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The 10 Best Anime Shows of 2021, Ranked



The 10 Best Anime Shows of 2021, Ranked

After a year plagued with production delays, 2021 came and went with a vengeance, delivering season after season filled with enough bangers to fill five top 10 lists, with anticipated sequels living up to the hype, new shonen shows continuing the tradition of thrilling action and relatable characters, shows with prestige staffs delivering beautifully crafted shows, and hidden gems challenging what anime can be all about, making this one of the best years for anime ever.

Picking just ten shows was excruciatingly hard, but these shows were so great there was no way they would not end on a list of best anime of the year. Before we get to them, however, some honorable mentions for phenomenal anime that could have topped a top 10 list any other year (and you should definitely still check out), like Sonny Boy, Horimiya, Cells at Work: Code Black, and To Your Eternity. Without further ado, here are the best anime shows of 2021.

Megalobox 2: Nomad had a lot to live up to. The first season was a bonafide hit, a successful love letter to one of the most influential sports anime of all time that revamped it for modern audiences with a bit of sci-fi flair, and had a good ending that didn’t leave many things open for more stories. And yet, Nomad managed to pull the rug from under the audience with more excellent boxing fights and character moments, but also a poignant story about immigration and marginalized communities that we normally don’t see in anime.


This year may have seen Godzilla fight King Kong, but the best Godzilla story was undoubtedly Godzilla: Singular Point, the Netflix anime that reimagined the kaiju mythos through a scientific lens reminiscent of the very first film, for a show that has more in common with Hideaki Anno‘s criminally underrated film Shin Godzilla than the recent Hollywood movies. The show follows a graduate student and an engineer who discover an enigmatic song that may be the key to solving the mystery of a wave of kaiju appearing around the world, including the return of an apocalyptic monster that may spell doom for mankind.

The show features a complex mystery filled with classic nonsensical science jargon of Godzilla movies of old, and fantastical concepts like time travel and the multiverse in a commendable attempt to explain the arrival of the giant monsters. More than just an action-fest, this is an intriguing mystery, with a combination of theoretical math and philosophy making this decades-long franchise feel novel. Still, this is a Godzilla show after all, and Singular Point more than delivers on kaiju action, with an exquisite blend of 3D and 2D animation, an expanded roster of monsters, and the most terrifying Godzilla has ever been.

The first season of Netflix’s adaptation of Beastars was a huge hit, with an intriguing mystery, compelling characters, a fleshed-out world, and absolutely stunning animation. Surprisingly, the second season surpasses its predecessor in basically every way. Set in a world of anthropomorphic animals divided between carnivores and herbivores, we follow a gentle wolf named Legoshi who starts investigating the murder of an alpaca at his school, while navigating a tumultuous romance with a dwarf rabbit.

Season 2 of Beastars ups the melodrama, spending more time fleshing out the day-to-day life of the students, while further exploring the detailed ramifications of this anthropomorphic world, introducing new fascinating characters, deepening the relationship between Legoshi and his fellow student Louis, and giving us one of the best fistfights in recent anime memory.


In an incredibly inevitable move, the galaxy far, far away has become the anime show it was always meant to be, with Star Wars: Visions giving us nine vastly different shorts that showcase the best of what the franchise can be, reimagined by some of the best animators working today.

Even if not every short was a masterpiece, they all had something unique and cool to offer, from compelling characters, thrilling action, exquisite animation or music that could rival that of the movies. What other medium could give us an Astroboy-like Jedi robot? Or a Samurai-like Sith with a revolving lightsaber umbrella? The best thing to be said about this show is that it made Star Wars fresh and exciting again, while providing visuals you could not replicate in live-action.

One of the biggest surprises of the year, and one of the best war anime not named Gundam, 86 Eighty-Six is based on a very popular series of light novels that tell the story of a far away future where two nations engage in a war using autonomous machines, except one of the nations is actually using its oppressed underclass of ethnical minorities they refer to only as “86s” as pilots to the machines, to be sent and killed off on behalf of a government that writes off the war as having zero casualties.

