TV

First Kill showrunner has a theory why Netflix cancelled lesbian vampire drama

Asyia Iftikhar August 5, 2022
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A still image of actors from the Netflix series First Kill in which a teen vampire is in bed embracing her lover who is a monster hunter

First Kill follows the developing relationship between teen vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook) and Calliope (Imani Lewis), a young monster hunter. (YouTube/Netflix)

Two days after Netflix announced lesbian teen vampire show First Kill would not be renewed for a second season, a showrunner has spoken out about why. 

First Kill gained a strong following for centring a strong Black lead in a lesbian romance in a classic teen fantasy series. 

However, despite chatter online about a new series, on Wednesday (3 August) Netflix announced the show was officially over – much to the disappointment of fans. 

Showrunner Felicia D Henderson told the Daily Beast the reason she “enthusiastically signed” onto the show was because it had “something for everyone”.

“[It had] strong women leads, supernatural intrigue, an epic, Shakespearean battle between warring families, and a prominently featured Black family in the genre space, something Black viewers crave and a general audience needs to be treated to.” 

The show is the latest to join a swathe of cancelled sapphic and queer shows and films, causing outrage among the LGBTQ+ community.

Netflix First Kill
First Kill’s Juliette and Calliope. (Netflix)

Henderson also admitted her disappointment and slight surprise at the bad news. 

When I got the call to tell me they weren’t renewing the show because the completion rate wasn’t high enough, of course, I was very disappointed,” she explained.

“What showrunner wouldn’t be? I’d been told a couple of weeks ago that they were hoping completion would get higher. I guess it didn’t.”

Henderson went on to explain what she thinks went wrong for the doomed fantasy show.

“The art for the initial marketing was beautiful,” she said. “I think I expected that to be the beginning and that the other equally compelling and important elements of the show – monsters vs monster hunters, the battle between two powerful matriarchs, etc – would eventually be promoted, and that didn’t happen.”

She added: “I think this cast is among the most talented I’ve ever worked with. And their chemistry? Fire, for sure. 

“The show is kick-ass and we were in the top five globally and domestically for three of the first four weeks. I was very hopeful.”

Fans have come out with their anger at the cancellation online. One fan wrote: “Netflix is weird as hell for cancelling First Kill, a successful wlw show with a Black female lead being cancelled after outperforming SEVERAL Netflix originals? … What[?].”

While another added: “This isn’t even about whether you liked First Kill or not, it’s the fact that Netflix has consistently cancelled every show with a wlw couple as the main focus, regardless of how well the show performs.”

More: first kill, netflix

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