First Kill Is a Lesbian Teen Vampire Story About First Loves, First Times (and Hot Moms)

This First Kill review contains mild spoilers.

Okay, so my first thought when watching First Kill was “Oh, this is gay GAY”

I’ve been excited about this show forever, when I first heard the news I set a Google alert and tracked it along the way. It follows the story of Calliope (Cal), a monster killer in training who comes from a line of hunters; and Juliette, a vampire from a long line of legacy vamps who are damn near impossible to kill. Not only do we follow both girls on the path to their first kill — Cal must kill her first monster to be sworn in as a true hunter, and Juliette must kill her first human in order to be placed in the matriarchal line of her vampire family — we watch them fall in love. It’s a sweet (and sometimes bloody) story of firsts — first times, first kills, and first loves.

Cal stealing a glance at Juliette in class

It took me a few episodes to really get into the series and then I realized that although I enjoyed parts of it, this show is not for me in the slightest. This is not the vibe where it’s like “Oh, you can be a full ass adult and enjoy this little show about teens.” (I’m looking at you Riverdale seasons 1-3) NO. This is very much for (and aimed at) the youths and I love that for them. It’s for the teen gays who don’t have to be on edge while watching girls kiss on the TV in the family room because they are fully out and no one cares.

It has groping, grabbing, making out, and even some fingerplay in the woods. I don’t want to make the sexual aspects the main focus, but I believe it deserves to be talked about. Pop culture loves to make young dykes out to be sweet hand-holding girls who only know how to pine and cry, while young gay boys get to be horned up and fuck in locker rooms. That same vibe then follows us into more “adult” pop culture, where we are written as grown women who can only have unrequited crushes or who get into relationships where sex becomes a chore or non-existent.

I think it’s important that we write queer teen girls as sexual beings and not just sweethearts. It’s one of the few times where I want art to reflect reality. Do you know how much I would have loved to see horny teen lesbians on TV when I was a horny teen lesbian? It would have made me feel like a little less of a freak. Shit, I’m a sexed-up grown lesbian and I am STILL starved for quality TV that reflects me (I am NOT looking at you Gen Q). So, I like that this show is filled with big scoops of teen sapphic sex, love, and blood and hopefully, it’s making some teen dyke out there feel seen — or at the very least encouraging them to buy some fangs.

Side note: Although the show isn’t written for anyone over the age of like 20 to truly connect to, they did put some bites in it for us — every mom on the show is very, VERY hot.

Juliette and Cal's mothers run into each other at the school

So In the style of my lovely writer homie THEE Emma Specter, here are a few thoughts I had while watching the first season of First Kill.