The anime could have easily been a simple action story with a white savior narrative, as we follow a young major in the military who is responsible for a squadron fo 86s and actually cares for them despite not being silver-haired, blue-eyed pure Albas like her. In reality, the show is a fascinating interrogation of white savior tropes, and a smart narrative that emphasizes not in-your-face fascism with clear parallels to the real world, but the banality of fascism and casual existence in state-sponsored systems of oppression. Oh, and there is also some kick-ass mecha action aided by a phenomenal score by Hiyoruki Sawano, and a heartbreaking story of loss and camaraderie that makes this one of the best shows of the year.


There’s an anime show for every single sport imaginable, so it was just a matter of time before we got a rad skating anime. Sk8 is not only a fantastic sports show that both teaches you about the sport and makes you want to practice it, but also an exhilarating and compelling story of two buds who realize their skill level is not as equal as they initially thought, and how they learn to live with it and just enjoy skating as bros.

Sk8 is as radical as it is plain ridiculous. It will make you smile from ear to ear, and also scoff at the ludicrous death- and gravity-defying feats accomplished by the skaters. The anime is full of vibrant colors and high energy you can only get when you’re skating down an incredibly dangerous slope while running from a maniac who may want to either kill you or kiss you, or both! Most of the season is devoted to a high-stakes, no-holds-barred tournament with some colorful and memorable competitors, but even ourside the skating ring, Sk8 delivers one of the best hangout stories of the year, and a subversive sports anime where the protagonist is not just a gifted prodigy, but a compelling kid who may not be as good as fis friends and has to be ok with it. Add the single best line delivery of the year (that it was unscripted just makes it better), and a great argument for the validity of dubs in anime, as well as a genuinely outstanding opening and ending theme song, and you’ve got a pitch perfect comfort show.

What happens when you take the childish glee of Saturday morning cartoons, the electrifying action of tokusatsu shows like Power Rangers, and a profound and beautifully subdued human story about trauma, coping mechanisms and how trauma can bring people together? You get SSSS. Dynazenon, a show that defies what sequels can do, commenting on and improving the themes, visuals, and themes of its predecessor, SSSS. Gridman. The show follows a group of teens who want to use the power of kaijus to destroy humanity, and the teenagers with attitude (and two adults) who can stand up to them using literal toys that transform into a giant robot (that sometimes becomes a T-Rex and even a dragon).

Dynazenon feels very much like tokusatsu shows like Super Sentai or Ultraman, with the kaiju looking like rubber suits, but with spectacular special effects. The characters are endearing and complex, and even the villains are treated as three-dimensional characters with agendas, ambitions and personal struggles. Where Dynazenon shines, however, is in the way it perfectly walks a balance between being fist-bumping fun, and a meaningful exploration of trauma and healing. In some ways, the show is a perfect companion to Neon Genesis Evangelion in the way it encourages the viewer to simply go outside and find people you can care about and who care about you beyond the confines of a TV set. Sure, escapism (and giant robots that transform into dragons) are fun, but they are not worth obsessing over.


Ranking of Kings is one of the biggest surprises of the year. What may look like a cutesy kids’ cartoon on the surface, a fairy tale about a child king learning to accept himself and be a better person, turned out to be a complex, beautifully animated story about how no one is as they first seem, and an intriguing political fantasy story to replace the Game of Thrones-hole in your heart.

The show, based a web manga of the same name by Sōsuke Tōka and animated by Wit Studio, follows Bojji, a young prince born deaf and tiny in size despite being the son of a giant and the number one king in all the land. The show boasts some stunning visuals, with an aesthetic that can best be described as if Game of Thrones was a children’s picture book. The art style looks like something out of Calvin and Hobbes, with simplistic character designs and round, colorful backgrounds that hide strikingly fluid animation when things go down and the swords are drawn.

