First Kiss -| Review Score – 3/5
First Blood -| Review Score – 3/5
First Fight -| Review Score – 2.5/5
First Date -| Review Score – 2/5
First Love -| Review Score – 3/5
First Severing -| Review Score – 3/5
First Goodbye -| Review Score – 2.5/5
First Betrayal -| Review Score – 3/5
It takes about two seconds for Netflix’s LGBTQ+ teen vampire show First Kill, based on a short story by V. E. Schwab, to reference Twilight. The love of First Kill’s protagonist’s “is deeper than Edward and Bella’s,” according to Stephanie Mabey’s intro song to the YA paranormal series. In execution, however, not much separates their love story from that of the Twilight franchise–aside from a few unique twists.
The star-crossed lovers are two teenage girls, Juliette Fairmont (Sarah Catherine Hook) and Calliope Burns (Imani Lewis). One is a vampire; the other is a monster hunter. They’re both looking for their first kill, but what they end up finding is first love.
Despite their families’ hatred of each other (that’s right; prepare for a Sapphic retelling of Romeo and Juliet), Cal and Juliette experience a connection so immediate and strong that they’d do anything for one another. Long story short–First Kill is a tale as old as the YA paranormal genre. Two girls fall in love; the fact that one of them is a vampire keeps them apart; but their instant connection propels them to find a way to be together. All romantic-development is cast aside in favor of clichéd insta-love, in typical Edward-and-Bella fashion.
But this works to the show’s advantage in one minor way. A famous phrase from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet–“love moderately”–pervades the series’ overall tone.
In a blatant parallel to the English play, First Kill asks how one can experience their first major love at 17 years old and not fall hard. The whole metaphor of “first kill,” too, denotes a host of firsts that accompany most teenagers’ coming of age. First kisses, first dates, first loves.
With all of these firsts, one might feel the world is shifting underneath her feet. Cal and Juliette certainly do, and to the extreme. While not anything especially clever, these very obvious, very extreme parallels are at least intensely relatable–especially so when Jules and Cal look and act like real teenagers with real problems.
Ultimately, each episode of First Kill accomplishes some purpose, and even the under-developed nature of Cal and Juliette’s romantic conflict will leave many wanting more. So, if perhaps not the queer romance for the ages that we hoped for, First Kill provides an engaging twist on a beloved genre. Apart from that, it’s maybe a show to be loved only moderately.
Feel Free To Check Out More Of Our TV Show Reviews Here!
Verdict - 5/10