time to watch Lost if you haven’t, because I know you cowards won’t do it! But if you love Yellowjackets you’re well aware of its Lost connections, not only in the blood-stained fuselage of its premise but in the glorious collective viewing experience of a juicy mystery.
Lost Season 4 is more like Yellowjackets than any other. It takes place in two timelines: A present where the castaways might actually have a chance at rescue, and a future in which the six who make it out still haven’t come to terms with how they got there.
The season boasts some of Lost’s most violent and disturbing sequences, as well as some of its most concise writing because of the 2007 Hollywood writers’ strike (14 episodes compared to the usual 22). The Oceanic Six lie about where they were, who survived, and how they left — all parts of their own story the adult Yellowjackets are at least obscuring, although they’re doing a better job. —Proma Khosla, Senior Entertainment Reporter
Where to watch: Lost is now streaming on Hulu.
2. Santa Clarita Diet
Santa Clarita Diet is a charming horror comedy series that will quench your desire for more on-screen cannibalism. Real estate agent Sheila (Drew Barrymore) becomes undead and requires human flesh to survive, but otherwise she feels great! Her family helps her through her cravings — a process which, yes, involves murder.
While Santa Clarita Diet's tone is much lighter than that of Yellowjackets, Sheila's ride-or-die husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant) is essentially an alternate universe version of Shauna's equally ride-or-die husband Jeff. And if you're looking for more Liv Hewson, who plays Van, you're in luck! They absolutely kill it as Sheila and Joel's daughter Abby. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Fellow
3. Midnight Mass
Lottie's The Exorcist vibes didn't come out of nowhere — her Catholic parents assumed her mental illness was a spiritual possession and primed her to see the world through rituals and symbols. Midnight Mass is a Netflix miniseries that also leans into the rituals of Catholicism for supernatural thrills.
Hamish Linklater stars as Father Paul, the charismatic replacement priest for a dying coastal town's elderly pastor, but he brings more than youthful enthusiasm to the town's church community. With Paul's arrival come miracles that heal the sick and renew the town's faith…as well as a sense that the good father's help comes at a cost no could possibly predict or pay. —Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter
4. The Witch
LikeYellowjackets, writer-director Robert Eggers' The Witch answers the age-old question "Is this girl supernatural or are the woods just really creepy?" In this slow-burn horror mystery, Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Thomasin, a 17th century farm girl who must face her family's wrath when her infant brother goes missing while under her care.
Yes, the colonial period drama takes us a bit further back than Yellowjackets' 1996 setting. Even still, this movie's exquisitely rendered wickedness and just as impressively complex narrative make it the perfect spooky puzzle to mull over after you've binged the beloved Showtime series. Hope you like creepy goats! — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter
Where to watch: The Witch is now streaming on Showtime.
5. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Libba Bray's young adult novel Beauty Queens is Yellowjackets with 100% more beauty pageant contestants and 100% less cannibalism. Our heroes are participants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant who crash-land on a desert island. Cue the rivalries, alliances, and romances.
Just like Yellowjackets, Beauty Queens explores the lives of complicated young women as they're forced to re-evaluate their lives. Unlike Yellowjackets, it's also a satire of everything from beauty standards to overbearing corporations. The result is equally hilarious and touching: Each of the Miss Teen Dream hopefuls are stars in their own ways, and by the end of the novel you'll be rooting for them to achieve their life dreams. As if that wasn't enough, there are also pirates. — B.E.
6. Castle Rock
This riveting two-season anthology weaves together the interconnected characters and mythology of Stephen King in a haunting Maine town. Season 1 focuses on an unidentified man (Bill Skårsgard) who mysteriously arrives in Castle Rock and the horrible events that sets in motion. His existence is inextricably linked to that of Henry Deaver (Andrė Holland), who left Castle Rock to escape his past, and a hair-raising power in the local woods. Wiskayok High School's own Melanie Lynskey plays Henry's childhood friend, while actors from many of King's adapted works make guest appearances. Come for the hot devil, stay for Lizzy Caplan in Season 2. — P.K.
7. Saint Maud
The first feature film from writer-director Rose Glass, Saint Maud is a religious horror film set in the world of late-stage hospice care. When a pious nurse named Maud (Morfydd Clark) is assigned to care for the boldly blasphemous Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), a battle to save Amanda's soul before she dies of cancer ensues. It's a staggeringly scary reflection on interiority and philosophy, with a searing assessment of the sometimes predatory messiah complex to boot. This one is totally perfect for fans of "Misty Fucking Quigley" and/or Laura Lee. — A.F.
Where to watch: Saint Maud is now streaming on Paramount+.
8. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
Enjoyed watching Yellowjackets' ensemble explore strange, potentially supernatural territory? Then you need to read Jeff Vandermeer's Annihilation (or watch the very different yet equally intriguing film adaptation). Annihilation follows an all-female team of scientists as they journey into a zone of wildlife known as Area X, which is undergoing a strange transformation.
If you found yourself captivated by Yellowjackets' spooky symbol, the novel's inclusion of a cryptic message written in fungus will surely grab your attention. If you were drawn to Yellowjackets' survivalist angle, the movie's frightening beasts will captivate you. Both the novel and the film feature compelling characters and mysteries that will have you pondering the story long after you've finished. — B.E.
Monsterland is a horror anthology series that goes beyond jump scares and boogeymen to send shivers down its viewers' spines. Monsterland derives its horror from everyday emotions — regret for cheating on a significant other, the desire to be a different person, feeling responsible for bad things that happen — and extrapolate them out for a series of tales that start out spooky and typically end with a thoughtfully bleak resolution. Like Yellowjackets, Monsterland understands that our world doesn't need vampires and werewolves to be scary. Humans are perfectly capable of being monsters on their own. —A.N.