Believe me, despite the kiddie looks, this show is not afraid to go dark with a capital “D,” as this has more in common with the dark fairy tales of old than Disney’s sanitized versions. There are evil mirrors, demonic posessions, horrible betrayals, and enough surprisingly violent action to satisfy fans of Wit’s previous anime like Vinland Saga. It also features the most precious protagonist ever drawn in an anime, the titular prince Bojji, whose smile inspires more loyalty than any presidential speech in an apocalyptic movie. You’ll want to cry with him as the citizens of his kingdom mock and ridicule him, you’ll want to slap and punch every bastard who dares underestimate him, and you’ll go pick up your sword and pledge fealty to the One True King and his trusty companion, the sentient shadow Kage.


I’ll put this as simple as I possible can, if you don’t love this show, you’re a heartless son of a bitch who hates puppies and good things.

The final season (part one) of Attack on Titan was arguably the biggest anime event of 2021 (and 2020, partly), with every single episode trending on Twitter like it was Game of Thrones or The Mandalorian. This is what the show has been building to since 2013, as we finally leave behind the humans vs. titans conflict of the earlier seasons and discover that the true enemy was us all along.

From the first episode of the season, Attack on Titan subverted our expectations for where the show would go, opening not with our heroes, but with would-be villains, and dared ask us to symphatize with them. Then, when we finally reunited with our favorite characters, it was not a moment of triumph, but of absolute terror, as the show blurred the lines between good and evil and asked the audience to consider how long they’re willing to go before they start considering the other side. Though the animation and art style was significantly different than previous seasons, it served as a nice separation between the simpler story of the first three seasons and the more complex, violent, angry season 4. Still, the fights were incredible, the action roaring, the surprises jaw-dropping and devastating, setting the table for an explosive and deadly new set of episodes in the new year.

Really, these three shows are so goddamn good that you can simply change their rankings around, or have them share a three-way first prize, but I suspect Eren Yeager does not like sharing, so the ranking stays.

Much like the number 3 show on this list, Odd Taxi just came out of nowhere and blew the anime year away. This is an entirely original and perfect anime that’s kind of hard to explain. It’s part Coen brothers neo-noir about a simple crime escalating out of control with an everyday Walrus taxi driver caught in the middle of it, part Scorsese crime epic, part furry show about a world of anthropomorphic animals and capoeira-dancing alpacas, and also the only anime this year that dared point out how fun it is to say the words Bruce Springsteen.


Odd Taxi starts out simple enough, but it quickly escalates into something that encompasses multiple stories and tones, commenting on how messy and complicated it is to open yourself up to others, as well as fandom, going viral, professional jealousy, addiction to gacha games and more. The show has one of the best ensemble casts of the year, with colorful and memorable characters like a porcupine gangster who only talks via raps. The script strikes the right balance between naturalistic and fantastical, with dry but funny conversations, great one-liners and play on words (kudos to the translation team for not skipping a beat with the jokes), and a spider web of conversations and encounters that make for a phenomenal noir-like mystery revolving around a walrus taxi driver. Where most anime out there are made for young audiences and teenagers, this is one show specifically written for adults and about adult problems, resulting in the most unique and the best anime of the year


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After Driving Again And More, Britney Spears Shares Her Latest Taste Of Post-Conservatorship Freedom




After Driving Again And More, Britney Spears Shares Her Latest Taste Of Post-Conservatorship Freedom

They say it’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary, and that’s likely particularly true if you’ve been denied access to those things for an extended period of time. After Britney Spears was released from the conservatorship she’d been under, the singer has been reintroducing herself to some of life’s simple pleasures. Last summer Spears was super pumped about regaining the freedom to drive, and in January the “Toxic” singer documented drinking her first glass of wine in over a decade. The newlywed continued to celebrate the post-conservatorship life by sharing her first trip to a bar.

Fans of the former pop singer are accustomed to seeing Britney Spears dancing and twirling and modeling different outfits at her and Sam Asghari’s new home. However, the “Toxic” singer took her followers on an exciting field trip, in which she and her assistant patronized a local drinking establishment. She shared her trip — and a sarcastic remark — on Instagram:

(Image credit: Instagram)

As she and her assistant Victoria Asher apparently enjoyed a drink and an app, Britney Spears couldn’t help but throw a little shade at her family, remarking that she was “so so grateful” for not being allowed to have a cocktail for the 13 years after her father Jamie Spears took control of her life. In fact, the 40-year-old said in her post this is her first time to partake in such an adventure. In the video, she shared:

This is my first time at a bar. First time. I feel so fancy, and I feel so sophisticated.

