First things first. I am very over white x POC queer couples being the way we most often get to see people of color in queer relationships. Queer couples are not strictly white x white or white x POC. Having more queer POC x POC couples would be really nice to see as a queer person of color. Okay, that’s all, on to the review. First Kill, true to it’s name is about vampire Juliette Fairmont and monster hunter Calliope Burns.
Both are having complex feelings about their first kills. Juliette comes from a powerful vampire family and Calliope comes from a line of proud monster hunters. They both have a lot to prove. Juliette crushes on Calliope from afar unaware of her status as a slayer. The two of them are destined to hate and kill each other. Instead they end up falling for one another.
So…. I have mixed feelings about this show. I love vampire media and it has been a while since we have had anything new, especially with a queer couple as the main romance. Which is cool because let’s be serious everyone knows cishet vampires just don’t make sense. Plus with the added enemies to lovers trope thrown in I was excited to check this show out. The show’s plot line was disappointing.
To make a vampire show now when the vampire craze has died down years ago is an interesting choice. I wanted this show to do something a little different. Unfortunately guilt ridden vampire falls for a human while both are in high school has been done to death. Honestly, the guilt ridden desperately just wants to be a normal human vampire trope is BORING.
Additionally, the choice to make the vampire family white and the hunter family Black was…interesting. As we know, vampires are usually an oppressed species. Also the show has characters that just feel poorly written and also kind of dumb? A lot of plot in this show relies on the audience knowing the genre and making guesses as to how we got from point a to point b. The townspeople see three people die. Without any prompting they assume monsters are “back”. This might have worked but they’ve barely talked about monsters being there in the first place.
The show also assumes the audience is not smart. It spoon feeds us a lot of subtext instead of just showing us due to bad writing and acting. However, the biggest problem I have with this show it that Juliette and Calliope are without a doubt the least interesting part of it. In the show’s theme it says that Juliette and Calliope’s love is deeper than Edward and Bella’s. I do not even know why they are in love.
Juliette’s entire character can be boiled down to being a guilt ridden vampire and being in love with Calliope, which makes her incredibly boring. She is the worst kind of main character. Completely bland and void of personality so that anyone watching can project onto her. Making Juliette the opposite of her trope/name and a little more edgy or less innocent would have been more fun.
Calliope is a smarter character, but still not one I love. While her character is not just monster hunting and loving Jules for some unknown reason, the writing and acting make the choices she makes feel forced. When Juliette and Calliope join together they don’t get more interesting. They are enemies for too short a time to be believable. It feels like they like one another because it’s necessary for the plot to happen. I also could have lived a happy life without either of their internal monologues. Nothing about them feels authentic to me, and it makes the show feel like a Wattpad story come to life.
What was actually interesting about this show was the lore and side characters. Which is unfortunate because the story does not go that deep into the lore and the side characters storylines don’t develop a lot until halfway through the season. In the show vampires origins can be traced all the way to the garden of Eden which was really interesting to me and I wanted to see more of it. Every time Elinor, Juliette’s sister, came onto the screen I found myself leaning in waiting to see what happened next and I would have gladly followed her story instead. Watching Elinor who loves her family, doesn’t care much for human life, and wanted power and would do anything to get it was so much more interesting than watching why can’t I just be a normal girl Juliette.
I actually would have rather followed almost any of the side character’s stories than Juliette’s or Calliope’s. It’s not just that I have seen their story before, or that I am really over almost all vampires being in high school for some reason which leads to a lot of second hand embarrassment, it’s just that… quite frankly it’s boring. Juliette and Calliope’s story feels like someone wanted a queer vampire story wth enemies to lovers and hey for diversity’s sake let’s make one of them Black, and that was it. But somehow the other characters are actually really interesting and well cast. If this show gets a season 2 it would be greatly improved by focusing a lot more on the other characters and lore, and falling back from Juliette and Calliope’s love story.
For more from Sydney, check out her review of The Proud Family, Louder & Prouder here!