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First Kill Boss Blasts Netflix Over Sudden Cancellation As Twitter Backlash Grows

Imani Lewis and Sarah Catherine Hook on First Kill.
(Image credit: Netflix)

First Kill, Netflix’s angsty supernatural teen drama, struck a chord with viewers with its star-crossed romance between vampire Juliette and monster-hunter Calliope, whose Season 1 ending left First Kill fans excited about where the story might take the characters. It was even hoped the series might receive the same treatment as fellow LGBTQ+ romance hit Heartstopper, which garnered a two-season renewal from Netflix following its initial run. The streaming service went in the opposite direction, however, cancelling First Kill after just one season. This angered fans in a major way, and showrunner Felicia D. Henderson put Netflix on blast as well.

While the romance between Juliette and Calliope was a major draw to the series for many fans, Felicia D. Henderson pointed out that there were a number of other important pieces to the story, and she told The Daily Beast she was disappointed those weren’t explored more in the marketing. In her words:  

The art for the initial marketing was beautiful. 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.

The showrunner also said that apparently the decision to cancel the series came from a low completion rate, as Netflix had expressed to her a couple of weeks before the cancellation that it was hoping the completion rate would get higher. First Kill fans weren’t believing a word, however, pointing out that the teen drama had tens of millions of viewing hours even in its first weekend, and easily outshined the numbers Heartstopper showed the week it premiered:

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To be fair, Heartstopper featured slightly shorter episodes, so there were fewer hours to watch, possibly aiding viewers in a quicker completion. There was also more source material to fuel future seasons, with that drama coming from a book series, compared to the short story First Kill was based on. 

However, it wasn’t just Heartstopper that First Kill fans targeted, but the treatment of lesbian-led series overall. Many people couldn’t help but point out the way the show starring women fared in comparison to series with male leads, particularly with one of First Kill’s stars — Imani Lewis — being a dark-skinned Black woman. One Twitter user said:

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Netflix has become notorious for its one-and-done originals, sneakily putting an end to series without a big announcement, and leaving many unaware of a show’s fate as they wait for the next installment. Even while Netflix subscribers have come to know they’re taking a risk by getting invested in a Netflix original, First Kill fans thought they were safe, given the its obvious popularity. As one TikToker put it:

@zekespace (opens in new tab)

♬ august Taylor Swift - Kaylen (opens in new tab)

For those keeping track at home, check out the lineup of shows Netflix has canceled and renewed. Even though we won’t be getting more from First Kill, fans can still stream Season 1 on Netflix, and check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what new and returning shows are premiering soon.

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.