While the tone and vibe are a bit corny, it’s easy to get sucked in by the leads’ chemistry and their different perspectives as hunters.


Aired (Netflix) 6/11/2022
Created or Developed By Victoria Schwab
Director(s) Jet Wilkinson
Writer(s) Victoria Schwab
Genre Action, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Young Adult, LGBT+
Introduced This Episode
Juliette Sarah Catherine Hook
Calliope Imani Lewis
Elinor Gracie Dzienny
Margot Elizabeth Mitchell

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Summary

Things are changing for Juliette. Her senses are heightened, she has headaches and night terrors, and she tries to play it down or ignore them. However, both her sister Elinor and mother Margot can see she is becoming a full vampire. Which makes Juliette trying to stick to blood capsules no longer an adequate way to curb her urge to feed. Which, in the world of “First Kill” means she needs to kill someone or suffer the painful consequences, such as bleeding from the eyes.

On the flip side is Calliope, or Cal, a 16-year-old whose family moves often. It’s annoying since it makes it tough to make friends, but luckily for Cal, she has a strong family unit in terms of blood relations and the organization her family is part of, known as The Guild – a monster hunter organization.

But, unlike her brothers and parents, Cal hasn’t gotten to join the guild and hunt monsters. Recently failing to kill one has led to her being benched and having to fully live a normal life as a 16-year-old teenager. However, while she may not be much of a fighter, Cal does have an eye for spotting monsters and she can sense Juliette is one. So, taking advantage of Juliette’s crush on girls, it seems both may aim for the other to be their first kill.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. So if vampires can’t touch silver, how are they able to be outside during the day? Also, if they made blood capsules to help their young, why not have a blood bank or something similar? Do they need it to be warm or from a living human? What are the vampire rules?
  2. Is The Guild solely Black people?
  3. Did Cal break up with her ex mostly because of how often her family moves?

What Could Happen Next

  1. We’re probably getting a Romeo and Juliet storyline

Review

Highlights

Calliope and Juliette’s Chemistry

Whether you look at it from Juliette’s point of view, which is based on love at first sight, or Cal’s, which is based on proving herself as a hunter, there is a volatile chemistry between the two leads. One that pushes you to see Juliette romanticize Cal, and how she looks and talks about her warms your heart. Yes, it is partly blood lust, but the way things are written almost makes you forget Juliette is just thirsty. In more ways than one.

As for Cal? Schwab did the right thing by presenting Juliette’s perspective first since it makes you question, with that makeout scene, did Cal change her mind when she realized she was into this kiss? Was she overtaken by the moment, and when it comes to Juliette’s fangs coming out, was that what really happened or part of a fantasy for either one?

Getting Both Ladies’ Perspectives

Time will tell if each episode gives us the perspective of both characters, or maybe one episode focuses on Cal’s point of view and the next Juliette? Either way, as noted above, getting both sides works well. It allows us to know their families and points of view, so no one feels simplified and is allowed to be complex.

Elinor (Gracie Dzienny) in conversation with her sister
Elinor (Gracie Dzienny)

Take Juliette’s relationship with her family and the idea of killing. Them being in hiding is established. Certain procedures, like blood pills, used to help their young fight urges are put into play. Also, considering Juliette’s sister, Elinor, seems to maintain a collection of IDs from the people she has killed, it pushes you to wonder how they choose their prey and why they haven’t come up with long-term plans to keep themselves safe?

Then with Cal establishing her family as nomads, presenting her ex-girlfriend, and making her a wannabe hunter who struggles in the moment, it gives you an idea of where her story is going. She is the baby sister trying to be taken seriously, to be more ingrained in her community, and through that, it feels like both ladies are given storylines where they could be the star of the show and not co-leads.

Low Points

Hunting More Than Vampires

My issues with there being more than vampires on this show stems from the CGI used when Cal’s brother got his first kill, and just how ghouls and other monsters were presented. There is something a bit campy about it. Not in a “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” type of way, where you feel like the people who made the show are in on it, but rather the cringiness of the fight sequences and how monsters look isn’t something they are aware of. Sort of like when a kid thinks they really did something cool, and you just humor them to not break their confidence.

Which could be a problem down the line, for while Juliette’s family seems cool and has that usual vampire mystique, I can’t say Cal’s has the same and if the cool factor comes from hunting no name, no development monsters? This is going to make the show feel lopsided.

On The Fence

The Girls’ Families

With Juliette’s family, it seems her family was regulated to you getting to know them enough to understand who she is and why. With Cal? I just feel like they gave her brothers too much screen time that didn’t ultimately seem worth it. Both come off generic, and while that could change down the line, I don’t have high hopes for either.

Margot (Elizabeth Mitchell) checking her daughter
Margot (Elizabeth Mitchell)

As for her parents? I like the fact her mom speaks like the Black moms I’m used to, which is a plus, but there is just this vibe that Cal being family-oriented will be a double-edged sword for the show. We’ll see it as a driving factor in her development, story, and relationship, but when the focus is off her and just on them? This show may falter.

Initial Impression

This show is going to completely ride on Calliope and Juliette’s chemistry. The whole monster hunting thing seems like it will be a liability to the show, and it really doesn’t present a strong push regarding The Guild or the life of vampires.

Targeted Audience

  • Those who like queer romances
  • Vampire and general monster lovers
  • Young adult crowd
Juliette waking up from a nightmare
First Kill: Season 1/ Episode 1 “First Kiss” [Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
While the relationship between the leads is a selling point for "First Kill," everything else feels like a potential liability in the making.
Calliope and Juliette's Chemistry
85
Getting Both Ladies' Perspectives
82
Hunting More Than Vampires
67
The Girls' Families
76
Community Rating0 Votes
0
Highlights
Getting Both Ladies' Perspectives
Calliope and Juliette's Chemistry
Disputable
The Girls' Families
Hunting More Than Vampires
78


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Avatar of Amari

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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