The wild weirdness of last year’s Yellowjackets looks set to continue with the show’s hotly-anticipated second season.
The unexpectedly brilliant Showtime series follows a group of high school soccer players who, after crash-landing en route to a tournament, must fight to survive in the harsh Canadian wilderness. The show’s focus shifts between the girls’ descent into savagery and their struggle to leave it behind as rescued adults, culminating in a cliff-hanger ending that opens yet more questions about what really went down in the bushes.
By the sounds of things, though, Yellowjackets fans won’t have too long to wait for answers. Co-showrunner Ashley Lyle recently told Variety that shooting on the series’ second season is due to begin in “late summer” (i.e. in the next three months) – despite a very specific production challenge brought about by that imminent schedule.
According to Lyle, Yellowjackets season 2 will “re-visit the winter storyline” teased by the show’s pilot episode, meaning its cast and crew “will have to get very creative on the production front” if they hope to convincingly shoot a winter-set season during summer.
“But we’re starting those production conversations [now] and we have some really amazing and creative people on our team,” Lyle added. “So [there] will be movie magic at play.”
At present, the series’ showrunners “are in the writing process” and are “just getting started on the actual scripts” for new episodes, though Showtime Networks president Gary Levine has previously hinted that the studio is aiming for Yellowjackets season 2 to arrive “at the end of 2022.”
Analysis: bring your jackets for season 2
Spoilers follow for Yellowjackets season 1
Yellowjackets season 1 kicked off with a brief, winter-set flashback sequence showing the remaining survivors – led by an Antler-wearing figure we presume to be Courtney Eaton’s Lottie Matthews – chasing, killing and eating an unidentifiable fellow team member.
The show never catches up to this moment in its debut crop of episodes, but the series finale does close with Lottie ominously performing a Lord of the Flies-esque ritual with a bear’s heart, which suggests we’ll see at least some of the girls going full feral mode in Yellowjackets season 2.
As mentioned, the wilderness-set sequences in the show’s new episodes will also find the stranded team faced with the threat of winter’s icy temperatures. Showrunner Ashley Lyle told Variety that she and the other writers are referring to season 2 as ‘The Winter of Their Discontent,’ implying that the series will be dialling up the danger for its already struggling protagonists.
For our money, this snowy setting will only add yet more gruesome intrigue to Yellowjackets’ simple-but-winning premise. Among the fantasy-filled narratives of last year’s television, Showtime’s gritty drama succeeded by giving audiences a healthy dose of brutal realism. If season 2 continues in the same vein, Yellowjackets has every chance of recapturing its initial popularity.
Yellowjackets is available to stream now on Hulu and Showtime Anytime in the US, and on Sky and Now TV in the UK.