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How ‘Yellowjackets’ Stars Survived Hollywood




How ‘Yellowjackets’ Stars Survived Hollywood

Sure, they may have eaten a person back in the day. But there are some things the grown women of Yellowjackets just wouldn’t do. On this, the actresses who play them — Tawny Cypress, Juliette Lewis, Melanie Lynskey and Christina Ricci — agree, as they gather in a backyard in L.A.’s Topanga Canyon in late July, just a few weeks before they start filming the second season of their breakout show.

The Showtime survival thriller, created and executive produced by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, earned seven Emmy nominations, including outstanding drama series and acting nominations for Lynskey and Ricci. The Yellowjackets storyline alternates between 1996 and the present day as it follows members of a high school girls soccer team whose plane crashes and strands them for 19 months in the wilderness, where they resort to cannibalism to survive.

Part of the show’s nostalgic appeal relies on its casting of these actresses, three of whom audiences knew as young women for their slyly offbeat roles in films like The Addams Family (Ricci), Cape Fear (Lewis) and Heavenly Creatures (Lynskey), to play the crash survivors as adults. In this conversation with THR, Cypress, Lewis, Lynskey and Ricci disclose their ’90s regrets, share what it means when you call an actress “quirky” and reveal how survival bonds women — including in the trenches of Hollywood.

Who here knew each other before the show?

MELANIE LYNSKEY (Points to Christina Ricci.) We knew each other a little bit. I went to a Nick Cave concert by myself, and Christina came up and —


CHRISTINA RICCI I was very excited to see you.

LYNSKEY So excited. We were having a lovely chat, and then she’s like, “Are you here by yourself?” She’s the coolest person of all time, and I was intimidated. I just felt embarrassed to say, “I’ve come to a concert by myself.” I was like 24 or something.

RICCI I was impressed because I couldn’t go anywhere by myself.

LYNSKEY I also went to see Clay Aiken by myself because nobody would come with me.

It’s surprising that none of you had worked together over the years.

JULIETTE LEWIS It’s wild when you’ve been around so long, and you sort of have a kindred connection to people. There’s certain actors you’re like, “Mmm, we’re not of the same tree,” and then there’s other actors you’re like, “Oh, yeah. We have some roots.”


Juliette, Melanie and Christina, all three of your Wikipedia entries say some version of, “Often plays quirky or offbeat characters.” What do those words mean to you?

LEWIS Real people, specific and unpredictable.

LYNSKEY I remember I got cast in a movie when I was like 21, and the description of the character before I auditioned was “Blah, blah, blah, the beautiful girl who sits next to him in school.” Then, at the table read, it had been changed to “Blah, blah, blah, cute and quirky.” I was like, “You don’t need to change it. Just keep it …” They’re like, “We better change this description or people will be like, wrong actress.” So, sometimes it feels … I don’t know. I never liked that word, “quirky.”

RICCI When you say that all of us had this description, that to me speaks to a past time, when, if you weren’t the leading-lady ingenue then you were quirky and offbeat. All right, so there’s two groups for actresses? In a way, I’m fine with being in the category I’m in because what it means to me is that I have made an effort in my career to do things that I feel like I haven’t seen before. So, in some ways, I like it. In other ways, I’m like, “Ugh.” It’s a little dismissive. A little cute and dismissive.

LEWIS We come from the ’90s where, when I had blond hair, I was the pretty airhead, and then I dyed my hair dark, and I was the wisecracking, sarcastic girl. But yeah, I think it’s really neat that we’ve all carved this path of range and specificity.

Isn’t another term for that “character actor”?


RICCI But “character actress” used to be something they used to describe an ugly woman.


