No, 'Game of Thrones' wasn't the last hurrah for 'appointment TV' — meet 'Yellowjackets,' the suspenseful new Showtime drama captivating viewers every week

·4 min read
A scene from season one of Showtime's "Yellowjackets."
"Yellowjackets" switches between 1996 and the present day.Kailey Schwerman/Showtime
  • "Yellowjackets" is Showtime's excellent new answer to "Game of Thrones."

  • While the two shows aren't thematically similar, both keep viewers on the edges of their seats.

  • Here's why you should be watching "Yellowjackets," starring Melanie Lynskey and Juliette Lewis.

When HBO's wildly successful "Game of Thrones" ended in 2019, critics, industry insiders, and viewers alike all wondered if another show would ever fill the void in a similar way. The fantasy drama had fans glued to their screens each week to see what happened next in Westeros, and many experts predicted that we might never see another show quite like it.

But "Yellowjackets," a suspenseful new drama from Showtime, is changing the game in many of the ways that "Game of Thrones" did.

'Yellowjackets' is must-watch TV that demands live viewing

While the two series have little in common thematically or in terms of plot, viewer experience and fandom reaction has been surprisingly similar.

"Yellowjackets" follows a group of talented teenage girl athletes (the fictional Yellowjackets soccer team from a high school in New Jersey) who get stranded in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash in 1996. The show juggles multiple timelines, jumping forward to show just how the survivors are grappling with the aftermath of their 19-month ordeal 25 years later.

Yellowjackets
Sophie Thatcher as Teen Natalie on "Yellowjackets."Showtime

Like "Game of Thrones," however, each episode of "Yellowjackets" ratchets up the tension and mystery, leaving viewers wondering just how, exactly, the girls ended up turning to cannibalism in order to survive (a shocking twist that's immediately revealed in the show's premiere). The suspense-driven storyline makes it imperative to watch new episodes as soon as they premiere, lest you get spoiled on Twitter.

The show has also inspired a very active subreddit, where hardcore "Yellowjackets" fans pore over seemingly innocuous details (like entries in a character's diary, or a T-shirt worn by a different character) and develop theories about the show's central mysteries.

Beyond the thrilling, twist-filled mystery at its core, 'Yellowjackets' is prestige TV filled with great performances and a killer score

Juliette Lewis and Christina Ricci in "Yellowjackets"
Juliette Lewis as Adult Natalie and Christina Ricci as Adult Misty in "Yellowjackets."Showtime

Aside from the fact that "Yellowjackets" is very much the return of appointment TV, it's also got an amazingly talented cast.

Melanie Lynskey, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, and Tawny Cypress all play adult versions of the teenage Yellowjackets. But their younger counterparts — including Sophie Thatcher, who is very much making a case for the resurgence of the shag haircut, and Jasmin Savoy Brown, perfectly capturing her character Taissa's resilience — also hold their own.

It's fascinating watching a group of teen girls struggle to survive the wilderness, and the foreshadowing at the beginning of the series only increases the dread viewers feel as winter looms and the Yellowjackets' supply of food dwindles. And in the present day, the surviving members' rush to uncover a mysterious blackmailer (who may or may not have murdered one of the people stranded with them) adds even more suspense to the present-day narrative.

Melanie Lynskey on "Yellowjackets"
Melanie Lynskey as Adult Shauna on "Yellowjackets."Showtime

There's also the show's soundtrack to consider.

The music featured includes '90s gems from Hole, Portishead, Liz Phair, Mazzy Star, and more. Coupled with the typical teenage drama that the Yellowjackets find themselves in even while trying to fend off wolves and avoid starving to death, the show occasionally has moments that would feel more at home in "My So-Called Life" than "Lost." And that unexpected combination of genres and tones completely works here.

Ultimately, though, "Yellowjackets" defies easy comparisons — it's simply appointment TV at its finest. With painfully relatable characters, an enthralling mystery, and a gruesome survival tale all wrapped into one excellent series, it's not surprising that the show has garnered a vocal niche of fans online and is already renewed for a second season.

If you're looking for your next must-watch weekly-release drama, this is it. Stop wasting your time, and start watching "Yellowjackets" immediately, please.

"Yellowjackets" episode nine, "Doomcoming," will air Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime, and the first eight episodes of the season are also currently available to stream on Showtime.

Read the original article on Insider