25 40 50 A buncha thoughts I had while watching Season 1 of First Kill

  1. Ahhhh My Sweet Sapphic 16 Summer
  2. Like J-Kwon said, teen drinking is very bad or whatever (not whatever…that is exactly what he said)
  3. Why do they live in a house that is a slight knock-off of The Cullens Forks mansion?
  4. EVEN VAMPIRE TEENS LIE TO THEIR PARENTS!
  5. Is that Serena van der Woodsen’s mom?!
  6. “Paging Christina Tucker to the front office”
  7. I don’t know how I feel about these opening credits….
  8. No one noticed the grown-ass woman at the teen house party?
  9. I’ve decided that I absolutely need to take a trolley at some point in the near future.
  10. This is legit the ugliest monster I have ever seen in my life.
  11. Let me re-read Kayla’s knifeplay piece real quick…
  12. First Kill they said it!!! They said it!!!
  13. Romeo and Juliet who?!
  14. Why is she sleeping in a long sleeve PJ set and with two comforters in Savannah, GA?
  15. She has Cher’s wardrobe and Amber’s attitude — I love it?
  16. WIGS!!
  17. Very here for hot Black parents making out in kitchens after communicating well, I hope this is my future.
  18. Is that a lamp of an anatomical heart or am I reading far too deep into this?
  19. I am here to admit that I do not know how to play dominoes. But I am in firm possession of a West Indian girlfriend who has said they will teach me.
  20. I honestly can’t stand a vampire with morals. Like, who do you think you are, Bill Compton?
  21. If there are any vampires reading this — COME TURN ME! MY Address is 36…
  22. LOL, I hate how shows are like “To let you know the characters on screen are Black, we will cut to a scene that has rap music playing in the background whilst they conversate in AAVE”. Please stop.
  23. Girl, I swear if you don’t just fucking eat somebody, like, get over it.
  24. Is that a fucking caftan?
  25. UH-OH?! UNDER THE TREE?! OKAY!
  26. Ugh, not threatening with the police.
  27. Why hasn’t anyone screamed “BUT DADDY I LOVE HER!!” yet?
  28. I do not buy this hair switch up but you know what, that’s fine.
  29. This is cute as shit.
  30. LOL, it has been all of like, 3 days.
  31. Uh-oh, testy testy.
  32. I want to ask if the youths will get that Grey Gardens reference but I understood Grey Gardens references when I was 16 so — fingers crossed.
  33. You tell ‘em, baby!
  34. I hope that zombie tears his ass to pieces.
  35. What is this top doing?
  36. Absolutely not.
  37. Because I said so.
  38. LOL, not this.
  39. Okay but…I don’t get it.
  40. The amount of cops in this is unsettling.
  41. Is he cute or am I being hypnotized by this seersucker shirt?
  42. Is this a southern thing because my mama tells me to wear clean drawls all the time for the exact same reason.
  43. It’s Savannah, Georgia and y’all are ordering whiskey neat and wearing trench coats? I simply don’t understand.
  44. Wait is this a vampire bar?
  45. That text did not say all that but okay.
  46. These pajamas are VV cute.
  47. ACTING!!!!!
  48. First of all, I was trying to help.
  49. Second of all, who are you talking to?
  50. Girl…….
  51. Again — ACTING!!!!!
  52. Here is a thought — we could just ask that nigga what he wants and then let him go about his business.
  53. This being her angry music is taking me out.
  54. Come on track star!!!
  55. ACTTTTTIIIINNNGGGGGGG MAMA ACTTTTINNNGGG!!
  56. Hey dimples :)
  57. Okay — now kithe.
  58. I’ve figured it out…..he is cute.

A poster for the show First Kill, the vampire is about to bite one and the other is holding a stake

First Kill is streaming now on Netflix! Go watch it, but before you do, be honest — if you found out your crush was a vampire would you or would you not ask them to turn you? Let me know in the comments!


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Shelli Nicole

Shelli Nicole is a Detroit-raised, Chicago-based writer. Her work has appeared in Bustle, HelloGiggles & Marie Claire. She is terrified of mermaids and teenagers equally.

Shelli has written 218 articles for us.

28 Comments

  1. Yayyy! So glad people are getting into First Kill. It has quickly become one of my favourites! I’m in what’s probably considered the target audience for this show (20 yr old lesbian) and my goodness it is all of what I could want in a tv show. Enemies to lovers, vampires, and main characters madly into each other! Polished it off very quickly and in dire need of a second season.

    • I am not in the target audience and I straight up ugly cried through the finale. Representation of adoptive moms and moms and sons and just….phew. This show is cute for other reasons but I love love loved this representation.

  2. Okay so I personally find drinking blood to be very gross, BUT I would love to be hot and invincible and immortal?! So probably? I’d ask my crush to turn me into a vampire?

    Also this show was terrible but I watched every minute.

    • Very glad i’m not the only person in my 30s who actually enjoyed the show. Maybe it’s because it satisfies an unfulfilled wish for me, because i never had teen love and drama (or 20s love and drama really), but i fully enjoy the overdramatic-ness, the earnest romance, the *comprehensible* monster lore (I love you Emily Andras but you couldn’t write a coherent backstory to save your life girl) and yes hot moms too. I mean, watch the show for Elizabeth Mitchell’s legs if nothing else.
      It feels like somewhat of a spiritual successor to Xena; it’s camp, it’s queer, it has monsters and magic and two girls fated to be together.

