The Gaps in The “Yellowjackets” Storyline

Over the course of the past two years, as we have all been home because of the pandemic, I’ve been consuming a lot of movies and TV. I have been diligent about checking out reviews and listening to critics before diving into new TV shows because I already am ‘in deep’ on too many TV shows. Whenever I engaged in any of the many ‘prestige’ television shows that are out there, a key criteria is the legitimacy and believability of the storyline relative to the premise of the show. And what I mean by this is the following: if, for example, a show is based on a fantasy premise, then it needs to effectively create the world-view that you are entering and set the proper context and boundaries in which the fantasy can operate within before it becomes truly unbelievable to the viewer. Similarly with ‘real world’ stories, the same thing applies. The story needs to be rooted in reality and clearly be cognizant of the timeframe and context in which it is set.

One show I have recently been watching is “Yellowjackets” on Showtime. The show’s storyline centers on what happens in the 25 years since a plane crash stranded a fictitious 1996 NJ high school girls soccer team in the wilderness after they won the state championship and were heading to Seattle to participate in a national high school soccer tournament (i.e. a tournament that presumably includes each state’s high school champion). The show is really good and does a great job of balancing the storylines of what has become of the survivors in present day 2021 and the closely held secrets of what really happened to the survivors in the wilderness back in 1996.

As good as the show and the acting is, there are a few glaring gaps with the 1996 portion of the storyline that I just can not get past. I’m going to do my best not to spoil anything about the show.

  • The show says that the survivors of the crash are stranded in the wilderness for 19 months. There is no part of me that would believe that a plane full of upper-middle class (mostly) white girls from a seemingly well-off suburban NJ town would be left out in the wilderness for almost two years. I went to a soccer crazy high school in a town very similar to the one portrayed in the 1996 storyline of “Yellowjackets” and there is no way on earth that parents in the town would have let this go without a full-on 24/7 search and rescue effort until the crash site was discovered.
  • Also depicted in the 1996 storyline are several pretty severe injuries from those that survived the crash – both as a direct result of the crash and from attacks from wildlife in the area where they were stranded. I honestly don’t buy that those that suffered these injuries would have recovered the way they did in the show. The injuries were just too bad, and it would have been too easy for things to go sideways.
  • As is well documented, the show says that the plane crashed ‘in the wilderness of Ontario’ as a result of the pilots having to fly further north than the normal route to Seattle in order to avoid a severe storm. The storm that they were avoiding must have been some sort of super storm because after looking at typical flight paths from Newark to Seattle, they would have really had to go far out of their way to be routed over that area of Canada. Further, the wilderness depicted in the show at the crash site seemed much more in keeping with the terrain of the Canadian Rockies compared to Ontario.
  • I really wish the show did more to bring in the storyline of what was happening in NJ in the weeks or months after the accident. It would have been much more realistic to engage with the families back in NJ and to understand what they were doing to try to determine what happened to the team and their plane. It is such a major gap in the show. Maybe the show-runners did not feel that they could effectively juggle three major story arch’s (1996 crash site, the 1996 families trying to find their kids, and the survivors living ‘today’ in 2021) and while I can appreciate that, you don’t need to look too much further than ‘Game of Thrones’ to see how a show has deftly threaded a similar needle. They could have, for example, dedicated one ‘stand alone’ episode within the season to the families at home in NJ and how they were coping and trying to solve finding the plane. They could have extended the season from 10 to 12 episodes to accommodate the same. There were several options available it would seem to me.

The acting in this show is really good, and there has been a lot of speculation as to where the story will go in its second season. There are some serious “Lost” vibes being bantered about in online forums – mainly due to several ‘cult’ like and super-natural themes that are presented early on and via one key character. Definitely check the show out! Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I am and you can get past the concerns I have noted!

Ted Lasso AFC Richmond Wallpapers

As with many folks out there binging anything worthwhile on TV and streaming services, I finally got around to watching Ted Lasso on Apple TV+. When I first saw the promos and trailers for the series, I was as skeptical as many other folks out there. The history of television shows that have mutated from advertising campaigns (NBC originally used the Ted Lasso character to promote their coverage of the English Premier League football) is not a pleasant story – see: ABC’s Cavemen via Geico. Yet somehow, Apple TV+ and the show runners have figured out something that works – what a fun, enjoyable, and entertaining series.

So, in honor of the show and its fictitious EPL club AFC Richmond, and the fact that I have a disturbing habit/hobby of making desktop wallpapers of actual EPL clubs, I share with you AFC Richmond Home and Away desktop wallpapers to be downloaded and used to your heart’s content. Like all the others I create, the wallpaper dimensions are 2560 x 1440 pixels and you can drag/drop or download them right to your desktop. You will also be able to find these in the “Television” tab of the Movies, TV & Misc. collection of Wallpapers on my site.

