Since the 1996 segments of “Yellowjackets” is set far away from civilization, the show has to portray the time period through its costuming and music choices. “Yellowjackets” is no-holds-barred in breaking out ’90s music classics. Some highlights across both seasons include “Dreams” by the Cranberries (season 1, episode 3 “The Dollhouse”), “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal (season 1, episode 9 “Doomcoming”), and Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” (season 2, episode 7 “Burial). That latter episode even features Alanis Morrisette covering “No Return” in the opening titles.
Are these needle drops nostalgic? To an extent yes, but it’s important to remember that television isn’t just for those who make it. Take “Stranger Things” season 4, which prominently used “Running Up That Hill” and gave the song a big boost. I’ll admit I initially rolled my eyes at my Zoomer brethren acting like they were the first ones to discover Kate Bush. Eventually, though, this helped me recognize the importance of including needle drops in period pieces — they introduce the music to younger viewers.
As a ’99 baby, I barely missed experiencing the 20th century and its pop culture firsthand. For every song I recognize on “Yellowjackets,” there’s another I don’t. I appreciate that the show is introducing me to music that might otherwise have gone under my radar.
Even as I push myself to experience new films and TV, I can get complacent with listening to my same favorite songs over and over. Memorable needle drops become a way for me to expand my musical palette and I’m sure I’m not alone. Thanks to “Yellowjackets,” Smashing Pumpkins has gone way up in my Spotify listens. Speaking of…