The best show on Showtime — sorry, “Billions” — is finally back after being off the air for over a year. “Yellowjackets” caught many by surprise when it debuted in 2021, keeping viewers enthralled with gripping episodes that never revealed more than necessary. With many unresolved plotlines at the end of the first season, expectations are high for season two. But you’ll have to wait to get the whole story.
Showtime releases episodes one at a time like it’s still the ’90s, with the second season expected to end on May 14. There’s nothing we can do about episode release schedules, but we can recommend similar shows. So if you need your survival mystery fix between “Yellowjackets” episodes, these are the shows you should watch.
‘Class of ’07’ (2023)
This new Amazon Prime Video series shares a great deal with “Yellowjackets.” During a 10-year reunion for an all-girls high school, the night takes a turn when they find the school grounds surrounded by water. The women must live and work together to survive after getting stuck on the newly formed island. Being trapped on an island can bring out the worst in people, but it’s much worse when people have a history dating back to high school.
If you’re in the mood for more “Yellowjackets,” this show can be a great palate cleanser, taking a lighthearted approach that makes for a fun time. You probably won’t recognize the all-Australian cast except for Emily Browning, who was most recently in “The Affair” and “American Gods.”
“Class of ’07” is available on Amazon Prime Video, which has some of the best shows and movies.
‘Sonny Boy’ (2021)
In this anime, a group of teenagers disappears into another dimension one summer day. With no clear way to return home, they have to figure out how to survive and make it back. Within this reality, there are two locations where the students spend their time: a high school that seems to be drifting in space and a verdant island. After some of the students gain powers, the group dynamics shift. If you’re looking for a high school drama, “Sonny Boy” is a good option with a supernatural twist.
The first season of “Sonny Boy” is streaming on Crunchyroll.
‘The Wilds’ (2020 to 2022)
Before “Yellowjackets,” there was “The Wilds,” an Amazon Prime Video original. Like “Yellowjackets,” “The Wilds” is about a group of teenage girls stranded in the wild after their plane crashes. Also like “Yellowjackets,” “The Wilds” transitions between scenes in the wild and scenes that happen before and after the crash, developing the characters through flashbacks and unraveling the mystery of their plane crash with flashforwards. The show continues with a second season, introducing a group of boys on the island after the girls have left. Unfortunately, the series was canceled in 2022 after just two seasons, but with so many similarities to “Yellowjackets,” it’s a great pick if you want more of the same.
“The Wilds” is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
‘Big Little Lies’ (2017 to 2019)
In “Big Little Lies,” a group of women who mostly hate each other form a lifelong bond after witnessing — and partaking in — a traumatic event. Sound familiar? Take away the plane crash and wilderness survival, and you have “Yellowjackets.” The women in “Big Little Lies” live in picturesque Monterey, California, where their kids attend the same school. The inciting incident happens when one woman’s kid blames another kid for bullying. The kid didn’t do it, but people believe he did because his mom, who’s a single parent, is not wealthy like the other moms. Moms take sides, grievances escalate, and tensions rise with each snipe and fake smile. When the plot reaches a boiling point, however, the group turns to each other, forming a bond out of necessity that turns into a true friendship.
The first season was perfect with not much fat to trim, which makes sense because it was initially supposed to be a miniseries. After its unexpected success, HBO decided to continue the story with a second season that saw the women deal with the fallout of the first season. The second season wasn’t as good, but it’s still worth watching. Sadly, the show never got a chance to finish the story with a third season.
“Big Little Lies” is available to stream on Max.
‘Assassination Classroom’ (2013 to 2016)
A classroom setting in an anime series is as commonplace as it gets, but there’s nothing ordinary about “Assassination Classroom.” In this far-fetched series, a tentacled being destroys the moon and threatens to destroy the planet unless someone can kill him. The monster, who goes by Koro-sensei, becomes the homeroom teacher of class 3-E at Kunugigaoka, where he teaches students assassination techniques. Assassination theory is one thing, but doing it is another — especially when your target is a tentacled being with superpowers.
What ties this show to “Yellowjackets” is that it’s a group of teenagers working toward a single, morally dubious goal. Despite the name, “Assassination Classroom” is a good time, with lots of humor.
The first season of “Assassination Classroom” is streaming on Crunchyroll. Check out our Crunchyroll review to see if the streaming service is worth getting.
‘Lost’ (2004 to 2010)
“Lost” is one of those shows that kicked off the golden era of television in the early 2000s, when streaming services hadn’t yet eradicated appointment television. People were glued to the TV when “Lost” was on, and the show still has a significant impact today, influencing contemporary series like “Yellowjackets” and others. The show ended controversially, but it did a lot to establish the survival-thriller genre, mixing in mysterious and supernatural elements along with the drama.
“Lost” launched J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof’s careers. Abrams later wrote and directed two “Star Wars” films, two “Star Trek” films, and the cult hit TV series “Fringe.” Lindelof created “The Leftovers” and “Watchmen” series, considered some of the best shows on Max.
You can stream all six seasons of “Lost” on Hulu.