Writer-director Ari Aster's second feature-length film combines colorful dreamscapes with terrifying occult rituals for a totally engrossing horror experience. Half scary movie, half fantasy storybook, Midsommar is the perfect pick for Yellowjackets fans whose favorite Season 1 episode was "Doomcoming." Not only because it's heavy on the hallucinogens and worship, but also because it hits the same feminist themes that makes Yellowjackets sting so good. Plus, it's got Florence Pugh. You can't go wrong!
Pair it with Aster's first flick Hereditary, which is also heavy on the satanic and supernatural, if you're hankering for a double feature. — A.F.
Where to watch: Midsommar is now streaming on Showtime.
11. The Leftovers
You might remember this powerful prestige drama from every TV critic yelling about it for years, and it is our pleasure to once again have cause to do so. One of the best shows of its decade comes from Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof, who swaps out Lost's mystery-box promise for an immensely moving and often spiritual show that provides no answers at all. It takes place in a world where two percent of Earth's population has vanished without a trace or any explanation, and those who remain must grapple with living while questioning everything they know.
Yellowjackets currently splits the difference between these two Lindelof offspring; it's a delicious mystery to pick apart week to week, but Season 1 already showed us that some answers are simple, tragic, or simply nowhere to be found. In case you don't get it, The Leftovers' Season 2 theme song explicitly tells you to "let the mystery be." That season swaps out most of its main cast for a new location, where Yellowjackets' Jasmin Savoy Brown (young Tai) plays a reserved teen entranced by a cult. Wait…did The Leftovers accidentally spoil Yellowjackets in 2015?? — P.K.
12. Into the Dark: Treehouse
Killer comedy meets feminist frights in this chilling tale of witchcraft and revenge from Hulu's Into the Dark horror anthology. Jimmi Simpson stars as a douchebag celebrity chef who travels to his deceased father's remote estate for a weekend away. But when the dude invites a beautiful stranger and her friends over to his place for dinner, unexplained terrors begin to plague the house.
Full of twists and turns, Treehouse plays with the same kinds of scares as Yellowjackets and brings it all back to the same divide between real and imagined. For another Into the Dark selection, try Pure, which features a stellar teen cast asking big spiritual questions. — A.F.
13. My Brilliant Friend
In Yellowjackets episode 6, Jackie's mother says she's been reading Elena Ferrante (shoutout to book club!), and our money is on the source material for this masterful HBO drama. The series follows childhood best friends Elena (Margherita Mazzucco) and Lila (Gaia Girace) in a neighborhood outside Naples, Italy. Even when they're little, people marvel at Lila's intelligence, charm, and mischief. She is a star even to Elena, but as the friends grow older they drift apart. Lila clings to the spotlight even as it moves past her — and a spotlight implicitly casts others into darkness, which Lenu will no longer accept.
No doubt Jackie's mother read this series and saw her daughter as its magnetic protagonist, with Shauna as the awkward sidekick never picked first by teachers, friends, or boys. Sorry, Mrs. Wellington, but Jeff disagrees. —P.K.
14. American Horror Story: Roanoke
On the whole, American Horror Story is much campier than Yellowjackets. But the series' sixth season Roanoke is one of its smartest and scariest offerings to date, with a mid-season twist you'll have to see to believe. Lady Gaga appears here in her second AHS role, alongside series regulars Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Lily Rabe, Evan Peters, and more. The kick-ass cast populates a mysterious colonial village, plagued by a witchy force. Wear your puzzling and your cannibalism hats for this one; it's a doozy. — A.F.
15. Sharp Objects
Somewhere between the adages "thank heaven for little girls" and "hell hath no woman like a woman scorned" is the reason society is terrified of teenagers. They're not quite children, not quite adults, and even though teen girls make perfect sense to themselves, the idea that they are incomprehensible eldritch beings is pervasive. Yellowjackets subverts that concept quite well, as does HBO miniseries Sharp Objects. In the latter, a reporter (Amy Adams) returns to her hometown to investigate the serial murder of young women. While she searches for answers, her past traumas surrounding her wealthy mother Adora (Patricia Clarkson) and younger sister Amma (Eliza Scanlen) come to the surface, revealing the violent edges to what first seem like girlhood indiscretions. — A.N.
16. The Wilds
Amazon's teen girl survivalism drama developed almost in tandem with Yellowjackets, which was first picked up in 2018. The young women of Dawn of Eve are headed to a retreat when their plane crashes on the way to Hawaii, marooning them on a desert island. Like Yellowjackets and every iteration of this story dating back to Lord of the Flies and beyond, The Wilds asks us who people become away from the comforts and constraints of polite society — but this time, they're being watched. You empathize with the girls not only because they crashed and must survive, but because they're being manipulated so cruelly by outside forces that will undoubtedly complicate their trauma. —P.K.
We did not deserve Bryan Fuller's bleak and tense drama when it aired from 2013 to 2015, but maybe now is when we prove ourselves worthy. Mads Mikkelsen stars as the Hannibal Lecter, enlisted to help the FBI solve a murder. He's drawn to criminal investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), whose insight into the minds of killers makes him as much a potential ally as an existing threat. This is mostly on the list because cannibals — but also because like Mikkelsen, Christina Ricci's Misty has intriguing chemistry with every single scene partner on Yellowjackets. —P.K.