RICCI Back in the late ’90s, my agents were always like, “We have to be so careful you don’t become a character actress. If we’re not careful, you’re going to end up just like Jennifer Jason Leigh.” I was like, “I like her.” They were so afraid of me not being a leading lady, of me not being sexually attractive to people. It was really the last thing I ever wanted, was for anyone to be attracted to me.

LEWIS My dad was a character actor. So to me, it was something that was super noble. It was a world of adventure and not limiting. I rebelled against the system, the PR system of being in some bizarre idea of beauty. I really revolted against that, for better or for worse. Crying in a bathroom at a photo shoot, like, “I won’t come out.” They want these doe-eyed looks. That’s for sure what I didn’t do in pictures, so I always looked slightly insane, which I prefer over, like, “Do you want to fuck me?”

Tawny, what was your sense of what the expectations were for you when you were starting out?

CYPRESS I’ve had a different row to hoe. I’ve spent my whole career doing shitty roles of the sassy one on the side. Honestly, growing up as an actor, I wanted to be an ingenue.


LEWIS Isn’t that funny? And I wanted to be sassy and opinionated.

CYPRESS I couldn’t be an ingenue. I just couldn’t. It’s just not in me, you know? I was never presented with those roles, ever, and I was like, “Oh, OK. That’s not who I am.” I sort of, growing older, have embraced my Jersey side, and I am who I am, and this is what you get.

LYNSKEY I started calling myself a character actor in interviews when I was really young because I think it was reclaiming the term or something. I think I just was like, “That’s what I am.” My agents had all that kind of intensity around it, too. I remember when I did Coyote Ugly

RICCI Oh my God, you got a piece in that? I went up for that, and I didn’t get it.

CYPRESS I did too.

LYNSKEY I played the best friend from Jersey. But the scrutiny that was on Piper [Perabo], who’s one of the coolest, smartest women, just the way people were talking about her body, talking about her appearance, focusing on what she was eating. All the girls had this regimen they had to go on. It was ridiculous. I was already starving myself and as thin as I could possibly be for this body, and I was still a [size] four. That was already people putting a lot of Spanx on me in wardrobe fittings and being very disappointed when they saw me, the costume designer being like, “Nobody told me there would be girls like you.” Really intense feedback about my physicality, my body, people doing my makeup and being like, “I’m just going to help you out by giving you a bit more of a jawline and stuff.” Just the feedback was constantly like, “You’re not beautiful. You’re not beautiful.” In your early 20s, so much of it is about beauty, and how people respond to you, and do people want to fuck you? Do people think you’re their best friend? Even the best friend thing, I started to be like, “I don’t want to do that too many times.”


Did you have to unlearn anything that people tried to teach you when you were starting out?

LEWIS I had developed such a survival mechanism to protect my autonomy, sort of, “You don’t own me. You don’t tell me my value. Only I do.” I was extremely self-critical — it still happens — of my work. It’s almost like a defense mechanism that no one could talk shit about me more than I can. There’s all these things that are wrapped up in how to survive a system. That’s what I’m unlearning today — to be softer. This is a really remarkable industry to be a part of. I feel honored to be a part of it and what it gave me, but I do still hold on to what it took from me in my youth.

Given what you all experienced coming into the industry, do you feel at all protective of the younger actresses who play the younger versions of your characters?

LYNSKEY (Begins to cry.) So much. I feel very protective. At the beginning of production, I sent them all an email, and I just was like, “Whatever you need, if you need a voice, if you need someone to go to the producers for you, whatever you need,” and they were kind of like, “Cool. Thanks.” They’re fine.

CYPRESS Totally fine. Jas [Jasmin Savoy Brown] was a boss on set. She’s like, “This is how we’re doing my hair. This is what we’re doing.”

RICCI They’re very much of a different generation.


CYPRESS I am protective of Jas in the fact that she is so sexually positive, which I love. She has taught me so much, just knowing her as a person. But I’m like a mama bear to her, or a big sister. I’m like, “What are you putting online right now?” She’s like, “Whatever. Whatever. This is life, man. I love myself.” I’m protective, but I’m also in awe of her, you know?

