Teenage girls are often associated with paranormal phenomena. One idea goes that the hormones, the electricity, of being an adolescent girl causes or attracts poltergeists. The internal tornado of teenage emotions certainly feels like it should be strong enough to fling things around the room. Like every girl is Carrie if pushed to her limits.
Groups of girls, together, can also create a frenzy of energy greater than the sum of its parts. Mass “hysteria” makes it sound like a female failure, rather than what it actually is: a terrifying power. Some theorize that the girls at the center of the Salem Witch Trials were swept up in such a shared fervor, believing there was witchcraft all around them. (When I try to imagine what it might have been like to be a seventeenth-century teenager at what felt like the edge of the known universe, a harmonizing freakout among peers doesn’t seem implausible).
Being teens at the edge of the universe is the fate of the girls in the TV show Yellowjackets, which recently ended its second season. To summarize the concept: in the mid-1990s, a girls high school soccer team from New Jersey, is heading to a competition in Seattle. But their plane crashes somewhere in the woods in Canada. The survivors are stuck trying to make it through months in the wilderness. They dissolve into a distaff Lord of the Flies, with a dose of the supernatural.
Leaning into 90s nostalgia, the opening credits sequence is made up of retro video footage, jumping between school scenes and creepier images, reminding viewers of Reality Bites (and the Blair Witch Project), all played over music that sounds like the theme from Daria in a darker key. The casting reinforces the theme, with 90s It-Girls Juliette Lewis and Christina Ricci, plus Melanie Lynskey, who first came to fame as a teenage girl in a murderous folie a deux in 1994’s Heavenly Creatures. Alanis Morissette even sings the theme in some episodes, completing the vibe.
The group that survives the plane crash isn't entirely female: there are two teenage boys (sons of a coach), and a junior male PE teacher. (This is in itself something of a plot hole. There is no way these girls would have taken such a trip without some women chaperones. A female teacher, a coach, or someone's mother would have been on that plane).
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