“First Kill” Review

First Kill Review

Trinity Gilreath, Staff Reporter

Netflix recently released its new teen horror drama, “First Kill,” which is about the lesbian love story between a vampire and a monster hunter. I was absolutely ecstatic when I first heard of the show as I love this particular trope, and the fact that it’s between lesbian characters helps a lot. However, like most recent teen dramas, I was very disappointed with what the show ended up being.

The main character is Juliette Fairmont, a shy and incredibly sweet teenage girl who also happens to be a vampire struggling to make her first kill, which is causing her to be incredibly ill. She has fallen for her new classmate, Calliope “Cal” Burns, who we later find out comes from a family of monster hunters, and she is also yet to make her first kill. Both girls are open lesbians and their sexuality is never made into a point of contention, which I appreciate because while there’s nothing wrong with coming out stories; they make up an overwhelming amount of queer representation. The angst instead comes from the fact that Juliette comes from a family of legacy vampires who have hidden in plain sight for years, while Calliope has been raised to hate monsters from her monster-hunting family. Both girls seem to have a conscience when it comes to killing, but this is mostly seen in Juliette, as Cal’s hesitance just extends to vampires due to her feelings for Juliette. While this does seem like an interesting take on the classic star-crossed lovers trope, the show fails to recreate the magic with the romance between Cal and Juliette as their entire romance seems incredibly rushed. It feels like they’ve had a total of 2 conversations before their romance begins, and after that they hardly have any scenes together. While the actresses do have some chemistry, it’s hard to feel anything when the dialogue is so awkward. 


Cal is played by a dark-skinned actress, Imani Lewis, and while this might not seem like a big deal, Netflix (and other streaming services, don’t get me wrong) is notorious for only hiring biracial or racially ambiguous girls, so seeing a woman of a darker complexion playing a romantic lead feels almost monumental. I just wish it could have been on a much better show and with a better actress. I’m usually not one to pick on acting, especially in a teen drama, unless it’s comically bad and this is one of those cases. The actress’s line delivery was very awkward, especially during the voice-over, and acting isn’t really a problem with anyone else, so it’s hard to ignore. The character writing is also one of the biggest flaws, as none of the characters seem to have any depth. Juliette’s sister Elinor is evil simply because she can be (as shown in the finale) and basically the other characters don’t have enough personality for me to actually bother to write about them. A character who does actually have a good character arc is Talia, Cal’s mother, played by Aubin Wise, who proves that she is a mother before she is a monster hunter when her stepson, whom she has raised for 15 years, is turned into a vampire by Juliette (which causes Juliette and Cal to break up in the finale) and while her husband is hellbent on killing him, she refuses to see him for anything but what he is, her son, something Cal isn’t even able to do during the entirety of her relationship with Juliette. While not given much development, Talia is the only character to not end up in the exact same position she started with at the beginning of the show. She is by far the strongest and most developed character this season. 

Overall, the show isn’t very good, but I hope it does get a season two as it was interesting enough for me to want more. If given a season two (a strong “if” given Netflix’s track record of canceling shows regardless of how popular they are), I hope they are given a larger CGI budget and better writing. I would recommend the show to anyone who doesn’t care about quality writing or special effects.