LEWIS But there is a thing I always want to say to young people: Cultivate other interests deeply so that you’re not getting all your life’s blood from this industry, or your self-worth.

Is there anything you miss about the ’90s?

LYNSKEY I have a lot of love letters from the ’90s.

RICCI Someone used to fax me love letters when he was on tour. I did not save them. I throw everything out. I had a specific thing when I was a child, that we would be punished by the things that we loved being destroyed. My husband, who is a much healthier individual, has gone back and found all my old magazine covers on Etsy because he thinks it’s horrible that I never saved them. As a child, I learned that this is going to be taken from me, so why save it anyway?

LYNSKEY That’s heartbreaking. Well, I saved everything because I’m basically an emotional hoarder. I have this literal suitcase, an old-fashioned suitcase.


RICCI This is very dark, but I would just like to go back to that age and do it over again and not make so many fucking mistakes. Honestly, I regret so much.

CYPRESS Me too. One thousand percent.

LEWIS Me too.

RICCI I’d like to go back to 1996 and be like, “All right … we had a practice run. It went OK, but it wasn’t really as great as we wanted it to be. We’re going to do this again.” People who are like, “I have no regrets.” What fucking magic life did you live?

LEWIS Where they go, “I don’t regret anything because that led up to this moment.” Really? The thing that could’ve put my dad in an early grave, I fucking regret it. Yes. I was very scary as a young teenage person.

CYPRESS Yeah. I hurt a lot of people growing up, and I wish that I didn’t. I was going through my memory box. It was my great-great-grandmother’s she brought over from Hungary. It’s huge, and it’s filled to the brim with everything from my life. I came across a note from high school. It was my first gay friend, and it broke my heart because he was like, “I want to thank you for not talking to me anymore and just cutting me off the way that you did. It made it hurt less.” I literally was crying, and I had to call him and be like, “I just came across this note, and I’m so sorry that I was that person to you.” When I think back, I think how wonderful our relationship was, but I was a shit, you know? I would definitely do so many things differently.


LEWIS I’ve had those moments where I turned into … Because I’ve been bullied, but when I was 11 and got in a fight with a girl, I was mean [the same way] how a girl was mean to me. I was really vicious.

LYNSKEY I think people without regrets are narcissists. I think they’re lying to themselves.

RICCI Denial is the only way to get up that river.

What did you all feel when you learned that Roe v. Wade was overturned?

RICCI It’s really horrible to be told so plainly what your value is.

LEWIS I wish the two factions can talk, like, “Hey, what do you do with a bad situation, poverty and drug addiction, and rape?” You have to have an option that is salvageable or is sustainable for the survival of a person, a woman who’s living.


CYPRESS I don’t really give a shit what your reason to have an abortion is. It’s your fucking body. I don’t really fucking care. You don’t want to be a mom, right? That’s your fucking decision. Look, we can put morals on it and say, “Well, only when you’re raped, or only if it’s …” It’s like no, dude. It’s either in or out. We’re either telling women what to do with their bodies or we let them have their own choice. I am of the mind, choice. I’m not going to judge you for making that decision.

LYNSKEY And there seems to be this general lack of compassion and empathy that’s just growing and growing. There’s so much hatred, and people are unable to look at another person’s life and go, “Oh, you know, that’s an untenable situation,” or even, “That’s a difficult situation.” There’s no grace given to anybody else. There’s no empathy. You don’t get to make decisions for somebody else. You don’t know what’s right for them.

Is there a place for TV and film in that conversation?

CYPRESS I mean, that’s what TV and film do. That’s what art is. On Yellowjackets, let’s talk about Shauna’s baby in the woods, you know? Yeah. I think we have a lot of room to speak on this subject, and I hope we do.

Did anybody have their kids on set for season one?

LYNSKEY (Points to Ricci.) We did.