For the AFC Richmond Home kit, I created two versions – one with the red/yellow stripe offset right to mimic the actual kit layout in the show, while the logo is in the center of the wallpaper. The other version has the red/yellow stripe centered with the logo, to mimic how the logo overlays the stripe on the show’s kit. Different folks will have different preferences, so I thought I’d just do it both ways.

AFC Richmond – Home (Offset Vertical Stripe)
AFC Richmond – Home (Centered Vertical Stripe)
AFC Richmond – Away
AFC Richmond – Training (Practice)

How The USMNT Played Itself Out of the World Cup

In the span of an evening earlier this week, as I am sure you may be aware, the US Men’s National Soccer Team was eliminated from the 2018 World Cup. Just about everything that needed to go wrong for the USMNT, did. The NY Times broke down the evening, minute by excruciating minute.

It’s all over but the shouting now, and Americans are doing most of that. In a split second, a difficult feat, qualifying for the World Cup, that has become something of a birthright for a generation of United States fans has vaporized.

I’ve read several articles about this fiasco over the past few days and the POV that resonated with me was that US soccer needed something like this to happen to deliver a cold wake up call to the US National program. After so many years of progress, having a result like this should serve as a top to bottom five alarm fire that US Soccer needs to get it’s shit together.

Source: How the United States Missed the World Cup, Minute by Minute – The New York Times

It’s Been A While

After a whopping 51 years in England’s lower football (soccer) division, Cardiff City has finally been promoted to England’s Premier League. Cardiff was a team that had deep financial issues not too long ago.

It is a remarkable accomplishment because the club was nearly bankrupt more than a year ago. In three of the last four seasons, Cardiff got tantalizingly close to promotion from the League Championship, only to fall short in the promotion playoffs. Those failures were called “doing the Cardiff. With Tuesday’s result, a point from a scoreless draw with Charlton Athletic, the club can bury the phrase and look forward to resuming the fierce Welsh derby with Swansea, which was promoted two years ago.

They are kind of like the Red Sox of the EPL.

via NYTimes.

Goaaaaaal

Lionel Messi, the brilliant striker for Barcelona, broke the club’s all time record for goals scored last night in spectacular fashion, netting a hat trick (his 10th of the season).

To put this in perspective, Messi has scored 235 goals for Barcelona and he is all of 24 years old. The previous record for Barcelona, held by Cesar Rodriguez, took 11 years to accomplish while Messi took barely 6.

Via Bleacher Report.

Two Sport Star

It appears that Chad Johnson/Ochocinco is taking his skills to Kansas City for a tryout with Sporting KC of the MLS. This got me to thinking about an article from Bill Simmons at ESPN from a few years ago when he mused about a US sports bizarro world where our best athletes would be funneled towards soccer the way they are in European and South American countries. He imagined a scenario where Allen Iverson was playing soccer and claimed (not too far fetched, in my opinion) that Iverson could have been one of the greatest soccer players in the world:

By the way, I’ve been watching the World Cup for four weeks trying to decide which NBA players could have been dominant soccer players, eventually coming to three conclusions. First, Allen Iverson would have been the greatest soccer player ever — better than Pele, better than Ronaldo, better than everyone. I think this is indisputable, actually. Second, it’s a shame that someone like Chris Andersen couldn’t have been pushed toward soccer, because he would have been absolutely unstoppable soaring above the middle of the pack on corner kicks. And third, can you imagine anyone being a better goalie than Shawn Marion? It would be like having a 6-foot-9 human octopus in the net. How could anyone score on him? He’d have every inch of the goal covered. Just as a sports experiment, couldn’t we have someone teach Marion the rudimentary aspects of playing goal, then throw him in a couple of MLS games? Like you would turn the channel if this happened?

Maybe Chad Johnson’s foray into the MLS may prompt other athletes to take a second look at the “perfect game”.

History of Teams in the EPL

Here is a visual of all the teams that have been in and out of the English Premier League (the soccer/football league across the pond for those of you who don’t follow the sport :). As you would think, teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United are multiple time champions and have never been relegated (sent to the second division). Aston Villa, Everton, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur have never been relegated but have also never won the Premiership. Swindon Town was in the Premier League for a cuppa tea in 1993-94 and have not touched it since. And sadly, my Newcastle United club was relegated this year for the first time since the EPL’s first year in 1992.

World Cup

I just wanted to say that I’m very excited for the upcoming 2006 World Cup in Germany. I am very encouraged by the prospects for the US Soccer team, even though Claudia Renya injured his hamstring in a “friendly” vs Morocco. My understanding is that the injury is not as serious as first thought, however it is still a point of concern with his importance to the team. My fallback is England, who should also have a good showing in the tournament.