So you think the Euphoria gang are TV’s most terrible teens? Well, the Yellowjackets are intent on making the antics of East Highland look like a CBeebies plot.
Sky Atlantic’s ridiculously entertaining show, which has its season one finale this week, follows the cannibalistic escapades of girls’ high-school soccer team, the eponymous Yellowjackets. On their way to a tournament, their plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness – where they are stranded for 19 months (to be fair, it took a lot less for me to flip out as a terrible teen). Lost meets Lord of the Flies meets The Craft meets Shipwrecked, how more people haven’t already binged the lot with the veracity of a hungry adolescent, is beyond me.
The show also indulges our insatiable appetite for all things mid-90s, albeit through an entertainingly messed up lens. Playing out with a split-timeline, the action is divided between 1996 and 25 years later as we follow the survivors in the present day (small spoiler: all is not well). And while the ‘90s sections do serve up some tasty helpings of nostalgia – through the fashion (think slip dresses and butterfly tops) and soundtrack (Montell Jordan, The Smashing Pumpkins, Salt-N-Pepa, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch) – some inspired casting means that the present day sections too.
Taking the roles of the grown-ups are some legitimately iconic ‘90s teen stars. There’s Wednesday Addams herself, Christina Ricci as the Yellowjackets’ terrifyingly unhinged Misty. There’s Cape Fear and Natural Born Killers’ Juliette Lewis as the rebellious addict Natalie. And there’s indie favourite Melanie Lynskey – who got made her film debut as a murderous teen in Peter Jackson’s 1994 film Heavenly Creatures – as the frustrated Shauna, dissatisfied and uncomfortable with her domestic, suburban life. (Tawny Cypress is also brilliant as the ambitious politician, Taissa).