  3. This show is so bizarre and nonsensical and I love it!
    Most interesting part of the lore is you think at first there’s a classic “Masquerade” going on, vampires in hiding, the public doesn’t know about the supernatural, etc, but then the reveal about halfway through the season EVERYBODY knows about monsters, they just all assume they went away for some reason, its hilarious.
    A character on the show literally swallows another character whole, like a snake and its never really brought up again. I would love this show even if it was a straight couple, but the genuine chemistry between the two leads is just icing on the cake

  4. In my 40s and I loved it! Is it the queer Buffy we all want? No but it’s the queer Twilight without all the creepy stalking or abusive grooming. If you’re not sold yet…couple things to consider. 1. Greer from Chasing Life is in this and she is SEXY AF. 2. A youtuber said Juliette is the vampire version of Laura Hollis from Carmilla and it is SO TRUE. Hopefully we get a season 2!

  5. So yeah, I’m not the target audience (being 40) and yeah this show is suuuuper cheesy at times, BUT I love it🤣 It’s about time we in the gay community get what the hetro community have gotten for decades: Super cheesy shows that makes you, at times, cringe, but none the less you still secretly love it😆 I’ve seen more than enough of this types of straight shows/movies out there. And now we are getting them. Love it!!! Not everything needs to be “quality” to be enjoyed. It’s also refreshing not having to watch lesbians traipsing around in period clothes, because that’s what is apparently “lesbian quality”, which to me is getting kinda boring and repetitive at this point. Most people just need to stop taking themselves so seriously and just embrace the silliness of a show like this. Just love it for what it is, I certainly did💖

  6. God, I wanted this show to be watchable. But it 100% checked all the boxes in gen z paranormal romance bingo. First Kill feels like a checklist of what execs think teens want to see without any heart to back it up.

    The Coke Zero of YA TV.

    I guess it’s nice to see a show with queer characters where their queerness isn’t the primary plot, but like damn. I wish it was a *good* show.

  7. Vampires + Monster Hunters + Lesbian Protagonists + Badass Black Family + Elizabeth Mitchell + Terrible CGI Monsters + Greer Gone Evil + “You ate my ” Lines = Total Win for my Millennial soul

    Is this prestige? Hardly. But it is entertaining, hilarious and fun. And in a world that is quite often terrible, that’s all I need.

  8. smh #22 when they cut to cal’s perspective ep 1 with that music shit i rolled my eyes so hard lol

    honestly idk how to feel about this show but i watched the whole damn thing and am in the least glad it exists

  9. This was a terrible show that not even Elizabeth Mitchell or Aubin Wise’s dimples could save but I (32yo) watched the whole thing(… tho I did speed through a lot).
    The thing that made me go through to the end was the bit just before the tree scene. You know how when two kids at a party like each other and say “do you wanna go for a walk” which everyone in earshot knows is code for “do you wanna go do stuff up against a tree”? Such a basic teen experience! Which queer teens (in my day) never had! And Cal and Juliette do exactly that!
    I know there was an earlier moment like this (the spin the bottle scene in the first ep, which was equally played as just a normal queer teen experience and not the nightmare it would have been when I was young), but that one is where I was suddenly very happy for the queer <20s watching it.

  10. This show is bad and it’s okay to admit it! It’s also okay to admit that I’m 29 years old and I binged most of the season in one day, AND I’m hoping for a second season.

    But in all seriousness, the writing, directing and cgi have SO many problems so it does become sort of distracting at times. The acting wasn’t so bad imo, and I do think the girls had a lot of chemistry, they just needed more scenes together actually being a couple. So yeah, I think it’s a mistake to ask everyone not to voice there criticism towards the show just because of “representation”, as many people did on twitter. You can admit it’s a bad show and still enjoy it (or not).

