Facets of Faith: how ‘First Kill’ got killed


Hanl Brown

Staff reporter Faith Brocke expresses her emotions and experiences in her column, Facets of Faith.

Faith Brocke, Staff Reporter

From the cinematic ingenious of Twilight to Marceline’s compelling storyline and character in  Adventure Time, the media has cycled through various takes and adaptations of vampires and the lore that surrounds them, intriguing fans of horror, mystery, and fantasy by intertwining the key elements of each genre to produce unique stories.

Netflix’s First Kill, a drama series based on V.E. Schwab’s book series surrounding vampire and monster hunter protagonists perfectly portrays what its predecessors have, clearing the bar entirely.

The show is commended for its humor, appeal to its audience, and above all else, LGBTQ+ representation. Its secondary genre is romance, the two main characters being lesbians, and one of which is a dark skin Black woman. 

Imani Lewis, otherwise known as ‘Calliope Burns’ in First Kill has set the tone for powerful Black women in leading roles on television, especially in sapphic media.

While it may not be the first in its unique line of representation, I had hoped to see more of what would come from a story where the main focus is maintaining a relationship with their enemy as opposed to a coming out arc or internalized homophobia.

Unfortunately, First Kill got the sack on Aug. 2. 

Since then, there’s been a massive outrage on the internet, many fans mentioning that Netflix failed to promote the show, focusing solely on Heartstopper, another show with LGBTQ+ representation. Many Netflix subscribers didn’t even know that the show existed until fans of the book took it upon themselves to make some noise.

It’s also important to note that First Kill climbed Netflix’s Top Ten for three weeks, stacking up to 30.43 million hours of streaming within the first week, surpassing Heartstopper’s ratings of 14.5 million hours. 

While both feature queer representation, Heartstoppers Black lesbian character, Tara, is only a recurring side character, taking up a less prominent role than either Nick or Charlie, while in First Kill the Black lesbian representation is front and center.

Both characters contribute to creating safe environments for Black lesbians and helping them become comfortable with themselves while feeling celebrated and represented unapologetically, but seeing a character be front and center as opposed to being pushed to the sidelines as the b-plot is even more fulfilling.

It’s unfortunate that a show with such high viewership, a prominent fanbase (who have yet to give up on the show, causing several tags to trend regarding its unfair lack of renewal weekly), a compelling story and such rich representation has been cut short, the show ending on a huge plot twist and cliffhanger. It breaks my heart to see that I won’t be able to see myself in Calliope’s character beyond ten episodes, and I can only hope that in the future, Black lesbian leads can thrive.