RICCI And I was pregnant. I didn’t tell anyone but these ladies that I was pregnant for six months. When we started, I was six weeks pregnant. It was difficult. There were so many times where I was like, “Ooh, when they find out I’m pregnant, and they made me sit in this smoky room all day. When they realize that they made me stand for eight hours, and I’m pregnant, and I have this horrible sciatica, and it’s 100 degrees, oh, they’re going to feel so bad.” They didn’t feel bad at all. But anyway, it was fine. In fact, it would’ve been helpful if I was playing a more emotional character because I can give a real good performance when I’m pregnant, real emo.

How would you finish the sentence, “Yellowjackets is really about …”?



CYPRESS Friendship.

RICCI Haunting, the way trauma haunts you. The way you can never escape. The way it twists people in different ways.


LEWIS Aberrant survival tactics.

We know that these characters have done a bunch of aberrant things, as you say, including cannibalism. But do you have in your mind an idea that, “OK, she may have eaten another human being, but she would never do this“?

RICCI I know when they confront me because I’m like, “OK, she wouldn’t do that.” Misty wouldn’t drink that drink. Originally, in the script, she was drinking a Brandy Alexander, and I said, “No, Misty would drink a chocolate martini.” I have rules and stuff for her in my head, and they do conflict with the writers sometimes. I don’t think she actually is interested in men, at all. I think she does it because she’s bored, or because she thinks that’s what she’s supposed to do. Then, she’s also realized that she can have a lot of fun trying to trick them into having sex with her when they don’t want to. It’s like men will kind of know that you don’t want to have sex with them, but if they can get you to have sex with them, they won.

LEWIS It’s a power thing.

RICCI Misty’s way of doing it is through this really horrible manipulation, making him feel guilty and having sex with her while feeling guilty, which would be a terrible experience.

When you have a different perspective on your character than the writers, what do you do?


RICCI That’s part of the thing with TV that I’ve learned now, being involved in a production but not being one of the EPs, so you aren’t a part of creating what people do. “OK, they wrote this scene. I have to play this scene. If she was in this situation, how the fuck would she be in this situation, and why would she be?” Then, you don’t have to tell other people what you come up with. They can find out about it later when you do press.

Does anybody else have a line in their mind that their character wouldn’t cross?

LYNSKEY I had one. There was something written into a script where I was going on a date with my lover, and they had me going into my daughter’s bedroom and taking her underwear, which was just not practical because I wouldn’t fit it. She’s little. But also, ew. I think there was something, apparently, somewhere, people liked the thing in the pilot where I’m masturbating in my daughter’s bedroom. I was like, “Can that just be an isolated incident? I don’t want it to be a theme.” So I just was like, “I don’t want to do that.” They were great about it.

LEWIS It comes, I think, with experience and respect, that they appreciate if you have a point of view. I have an “anything goes” stamp on me, which they all know. But I have strong ideas, especially about my trajectory in midlife. I’ve looked at Natural Born Killers recently, and I’m like, “Jesus.” Thank goodness I had a partner like Woody Harrelson, but it is so sexual. No one forced me into that. I was a young nihilist who didn’t give a fuck, and I felt comfortable with Woody, and I liked the material. But nowadays, I’m very particular. So, they had written a sex scene, and I was like, “I don’t know. I don’t know that she even gets off. I don’t know that she even can have orgasms.” That’s how deep I went. So it was more like, is she doing something to get something? At the end of the day, I just didn’t even think she fucks, sorry to be so graphic, at this juncture that you saw in season one. I think she might’ve had relationships with all of them in the wilderness. I don’t know if they’re going to write it, but that’s what I’d like to think of Natalie.

LYNSKEY That’s what I think too.

RICCI What? I never thought of that. Who would they be making out with? I guess each other.


The finale hints that there may be additional Yellowjackets who survived into adulthood. Have actors been cast for those roles?

LEWIS Wait, Melanie, didn’t you say that on our chain, that someone we like is cast to be … (At this point there is meaningful eye contact among the four women.)

RICCI We don’t know for sure. That’s what we’ve heard was close to happening.

LYNSKEY We don’t know anything.

On season one, you were making this show under the radar. Now there’s so much fan speculation. Does that change the way you approach the work?

RICCI There’s more pressure going into season two.


