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Self Portrait in Yellow: A Yellowjackets Video Essay

I didn't so much see myself in "Yellowjackets" as I felt like my memory had been broken into and my ideas and experiences fed back to me by strangers. It was beautiful. It was uncanny. If you could jailbreak a brain like you could an iPod, that's how I felt. 

Some TV is trashy fun, giving you a cavalcade of bad behavior delivered charismatically as a way to escape your humdrum routine. Some TV is well-acted and dramatically serious, giving gravitas to a populist medium usually reserved for throw-away entertainments and time-filling content. Some TV is relatable in its depiction of emotional extremes, in the ways we love and yearn. 

"Yellowjackets" is everything.

It's tawdry and electrifying, bloody and grim, serious and pulpy, tragic and desperate. Every day of the week I have a different favorite element. Right now it's Juliette Lewis' rock star body language, the way she twirls and gestures like Iggy Pop. Tomorrow it might be Liv Hewson's character Van constantly being disfigured by tragedy and they just play it off like a sitcom tic, just one more insult. What a brave and wonderful performance they give. 

"Yellowjackets" wasn't just relatable. It was something more than that. So I'm giving back what it gave me. Here's a huge piece of my life story reflected in a TV show and the films to which it harks back and in my own art, told the only way I know how: in a tangent-heavy video essay. Here's what TV can pull out of you at its free, fearless, pulpy, bloody, nightmarish best. 

Here's to four more seasons. Here's to jumping off that bridge. Here's to feeling alive. Here's to surviving to do it again. 



Scout Tafoya

Scout Tafoya is a critic and filmmaker who writes for and edits the arts blog Apocalypse Now and directs both feature length and short films.

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