It’s no exaggeration to say that there is no other TV series quite like Showtime’s. yellow jackets. The drama — about a high school girl’s football team who finds herself stranded in the woods for 19 months in the 1990s and the fallout that continues decades later in the present day — makes it clear that cooler TV water is far from en route apart. The series’ mysteries are perfectly plotted so theories abound, but there are just enough answers to keep you coming back for more. The acting, especially from stars Melanie Lynskey, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, Tawny Cypress, Ella Purnell and many newcomers who play young girls, is brilliant. And it doesn’t hurt that the show is packed with compelling characters in both timelines. Also, cannibalism, perhaps?
While the dark world of yellow jackets is a thing in itself, there are sure to be other TV shows out there that could scratch a similar itch – looking for more thrilling mysteries, unsettling survival stories, prickly teens and/or 90s nostalgia? You will find them below.
Looking for more recommendations on what to watch next? We have a ton! We’ve also got handpicked selections based on shows you already love, plus suggestions for what to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV+, and Peacock.
From the pilot episode of yellow jackets, it is clear that this is a show from a flagship series of mystery boxes Lost — and not just because the two kick off with a plane crash that sends a group of people on a crazy journey while fighting for their lives. In six seasons, Lost was a masterclass in how to use multiple timelines to not only surprise and reveal major storylines, but also to develop character. Although not all the pieces of the puzzle have completely worked out (the lost tattoos!), this show surely lives on because of how much we’ve come to know and love the group of castaways thrown onto an island with more secrets. than anyone could have imagined. Once the series was given a firm end date, it got tighter and bolder – time-traveling anyone? – with its mysteries and revelations, while always remembering that the heart of the series are the characters who populate it.
A private plane carrying a group of teenage girls crashes in the desert and they are left to fend for themselves. The premise of this Amazon Original may sound familiar to everyone yellow jackets fan – and the multiple timeline format too – but the women on The Savages are faced with a different kind of obstacle: early on, we learn that their plane crash was staged and they got stranded on this island on purpose; they’re in some sort of social experiment run by mysterious “Dawn of Eve” founder Gretchen Klein (Rachel Griffiths) and their every move is monitored. The angst of adolescence is accentuated in this one – thematically, The Savages talks about the struggles all teenage girls face – and unlike yellow jackets, given that this group of girls are, for the most part, strangers at the start of the show, much of the tension builds around people from very different backgrounds trying to come together to stay alive. While the twist of the premise is revealed in the pilot, there are still plenty of mysteries to ruminate on. Mainly: What happened there on that island?
For a little twist on teens-are-in-charge, lord of the flies screenplay, watch The society. Here, a few busloads of high school students leave town for a school field trip, only to find that everyone has disappeared upon their return to town. Once they discover that their town is surrounded by an endless forest and the outside world seemingly doesn’t exist, well, things get even weirder. Is it purgatory? Some sort of rapture situation? Was this done to them on purpose? While these questions demand answers, more pressing in The societyThe first and, sadly, only season, is how these teenagers will survive on their own. It’s interesting to see the high stakes forcing alliances, people playing surprising roles in this new world order, and teenagers getting into grocery store inventory management. At first things may seem a bit more civilized than they are with the yellow jackets contingent, but it doesn’t take long for things to turn violent and heartbreaking. Plus, teens really love having school dances when they’re dealing with their own mortality. Who knew?
Looking for more mean girls and murder? You will like challenge me, the television series based on Meg Abbott’s novel about the less cheerful side of high school cheerleaders. One of the most compelling aspects of the first season of yellow jackets watched Jackie (Ella Purnell) realize that her queen bee status (pun intended) has no use in the woods and saw the shift in power dynamics between Jackie and her best friend Shauna (Sophie Nelisse). This kind of toxic friendship is at the heart of challenge me, too, with best girl and expert manipulator Beth (Marlo Kelly) and her best friend Addy (Herizen Guardiola). When a mysterious new coach (Willa Fitzgerald) shakes things up both on the team and in Beth and Addy’s relationship, Beth’s worst instincts only get sharper. The series only lasted one season, but that’s enough for a satisfying and shocking takedown (again, expected, you’re welcome).
Two of the funniest parts of yellow jackets are its mystery box framing and 90s nostalgia. There’s heaps of both in Freeform’s surprise hit cruel summer. The teen thriller follows three timelines in 1993, 1994 and 1995 and slowly unfolds the story of two girls, Kate (Olivia Holt) and Jeanette (Chiara Aurelia), bonded by Kate’s kidnapping and the possibility that Jeanette may have to be known something about and did nothing. The show is full of twists and turns and will keep you guessing who to trust until the very end (and then some). Revel in startling revelations, teenage angst and scarves. There are so many necklaces.
Oh, so you want a story that spans multiple timelines, characters you follow through adolescence and adulthood, and shocking revelations that will keep you up at night? Be careful what you wish for. The German Netflix series Dark begins in a fictional present-day German town called Winden, when a young boy goes missing, the search for answers to what happened to him leads to an insane journey through time – no, seriously, you’ll need a visual aid to keep track of who and when everyone is (but, like, in a fun way). The series is about time itself, the impending apocalypse, and the wildest family tree you’ll ever feast on. It’s a mysterious show on steroids and worth any headache it might give you as you try to piece together its very intricate puzzle.
God bless Misty Quigley, the little psycho who gets things done yellow jackets. Are any of these things horrific and deeply disturbing? Yes of course. But Misty is productive nonetheless. Samantha Hanratty, who plays Misty as a teenager, somehow finds a way to make her likable even when, again, she’s doing really psychotic things, but it’s Christina Ricci’s unhinged adult version of Misty that will remain. with you. For more lopsided Christina Ricci, watch The Lizzie Borden Chronicles. The Lifetime series is the sequel to the TV movie Lizzie Borden took an ax, in which Ricci plays the titular Lizzie, a woman who was tried and later acquitted of the murders of her father and stepmother in the late 1800s. The show follows Lizzie’s life after the trial, where she remains an outcast and his guilt is constantly questioned. The series itself leaves something to be desired, but Ricci is a delight. You don’t mess with Misty Quigley and you certainly don’t mess with Lizzie Borden.