12 Dark and Twisty Genre Shows Like YELLOWJACKETS

Yellowjackets has rightfully taken the internet and TV lovers by storm. The queer teen girl twist on Lord of the Flies is a wild genre-mashup that has kept us guessing. But as season one comes to an end, and we wait for season two of Yellowjackets, you might be in need of some new twisty, addictive TV. And, of course, we’ve got you covered. From unexpected dystopias to arthouse serial killers, from time loop trendsetters to the original genre-bending primetime show, there’s all kinds of brilliant TV to help fill that Yellowjackets-shaped hole in your life. Here are the best shows like Yellowjackets for fans to enjoy.

The Wilds

Where to watch The Wilds: Amazon Prime

If the female-led twist on Lord of the Flies is what originally drew you to Yellowjackets, then head over to Amazon Prime. Last year the service delivered its own brutal and beautiful take on teenage girlhood in which a group of brilliant young women is stranded on an island. The central mystery here, though, is how and why they ended up there. While that’s an intriguing hook, the real power of The Wilds comes from the heartbreaking flashbacks, which argue that the horrors of being a teenage girl are far worse than their new island reality.

Station Eleven
Himesh Patel and Matilda Lawler stand next to a window in Station Eleven. Station Eleven is definitely a show like Yellowjackets.
Ian Watson/HBO Max

Where can you stream Station Eleven: HBO Max

Based on Emily St. John Mandel’s bestselling novel of the same name, Station Eleven is a surprisingly hopeful pandemic-set TV series. Like Yellowjackets, it spans two eras; here, it’s the early days of a deadly pandemic and 20 years later. While there is death and destruction and sickness, this is really a show about how the human spirit can survive through art and creativity. This is a timely and sprawling take on apocalyptic fiction, starring an impressive and eclectic ensemble cast featuring Himesh Patel, Mackenzie Davis, Lori Petty, and Gael García Bernal.

The Silent Sea

Where to watch The Silent Sea: Netflix

Even before the sensational success of Squid Game, Netflix had become a hub for brilliant South Korean programming. The Silent Sea is one of their newest offerings. Starring Bae Doona, this is an existential science fiction series that delivers thought-provoking scares. In a distant future, an elite team is sent on a 24-hour emergency mission to the moon. The goal: to retrieve classified specimens from an abandoned research base. The already perilous mission turns deadly when they make an unexpected and terrifying discovery.

Hannibal and holds Will's head in his hands. Hannibal is definitely a show like Yellowjackets.
NBC Universal

Where to watch Hannibal: Amazon Prime

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Hannibal here at Nerdist. Bryan Fuller’s horror masterpiece is still a high point for genre TV, and when we first watched Yellowjackets, it gave us big Hannibal vibes. So yes, it’s the perfect time to lose yourself in the kaleidoscopic arthouse horror of FBI consultant Will Graham who is hired to help solve a series of grisly murders. Unbeknownst to him, his colleague psychologist and amateur gourmand Hannibal Lecter also has a passion for murder. This is the most original procedural of all time, and it’s really gay. This show is one of the best out there, and it’s just like Yellowjackets in so many ways. So go forth and feast!

Russian Doll

Where to watch Russian Doll: Netflix

There’s no show quite like Russian Doll. Though the series has a recognizable setup—someone stuck reliving the same day again and again—Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, and Amy Poehler’s creation brings layers and depth to the trope that make it truly unique. Nadia (Lyonne) dies on her 36th birthday, but every time her life ends, she wakes up in her friend’s bathroom at her own birthday party. Hilarious, dark, psychological, and surprisingly relatable, this mind-bending drama delivers one of the most satisfying full-season watching experiences of recent years.

A still from Luther shows Idris Elba as the titular corrupt cop standing in front of the London Skyline

Where to watch Luther: Hulu

While Luther might seem like your average procedural, it’s actually so much more. Idris Elba anchors this absolutely wild series about a dirty London detective who struggles to follow the rules as he faces more and more unhinged criminals. As you delve deeper into Luther, you’ll find some of the most horrifying serial killers and unforgettable fictional fiends around. Not to mention a charming Hannibal Lecter-level sociopath in Ruth Wilson’s delightful Alice Morgan. Basically, if you want a crime show that’ll give you nightmares and that flagrantly disrespects all laws, watch this.

