The Wilds vs. Yellowjackets
TV’s two dramas about teen girls stranded by a plane crash aren’t exactly the same—here’s how Amazon Prime Video’s The Wilds compares with SHOWTIME’s Yellowjackets.
SHOWTIME’s Yellowjackets made quite the splash when it premiered in November 2021, thanks mostly to the show’s headlining adult cast (Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, and Melanie Lynskey). But a year before, a similar series about teen girls whose plane crashed in the wilderness debuted on Amazon Prime Video: The Wilds.
Unfortunately, The Wilds was canceled by Prime Video in 2022. Before that, we put together a friendly competition between The Wilds and Yellowjackets: Which has the juiciest teen drama? Which tugs the nostalgia strings better? Which is scarier? Which has the prettier locale scenery? Let’s see who takes the most Ws (warning: spoilers ahead).
Teen drama (winner): The Wilds
Yellowjackets splits its plot time between 1996 and 2021, with storylines about a teen girls’ soccer team plane that crashed in the Canadian wilderness alternating with their adult lives in 2021. The Wilds is almost entirely centered on a group of teenage girls stranded on a Pacific Island—hence, at least 50% more teen drama. Also, The Wilds’ cast is more diverse and complicated.
1990s nostalgia (winner): Yellowjackets
Easy win here: Yellowjackets is all about that ’90s vibe, from Juliette Lewis’s endless supply of grunge T-shirts to the show’s slamming, period-perfect soundtrack (thanks for bringing back Tracy Bonham’s “Mother Mother” and Snow’s “Informer,” Yellowjackets). Few of the cast of The Wilds were even born in the ’90s, so they’ll never fully appreciate flannel shirts and bucket hats.
Conspiratorial intrigue (winner): The Wilds
While there’s a lot going on in Yellowjackets’ storyline (dual storylines, that is), The Wilds features a truly wild tinfoil-hat twist—once again, WE WARN YOU OF SPOILERS. In Season 1, it’s soon revealed that the plane crash was orchestrated and the girls are part of a controlled social experiment being conducted by nefarious forces. It’s like they went full Lost, man.
Scary stuff (winner): Yellowjackets
One word: cannibalism. In the first episode of Yellowjackets Season 1, we get a glimpse of how the ’90s girls are supplementing their wilderness diet . . . by cooking and eating their own. Likewise, Yellowjackets’ survival atmosphere (in both timelines) is more suspenseful and terrifying than that of The Wilds. Christina Ricci is like a one-woman horror movie by herself.
Scenery (winner): The Wilds
There are worse places to be stranded than on a Pacific Island with endless sunny beaches, which makes the locale of The Wilds (filmed in New Zealand) the clear victor here. The dreary and dull backdrop of Yellowjackets (shot in Vancouver and Los Angeles) is no match for the wide-open splendor of The Wilds. Anyone who watches Survivor for the scenery will get it.
Seasons 1-2 of The Wilds are streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Season 2 of Yellowjackets is currently airing on SHOWTIME.