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Yellowjackets' Co-Creator Ashley Lyle Says Season 2 Pressure Is Soul-Crushing

Few shows airing their first seasons blew up with the fervor that "Yellowjackets" garnered in 2022. The grisly wilderness survival story didn't just capture viewers' imaginations by promising to turn a group of teenage girls into cannibals; it also enamored those watching by showing the long-term ramifications that this kind of trauma has on the survivors.

While the first season of "Yellowjackets" had plenty of shocking moments, Season 2 promises to go even harder, with the first trailer confirming that the series is set to go full cannibal cult with its sophomore effort. That isn't to suggest that the creators of the popular Showtime series didn't feel the mounting pressure to outdo Season 1, though.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, "Yellowjackets" co-creator Ashley Lyle was frank about how it felt to follow up such a big first season. "I describe it as soul-crushing," Lyle said. "I think we came out of nowhere for a lot of people." Many industry insiders would probably say that's an understatement considering how quickly the show became a social media sensation. Still, Lyle and her co-creator Bart Nickerson had more to say about the weight they felt as they dived into Season 2.

The Yellowjackets co-creators say the pressure was palpable

Ashley Lyle remembered getting some advice from actor Jason Segel before the first episode of "Yellowjackets" aired. Unfortunately, even he didn't realize how big the series would become. "Before it premiered, Jason Segel told us, 'Don't worry! There are three or four shows that everyone talks about and loves," Lyle recalled. "'There are three or four shows that everyone talks about and f***ing hates. The other 595 fall right in the middle. Find a little audience, and it's fine,'" the actor told her. "We thought we'd be one of those, so this season feels different," Lyle said.

With the number of new shows coming and going regularly across the many streaming services and traditional television, it's easy to see why the "Yellowjackets" co-creators thought their series might fall somewhere between the two extremes. While it's a great thing to have your show turn into an unexpected hit, that also comes with a lot of pressure, though Bart Nickerson said this was par for the course.

"As a very insecure person, everything I've ever written has been such a terrifying experience that this actually doesn't feel any different," Nickerson explained. "It takes me forever to send an email, so I live in that baseline of pressure." With Season 2 of "Yellowjackets" set to start airing this Sunday, hopefully, the follow-up can stand up to this level of personal and professional scrutiny.