Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Yellowjackets Spinoffs Are A Possibility, But That Would Be A Major Mistake

"Yellowjackets" was an enormous hit when it kicked off its first season on Showtime in 2021, and it was quickly renewed for a second season. There's no official word yet on how long "Yellowjackets" will ultimately run for, but there's clearly a lot to unpack in its story — and, according to the showrunners, it's not out of the question that the story will expand even further.

Asked about spinoffs in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson said they were cautious but open to the idea of a possible spinoff. As THR noted, Chris McCarthy, who's now in charge of Showtime, loves the idea of creating bigger franchises out of its signature properties, and Lyle and Nickerson know this. "We're aware that it's something they're interested in, and we certainly aren't closed off to the idea," Lyle responded. "It would have to make sense. We have a couple of ideas."

Lyle and Nickerson are, to their credit, extremely talented showrunners. This is also a terrible idea. "Yellowjackets" works because it's an insular, specific, and — so far — perfectly planned out narrative. Expanding the universe would be a huge mistake.

What would a Yellowjackets spinoff even be about?

The story of "Yellowjackets" is wildly complicated, but when you distill it down, it can be described in a fairly simple manner. In 1996, a girls' soccer team on a private plane crash-lands in the woods during a cross-country flight and they end up spending nearly two years in the wilderness. In 2021, the adult survivors of the crash grapple with their guilt about what exactly happened in said woods, as well as a whole host of new problems.

So, realistically, where could a spinoff even go? We already have the origin story of the adult characters, which, thanks to the teenage timeline, is told in a much more organic way than most origin stories (see: "Solo," where we were forced to learn that Han Solo got his name because he liked being alone or whatever). There's one girl who got injured before the flight and didn't get on the plane; would the spinoff be about her? Or maybe about the Yellowjackets pre-crash? None of this sounds interesting or like it's worth the effort.

The success of "Yellowjackets" is notable because it's a dark, edgy, and incredibly well-told original story that's also contained. It works great all on its own, so why ruin that? Do we really need a Yellowjackets Cinematic Universe? Hopefully, Lyle and Nickerson will think long and hard about this idea.

Spinoffs can work, but they're rarely necessary

For every "Frasier," there's a "Joey." This is to say that while a spinoff certainly can succeed, it's rare for them to ever be vital to the story at hand. When it comes to "Yellowjackets," it's extremely hard to see how this story could possibly get bigger and still work. To be fair, people probably thought "Better Call Saul" was a terrible idea, until it turned into one of the most critically beloved shows on television and more than lived up to its predecessor, "Breaking Bad."

Whether or not anyone needed "Better Call Saul," though, is up for debate. No offense to the great Bob Odenkirk, but the world would have kept turning on its axis if Vince Gilligan and his team had left well enough alone. The other issue here is that "Yellowjackets" — more so than either "Better Call Saul" or "Breaking Bad" — is a full-on mystery box show. It's going to need a very specific, finely-tuned narrative clearly mapped out from beginning to end. It's hard to see how a spinoff wouldn't interfere with this planning, particularly if one was to begin during the run of "Yellowjackets."

"Yellowjackets" is an amazing show that's adored by its fans, but the chances are a spinoff would only end up being a disappointment. For this show, it seems like it's best to let sleeping dogs lie and just enjoy what we've got.