  11. I appreciate the comments because for a second I was like OH NO I AM TOO OLD. I binged it in two days and I know no one asked but I have many thoughts!!

    *There were times when I got confused on how scenes connected and what the dialogue was even talking about (the painting the sets at school is a big example, was that a school day? Did they go to class? Also did they break up during the severing?)

    *I was legit convinced Tess was Cal’s cousin and thought it was an interesting choice to have some light incest. I think they even have Cal refer to Tess’ parents as aunt and uncle?

    *The first two episodes are the strongest imho, more of that writing/directing team please. Did y’all know it was written by the author of the invisible life of addie larue?

    *do high schoolers wear cloaks to school now??? But I really liked that the extras looked physically more diverse than I’m used to in other shows (incredibly low bar)

    *if you’re going to go full true blood it should either be a major plot point or treated like a reveal, with the way it’s written it’s just confusing

    *I did not love the opening song but now I can’t stop singing it. Also having it reference “a love like Edward and Bella” makes me feel old

    *I miss kissing girls

    I think the show is good, but with better writing it could be great. I hope they renew it for a second season!

    • Light incest? You what now? Ewww.

      In Black communities and cultures,and I’d surmise in most non Euro-descendants cultures, calling someone Auntie/Uncle, is a term of respect and endearment.
      It doesn’t automatically mean You’re are biologically related.
      Tess’s parents are Cal’s parents BFF. That’s why the children call each other parents Uncle and Auntie.

      • Actually, less relevant in this case but it’s not only in non-European descendants cultures. It is also this way in Polish culture, especially for people that are good friends of your parents. I even remember Diana being referred to Anne’s daughter as “your aunt Diana” in L.M Montgomery’s writings, so in a complete Anglo-Saxon, English speaking territory. In the case in First Kill, I think it was related not only to the parents being close friends but to also to all of them being part of the guild. Tess’s parents have been referred to multiple time as Cal’s parents friends and none as the brother, sister, in-law or even cousins of one of them so there’s no familial relation here. Also, romantic/sexual relations between cousins are not incest.

  12. Despite being a good 20 years older than the target demographic, I absolutely adore this series. It’s campy, silly fun that’s enjoyable on a surface level.

    And Elizabeth Mitchell on my screen again is worth any hiccup in the storytelling!

  13. I’m 29 and not only did my wife and I binge it in one day, we’re re-watching it. We were both big Twilight and Carmilla fans, and this gives us those same vibes. I loved the fashion and music too. That song during the makeout sesh! Yes there were some structural problems to the narrative. (Which honestly surprised us because we love V.E.Scwab and have never read a book of hers with problems like that.) However, I loved the wlw romance and to have something like that on Netflix is huge! I hope it gets renewed for another season!

  14. I’m not into the oversexualization of “teens” even if they are gay. We tend to excuse it because they’re gay. It’s an over correction. As for the acting, meh. There is nothing else on Netflix.

  15. I absolutely loved this series if anything I wanted more of the fantasy side of it and hope we get that in the second season, it did feel weird watching 15 year olds get it on as a full on 35 year old adult- it was still great and exactly what I wish existed when I was younger.

  16. So I’m not the target demo and actually hate teen shows but still I binged it in 2 days and besides the fact that it’s obviously amazing there’s a lesbian love story with explicit horniness and which isn’t really a plot point, I thought the whole bro turned vampire was an added layer of queerness that was quite nice (you know, the whole ‘he just turned into smthg he’s been trained his whole life to hate’, the dad ready to kill him etc…). So terrible show but very queer and on Netflix homepage so yay (those low bars…)

  17. This show is so campy and so cheesy with such terrible CGI and I LOVED every minute of it. Hell, I’ve watched it thrice at this point. No regrets. And yes, if my partner were a vampire, I’d totally get to them to bite (for fun and to be turned) because being a vampire is something I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid.

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