For those alive in the 1990s, Yellowjackets is a wash of nostalgia, from the pre-online journals to the guitar fuzz-laden soundtrack. But nothing quite captures the era’s sound like the show’s opening theme song and its VHS magnetic static visuals. But for those who don’t recognize it, here’s everything to know about the Yellowjacketsh theme song — other than how catchy it is.
The premiere episode of Yellowjackets opens in the Canadian wilderness as a terrified teen runs through the snow to her doom. The series then cuts back to a few months earlier, at the Yellowjackets soccer team’s last game of the year, during which their winning play cinches a trip to Nationals. Throughout the episode, fans get to know all the girls (as well as meet the surviving present-day iterations in 2021). And then, as the episode ends, the plane carrying them to Nationals crashes in the wilderness. The girls are lost with no way to contact the outside world, left to become the ritualized cannibalistic tribe of murderers who take out their compatriots for food from the opening scene.
Their “idyllic” pre-crash life is summed up in the series’ opening credit montage, which looks like a mashup of home movie footage set to “No Return” by Craig Wedren and Anna Waronker.
Although the song sounds like a lost deep cut from the ‘90s, it was actually written in the present day, specifically for the show. Both the song’s writers are veterans of the alt-rock ‘90s era though: Wedren is formerly of the post-punk band Shudder To Think, and Waronker was part of the Los Angeles rock band That Dog.
Here's the full effect with the VHS visuals for those who might be skipping the show’s intro on Showtime. (For those obsessed with the show’s Lost-like fan theories, there are several that show up in the opening credits scene, including the eye-less forest creature and the mystery man.)
Yellowjackets is airing weekly on Showtime and is only available to subscribers. (The only place the show is streaming is Showtime’s cord-cutter service, Showtime Anytime.) But with only two episodes to go before Season 1 wraps up, the series is expected to eventually make its way to other services. Fans are expected to be able to watch it as an add-on for Amazon or Hulu and may subsequently be able to watch on Netflix, where Showtime series tend to wind up about six months after their finale airs. Yellowjackets may also turn up on Paramount+, the streaming service owned by Showtime’s parent company, ViacomCBS, but that has not been confirmed.
Yellowjackets Season 1 airs new episodes on Showtime on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET. The full Yellowjackets soundtrack will be available for download starting Jan. 21, 2022.