‘Yellowjackets’ Buzzes With New Jersey Connections

With the Garden State's Tawny Cypress and Christina Ricci starring, the cannibalistic thriller has already been renewed for a second season.

Yellowjackets cast, New Jersey
The Yellowjackets cast from left: Christina Ricci, Steven Krueger, Samantha Hanratty, Tawny Cypress, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Juliette Lewis, Sophie Thatcher, Melanie Lynskey, Sophie Nélisse, Ella Purnell, Warren Kole. Courtesy of Showtime Networks/Photofest

Yellowjackets, a new Showtime drama, tells the story of a fictional New Jersey high school girls’ soccer team that survives a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness. The creepy, time-jumping thriller doesn’t exactly reflect real life in New Jersey—the plot centers on the teenagers’ devolution into rival, cannibalistic clans while also tracking the present-day lives of those involved—but it is loaded with links to the Garden State.

The hit show, whose Season 1 finale airs on Sunday, January 16 at 10 pm ET, even name-drops New Jersey Monthly in its pilot—with some good-natured shade thrown our way. “This is a profile in Jersey Monthly, not Italian Vogue,” actress Tawny Cypress’s character, the politically ambitious Taissa Turner, snips during a nerve-wracking photoshoot.

But would those writers in Milan know that Cypress is a Point Pleasant native? Or that Christina Ricci, who plays the conniving Misty Quigley, grew up in Montclair? Yellowjackets co-creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson have deep New Jersey ties as well, hailing from Belmar and Middletown, respectively.


Yellowjackets premiered in November, capturing audiences with a nightmarish, flash-forwarding opening sequence that strongly suggested the main characters will resort to eating human flesh in ritualistic fashion. Episodes centered on more traditional means of survival—plus a healthy dose of teenage drama—all the while foreshadowing that something far more sinister and mysterious was imminent in both of the show’s timelines.

“The truth is, the plane crashed. A bunch of my friends died,” Melanie Lynskey’s character, the adult version of Shauna Shipman, says in the Season 1 trailer. “And then the rest of us starved and scavenged and prayed until they finally found us.”

“I think we both know there’s more to it than that,” an unseen woman replies.

Yellowjackets has been renewed for a second season, so Sunday’s finale will not be the last we see of the hungry soccer players from the fictional town of Wiskayok, NJ. Instead, it appears this tale is just getting started.

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