Ever since the Critics Choice Awards started honoring television fare in 2011, they’ve had an eye on the future. The Broadcast Television Journalists Association clearly gets a kick out of rewarding up-and-coming shows for their first seasons. Three freshman dramas — “Homeland,” “Mr. Robot” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” — won Best Drama Series here before going on to take top Emmys. And Showtime’s buzzed-about “Yellowjackets” could be the next. It recently reaped Critics Choice bids for Best Drama Series and Best Drama Actress (Melanie Lynskey).
This acclaimed drama created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson (“The Originals”) tells the story of a girls soccer team who survived a plane crash in 1996. The program also chronicles their current lives in 2021, with experienced actresses portraying their adult counterparts. Sophie Nélisse and Lynskey play Shauna, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Tawny Cypress play Taissa, Sophie Thatcher and Juliette Lewis play Natalie, and Sammi Hanratty and Christina Ricci play Misty.
In Best Drama Series, “Yellowjackets” competes against another newcomer “Squid Game,” plus season 2 of “Evil” and “For All Mankind,” season 3 of “Pose” and “Succession” and season 5 of “The Good Fight” and “This Is Us.”
For Best Drama Actress, Lynskey faces off against Uzo Aduba (“In Treatment”), Chiara Aurelia (“Cruel Summer”), Christine Baranski (“The Good Fight”), Katja Herbers (“Evil”) and Michaela Jae Rodriguez (“Pose”). Of note, Lynskey, Aurelia and Herbers are all celebrating their first bids at the Critics Choice Awards.
“Yellowjackets” scores a perfect 100 at Rotten Tomatoes based on 43 reviews. Lorraine Ali of the LA Times calls it “your next TV obsession” and observes, “casting here alone should win awards for capturing the essence of a decade when raw, untamed and dangerous young women surged to the forefront of music and film.” And Judy Berman of Time notes how it’s a “superb Showtime thriller that riffs on [‘Lord of the Flies’] without repeating it” and proclaims it to be a “rare series whose execution improves upon an already strong premise.”
“Yellowjackets” airs Sunday nights on Showtime after “Dexter: New Blood.” The finale is scheduled for January 16, 2022, so if you haven’t yet checked it out, you have plenty of time to binge Season 1 during the holidays.
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