“Yellowjackets” follows YA logic unambiguously, from Big Dance to bitter betrayal

He will be a “soft hair, sad eyes poem the boy who ran the school’s morning magazine. . . We will be like full opponents until we are not. “

Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) confesses this to Taissa (Tawny Cypress), imagining what their lives could be like, who they might have fallen in love with, as she makes Taissa’s bed to sleep underneath a poster that reads “HOLD CALM. YOU CAN STAY MARRY HARRY.”

This may be a scene from a best-selling youth novel, but it’s the word “Yellow jacket“, a Showtime series about what happens when a small plane carrying a high school girls’ soccer team crashes in a remote mountain area and there’s no rescue. Stop being polite and start being realistic. Also, cannibalism.

“Yellowjackets” has been the faultless teenager from the start. And it’s not the “Sweet Valley High” teen with the “easygoing” Annie on the cheer team and oh no, Todd has a motorcycle – it’s the drinking in the liquor store parking lot and the potion on the food tray Morning for teenagers. When the majority of the cast is underage girls, there will be magazine and party scenes. But “Yellowjackets” takes it deeper and darker with period scenes and an attempt at an abortion at home.

Being a teenage girl is brutal. Childhood survival is visceral, raw and tough, even if you don’t have to shoot and butcher your own wild game. At a time when the girls in “Yellowjackets” were growing up in the mid-’90s – and to a different extent, now – you too had malice, simply because of the fact that now, have a body.

RELATED: The Overwhelming Secrets of “Yellowjackets”

In 1996, the year the Yellowjackets headed to the national team in Seattle, we had three more years left Britney Spears. Mariah Carey and Celine Dione topped the charts. I saw my first concert at the Colosseum in Columbus (Tori Amos; My friend Brad’s dad drove us over and waited for us during the show), and Fiona Apple released her first album “Tidal”. The 18-year-old, who struggled with an eating disorder after being raped at 12 years old, felt pressured to see and act in a certain way in her first music video. The New Yorker labeled her as “underfed“while the New York Times calls her”a party girl in the suburbs of Lolita-ish. “

John Grisham, Danielle Steel and Michael Crichton make the bestseller lists, but teen books are a smaller but growing category. We’re only a few years away from “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games.” I devoured all of Christopher Pike’s teen horror books, with covers of crescent moons that I had to hide from my mother. After winning a writing contest awarded by a writer Richard Peck, who has always supported a young writer, I have also read all of his novels.

Many YA books “a single problem”, stories related to a Dad died or survived the rape – but I have never read so realistically, so intensely, teen previous problems. Can you write about what happened to you? As a teenage girl – many of Peck’s compelling storytellers are young women – could your story matter?

In the years since, YA has become a big business, selling 5 million books in two thousand and thirteen to a whopping 10 million books last year, with many principles YA title sales soar for TikTok Reservations. In 1996, five “Yellow Vests” planes never reached national citizens, Meg Whalen Turner’s YA book “The Thief” is one best seller, and while the girls in blue and yellow may not read teen hits of that year (I know in my school we are more likely to be labeled “Lord of the Flies” than any living writer), the show definitely uses Reasonable of the YA novel.

The central tenet of writing for children or adolescents? Get out of the way for adults. Adults are useless, and nothing slows down a story faster than a parent’s unit. Growing up, most of my favorite novels focused on orphans: “Anne of Green Gables,” “Emily of New Moon,” “The Boxcar Children.” “Yellowjackets” applies this principle to a plane crash that quickly kills almost all of the adults. The sole adult survivor, Coach Ben (Steven Krueger) lost a leg in the accident, and while doing his best on makeshift crutches, he has limited mobility and impact. When challenging and rhetorical Laura Lee (Jane Widdop) asks him, when he says he forbids her from flying an ancient seaplane out of the woods, “What would you do to stop me, Coach? ?”

Laura Lee believes she is The One, the singular and unlikely chosen to save them all, a story familiar to readers of “Harry Potter, “” The Hunger Games “,” Percy Jackson “and an entire library of youth literature. She was saved from drowning and saved in a religious sense – it was at this moment that she believed” purpose”. But things don’t go as she planned.

Some of the most popular YA’s have a hint of romance, and if you thought that wouldn’t happen in a group of just one older teenage boy (Kevin Alves as Travis), you’d be wrong. It could be that, as Sunday’s episode “Doomcoming” shows us, some kind of mushroom-fueled frenzy that causes the group to start cannibals in the first place, like the worst performance of “” A Midsummer’s Night Dream” ever.