CYPRESS Have you guys also had that feeling of like, “Can I do this? Is it going to be good, the second season? Am I going to fuck this character up?”

LYNSKEY I have those fears.

RICCI Me too, but because TV is so fast, and you have so little time with the information, the process of talking about the show afterward helps you to evolve your take on your character. To understand things that were intended with the character that maybe weren’t clear originally because you get to hear the EPs talk about it. I’m going to make changes in the next season based on what I have come to realize through all this talking.

Like what?

RICCI Well, that’s a secret.

How much do you want to know about the path that your character is on?


CYPRESS Fuck, I want to know everything. I sit there, and when I think about the show, I think, “What the fuck are they going to do with this character?” There’s so many different parts to her right now. The dog thing. She’s now a senator. There may be an old love coming back, you know? I’m like, “How are they going to do this?” I just want to know.

LYNSKEY Now you’re a full-time dog killer.

RICCI I didn’t even know that you were supposed to be the one that killed the dog.


RICCI I thought, “Oh, well maybe somebody broke in.”

LYNSKEY That could still be, right?


CYPRESS Wait, give me more to think about.

So you don’t go to the writers and say, “To be clear, did I kill the dog?”

CYPRESS Oh, we do. They just say, “Mmm.”

RICCI “We don’t know.”

CYPRESS But they do know.

RICCI I don’t think they’re trying to control us with no information or anything. Sometimes, they don’t want to commit to something that hasn’t been necessarily set in stone. I do find it frustrating to not know, and we’re never able to know fully. I have decided to learn how to function with knowing nothing.


Interview edited for length and clarity.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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James Gunn Addresses Peacemaker Future Amid Batgirl Cancelation




James Gunn Addresses Peacemaker Future Amid Batgirl Cancelation

Shockwaves from Warner Bros.’s cancelation of Batgirl have had many fans questioning the possibility of other DC-connected projects following suit. Amid outcries from fans of Batgirl, Michael Keaton, Brendan Fraser, and even Snyderverse fans who are always eager to picket Warner Bros., Peacemaker fans started asking James Gunn whether there was any possibility that his DC work was going to suffer amid the company’s cost-cutting exercise. Ironically, considering the history that led James Gunn to work with DCEU characters, it seems that the director and his shows are the only ones who are “safe.”

What seems like a lifetime ago, James Gunn was all set to start work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for Disney and Marvel Studios when some old Twitter posts led to him being unceremoniously sacked. By the time Disney backtracked on their firing, Gunn was already committed to directing The Suicide Squad for Warner Bros., which is why Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has taken so long to arrive. Now, during all the chaos at Warner Bros., it appears that Gunn is not worried at all about the second season of Peacemaker getting the ax. When asked if the show was safe, Gunn simply replied:


“Yes, guys, calm down.”

That is a relief for fans of the small sub-universe Gunn is building inside the DCEU, which along with The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, is set to include at least another unannounced project and be linked to the Amanda Waller series that is in development. At least that side of the franchise doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

Related: Peacemaker: Will More Suicide Squad Members Appear in Season 2?

Is Warner Bros. Still Planning on Rebooting The DCEU?

There have been rumors of a “soft-reboot” coming to the DCEU for a long time, and while it seems at times like Warner Bros. is heading in that direction, they have constantly denied any such intention. During San Diego Comic-Con, the entire focus of the Warner Bros. live-action DC panel was on Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Both of these movies have their small links to the wider DCEU, and once again, Warner Bros. seemed to be causing confusion by including a Justice League montage within the Shazam sequel while at the same time professing that they are not revisiting that particular DCEU set up in any way.

One thing clear from Dwayne Johnson’s appearance at SDCC is that he believes that Black Adam is setting the tone for a new DCEU, and based on everything else that is happening, he could be right. While there is no way of telling exactly where the franchise will be heading beyond The Flash in 2023, with new additional entries like Wonder Woman 3 constantly being stuck in limbo, it has been made clear that some big changes are being made in regards to the DCEU and fans will be hoping that those changes bring some kind of consistency to the franchise before it ends up crashing down around itself.


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