‘Yellowjackets’ creators say it’s an ‘honor’ being compared to ‘Lost’
By Dan Heching, CNN
As viewers eagerly await the premiere of “Yellowjackets” Season 2, the showrunners and executive producers for the creepy Showtime hit series are giving props to one of the mystery-driven dramas that came before them.
Ashley Lyle, who also co-created the series with Bart Nickerson, said in an interview with CNN that she “was a little surprised” when viewers started describing “Yellowjackets” Season 1 — which debuted in late 2021 and grew in popularity last year — as “a mystery box show, because we actually never approached it that way.”
Still, that didn’t stop viewers from comparing it to one of the greatest television mysteries of all time, ABC’s landmark series “Lost,” a parallel she said doesn’t bother her.
“It’s still in the cultural conversation,” she said. “It was a seminal show, so how you could ever be offended by being compared to a show like that is a mystery to me.”
Nickerson agreed, saying the comparison is “definitely an honor,” adding that they’re “huge fans” of the series, which ran from 2004-2010.
But while “Lost” and “Yellowjackets” are strikingly similar — both shows deal with the survivors of plane crashes in uncharted territories over different timelines, as well as various unexplained mysteries they must confront in the aftermath — Nickerson said they are unequivocally “different shows.”
Lyle echoed that sentiment, saying they identify “Yellowjackets” as a “psychological horror show” rather than one that was “more of a science fiction show,” according to Lyle.
“I think that we’re trying to do different things and thus the types of mysteries that we will be invoking are going to be very different,” Lyle said.
As for those unexplained mysteries, there are more than several in “Yellowjackets,” from the strange symbol that keeps appearing on trees and elsewhere, to Taissa’s (Tawny Cypress/Jasmin Savoy Brown) sleepwalking bordering on split personality disorder, to whatever the heck is going on with Lottie (Simone Kessell/Courtney Eaton). There is also, of course, the overarching question of “what really happened out there?” — one that was uttered several times in Season 1.
The team behind “Yellowjackets” assures that — perhaps unlike the polarizing wrap-up viewers experienced with “Lost” — there will be at least some closure to all the foggy doings in the “wilderness” by the end of the series.
“Not everything will have a concrete explanation, but I think that anything that can, will,” Lyle said. “There are things in life for which there will never be a concrete explanation, and I think that that’s something that we are also looking to explore.”
Co-showrunner and executive producer Jonathan Lisco, who has also written two episodes of the show, said that the writing team “will have to follow our instincts” when it comes to explaining things and to what extent.
“As an audience member — just to put ourselves in the shoes of the audience for a second — we don’t want to be frustrated, and overly manipulated, we want answers too,” he said.
“But at the same time, the things that really live with you, the shows and movies that really live with you, do have a component of mystery,” Lisco added. “Because otherwise, it does not haunt you, it does not live in your consciousness beyond when you turn it off.”
In terms of haunting, “Yellowjackets” certainly has that covered. The series returns to Showtime on March 24 for streaming and airs March 26 at 9pm ET.
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