From goalkeeper Van (who was not required to jump before impact, as she cares) do Liv Hewson, finds what appears to be really intense love with teen Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) with Misty’s (Samantha Lynne Hanratty) nausea and a crush on Coach, love is the air, along with perhaps the snow. “Yellowjackets” features one of the most classic YA romance storylines: lovers’ enemies as Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) and Travis compete to be the hunters for the group. It’s a slippery slope from a gunfight along the lines of the movie “The Favourite,” furiously working together reluctantly, then plunging into the wreckage of an airplane.

The show also features the traditional love triangle seen in YA from “Twilight” to “City of Bones.” Maybe in “Yellowjackets” it’s more like a love rhombus – I don’t know; I’m reading “The Clan of the Cave Bears” in the back of my textbook in Geometry – but we have the ghostly shadow of a love triangle between Shauna (Sophie Nélisse), Jackie (Ella Purnell) and Jeff (Jack DePew) in his hometown.

Then, when Jackie finds out while reading Shauna’s diary that her best friend is sleeping with her boyfriend (in the car! So YA!), we have a love triangle between Jackie, Travis and Natalie, as Jackie tries to somehow punish Shauna and Jeff in his absence by manipulating a completely different pair. In a sense, we also have a love triangle between Misty, Coach, and Coach’s boyfriend, Paul, at least in Misty’s mind. Poor Paul.

Speaking of Coach and Misty, here we have the classic YA plot about fake dating. You probably know it from Jenny Han’s book “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” which was adapted into a Netflix series starring Lana Condor. In “Yellowjackets”, Trainer pretends to reciprocate Misty’s feelings for him to avoid being poisoned by her again. Good luck with that.

A big part of the penultimate episode is THE BIG DANCE. Several “Sweet Valley High” books have literally written about this one event. The girls discover that Mari (Alexa Barajas) has left some rotten berries into homemade wine. “If we’re drinking, let’s have a party,” Jackie explains. “We have dresses, we have wine. We can decorate.” Teens need more than that to throw an airplane, especially when no parent is at home in the cabin.

Jackie spoke to the enthusiasm of the Ohio college student, who once hosted a series of house parties called Fugitive Festival after classes were canceled due to an armed bank robber on campus. After all, the full moon is approaching, and the girls know this and know that it is a cause for celebration that hints at unraveling their myth.

In “Doomcoming,” so named by sly Lottie (Courtney Eaton), the girls begin to decorate their dance like high school students, twisting twigs and leaves into decorations. gorgeous, homemade from the Caboodles they pack. The event itself is eerily beautiful, and before it turns chaotic, sad. The girls, in dresses they brought to an awards party they would never have attended, stepped into streamers made out of rags. Taissa had made suitable “Ghost in the Theater” type masks for Van and herself, so Van, badly scarred from the attack of the wolf that nearly killed her, felt more at ease.

You can be yourself in the forest. You can love the person you love. You can be something else too, as the girls, led by Van’s primordial anguished scream, join the howls of the approaching wolves. If you can’t beat them, join them. Shroom will help.

And groups, we know from books like William Golding’s maybe-should-be-regarded-YA tome and from life, capable of doing terrible things.

Trauma often freezes you at the right moment, at your age when it happens. Take Shauna’s adult diaries, still kept and protected by her after all these years; Misty’s adults have cartoon-themed scrubs and child-like looks. And the immature reactions of the whole group of adults. When Natalie (Juliette Lewis) can’t get the candy out of the vending machine, she throws a fire extinguisher over it. When Misty (Christina Ricci) witnesses Natalie about to use again, ride or die Misty (emphasis on death) rushes in and takes the potion herself.

And when a man hurts her, betrays her trust, Shauna actually transforms into her child, Lynskey’s character back to Nélisse. It was the scared teenage Shauna stabbing him, not the real adult doing the action. It makes sense that YA and its many emotionally-heavy themes would be included in “Yellowjackets” – teen stories, about teenagers, would be rules, unwritten or not, sentences. this is still going on.

Like the end of one of my beloved Christopher Pike books, in which many teenagers die but others go on to live, mature Misty skips her time living in the wilderness in chipper style , typical separation. “It’s not so bad,” Misty said. “We’re all friends.”

More stories like these:

https://www.salon.com/2022/01/10/yellowjackets-ya-young-adult-showtime/ “Yellowjackets” follows YA logic unambiguously, from Big Dance to bitter betrayal

Caroline Bleakley

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