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Existing in wake of the Season 1 Yellowjackets finale has frankly left us all a little bereft.
The world is a little less salty and sweet without the exploits of young and older Shauna, Taissa, Natalie, and Misty. But gratefully, there's no shortage of other binge-able television shows of a similar ilk that masterfully utilize multiple timeline narratives, mysteries and character stories.
Until the Yellowjackets creatives can write and shoot Season 2, SYFY WIRE has curated a list of some other genre winners that will quench your thirst for some twisty storylines that will keep you guessing.
Dark is the much-lauded German drama (available on Netflix) that's positively oozing with chilling intrigue, mystery and generational storytelling. Over the course of three seasons, the histories of four intertwined families, who live in the German town of Winden, are revealed across multiple years in this very sci-fi centric premise.
Much like Yellowjackets, Dark utilizes a non-linear storytelling style which can be deeply challenging to follow; there are literally flow charts out there to help sort through the family connections. But the writing rewards the dedicated with the ensemble cast doing their best to give you a creepy, compelling and very smart watch.
Grumble all you want about this hit show's divisive series finale, but there's a reason the pop culture zeitgeist is still talking about Lost almost 20-years after it first premiered on ABC in 2004. The pilot remains one of the very best ever created; directed by J.J. Abrams, the first episode masterfully introduces audiences to the survivors of a plane crash on a remote tropical island that contains weird things, like polar bears and smoke monsters tromping around in the forest.
Over six seasons, the series let audiences get to know the survivors intimately through flashbacks to their lives prior to the crash and then watching how they behave in the now. Yellowjackets did their own riff on the traumatic plane crash as it happens storytelling device, but Lost has arguably one of the most harrowing examples of it. And both series do a memorable job of documenting the process of surviving afterwards, the good, the bad and the ugly.
3. The Society
Unfortunately, the twisty Netflix drama, The Society, became a victim of rampant COVID production costs so it only got one season, but it's still worth bingeing.
The sci-fi/horror drama tells the frightening tale of a bus load of West Ham, Connecticut high school students who return from a 10-day field trip to find everyone in their hometown gone. Making it worse, they also discover that all roads are now impassable and their cell phones can't connect to the outside world. While trying to suss out what's happening, the teens break into factions that make surviving just one of their problems. Like Yellowjackets, The Society shines a fascinating light on the complicated underbellies of teen social and gender hierarchies, the messiness of find one's way into adulthood and the drama that ensues. Plus, there's some attempted murder along the way.
4. Station Eleven
This limited series HBOMax adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel's profound novel Station Eleven was a stealth release in December 2021, and audiences slowly but passionately discovered the series, which is so much more than another virus-centric, post-apocalyptic drama.
Station Eleven is similar to Yellowjackets in how they both utilize a narrative that jumps back and forth in time. In this series, it flips between telling backstories from the start of a deadly viral pandemic to stories set 20-years later, as some of the survivors are trying to rebuild society, and its many broken spirits, via a Traveling Symphony. And while weaved throughout the years-spanning narrative is the dark addition of a violent cult led by "The Prophet," which will appeal to those who like their sinister threats, the overall narrative is incredibly hopeful and soul-stirring. The show exalts the healing nature of art and creative expression in bringing people back together. And so, if the nihilism inherent to humanity feels a little too much in the other offerings, Station Eleven is definitely the show that will give you some chills and happy tears in the end.
5. The Wilds
Another series that went a bit under the radar in 2020, The Wilds is very similar in premise to Yellowjackets in that a bunch of teens girls go down in a plane crash and the survivors have to survive in the aftermath. But with The Wilds, it is closer to Lost in that they are all stuck on a remote island with no way to contact the outside world, and unbeknownst to them, their predicament is all part of a closely-monitored social experiment.
The young women are all considered leaders and were heading to an empowerment retreat, so the experiment is being led by the organization holding the event. Liberally using non-linear storytelling, audiences get to see the girls trying to live in the now, some flashbacks prior to the crash, and then — in a very Lost and Yellowjackets move — the narrative shifts to the future, where FBI agents are speaking to the survivors after they've been rescued. The orchestrated nature of the story is the most original aspect of the series, and it posits some fascinating conversation points about the agency of young women, the predisposed ideas about the young and some universal truths that always come out. It has been renewed for a second season on Amazon.