Brand New Cherry Flavor

Where to watch Brand New Cherry Flavor: Netflix

Need more blood-soaked ’90s nostalgia in your life? Then Brand New Cherry Flavor is your perfect Yellowjackets follow-up. Following Lisa N. Nova (Rosa Salazar), a young filmmaker heading to LA to make her debut feature, this surreal and atmospheric series has bite. Lisa soon discovers that the industry is cutthroat, and after being betrayed by someone she trusted, Lisa’s sent on a spiral of “sex, magic, revenge—and kittens.” We can’t imagine a show that sounds more like it would speak to Yellowjackets fans than that.

A promo shot from the Netflix K-Drama Hellbound reveals a man running from giant demons

Where to watch Hellbound: Netflix

Based on the webtoon by Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho, Hellbound balances dark supernatural horror with the more mundane yet equally dangerous horrors of man. It’s that juxtaposition that’ll sit so well with fans of Yellowjackets. Another show that plays with dueling timelines, Hellbound takes place in both 2027 and 2030 in a world where demons are real, and humans are taking advantage of these strange new occurrences. Hellbound doesn’t hold back as it explores the nightmare of fanaticism and cults, alongside the monsters and mayhem.

Twin Peaks

Where to watch Twin Peaks: Paramount Plus

We can’t talk about genre-bending shows without mentioning Twin Peaks. David Lynch’s surreal soap opera shocked broadcast TV viewers in the ’90s and is still just as impactful today. Beginning with the death of a young woman named Laura Palmer, Lynch introduces us to the world of Twin Peaks. But what begins as a simple murder mystery soon turns into something far more experimental and strange. This is the kind of unsettling and surprising television that rarely makes it onto our screens, so grab a slice of cherry pie and lose yourself in Twin Peaks.

The Haunting of Bly Manor
Dani and Jamie in the garden in The Haunting of Bly Manor. The Haunting of Bly Manor is definitely one of several shows like Yellowjackets.

Where to watch The Haunting of Bly Manor: Netflix

Mike Flanagan broke all our hearts with his brutal take on Shirley Jackson’s horror tales. And in his follow-up focusing on the writings of Henry James, he delivered a slow-burn queer gothic romance for the ages. If Yellowjacket’s queer horror chops are what enticed you to the show, then Bly Manor will likely sate your appetite. Using the Turn of the Screw for its main setup, we meet Dani (Victoria Pedretti), a young woman running from her past. She sees a role as a live-in nanny as a perfect escape but soon finds that things in her new home are not as they seem. The supernatural horror, the notion of found family, and more make this one of the best shows most like Yellowjackets. 

A promo image from the British TV series Misfits shows a group of teenagers wearing orange jumpsuits looking sassy

Where to watch Misfits: Hulu

An underrated British gem, Misfits might be one of the best TV shows ever made. A group of British teens doing community service get superpowers during a storm and have to learn to live with them. These aren’t your CW-type teens, though. They’re gross, rude, violent, and crass. Plus, their superpowers are hardly the kind you’d wish for. Misfits has everything you’d want from a sci-fi fantasy but never thought you could get: romance, murders, vengeance, jokes about the terrible kind of sex you can only have as a teenager. This is truly a unique superhero show.


Where to watch Dark: Netflix

This humanist take on the time-travel story is one of Netflix’s most lauded cult hits. Set in the small German town of Winden, this is an intergenerational tale of four families. Often suggested for Stranger Things fans, we also feel this show is like Yellowjackets in many ways. There’s much-enchanted darkness to be found in Dark. Dark takes many existential turns as we explore the disappearance of a young man called Mikkel Nielsen. There are striking similarities between his missing person case and that of his uncle 33 years ago… But how are they connected? And what does it all mean?

Featured Image: Showtime

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