The internet is positively incensed at Netflix after the sudden cancellation of this beloved drama

Netflix has cancelled the hugely popular lesbian vampire drama First Kill after just one season – and fans are asking why yet another female-centric LGBTQ+ show has bitten the dust.

When Netflix’s lesbian vampire series First Kill landed earlier in June, the internet was abuzz with excitement. Adapted from a short story by New York Times bestselling author VE Schwab and executive produced by Emma Roberts, the series was heralded for its unapologetic lesbian representation and diverse cast, as well as the captivating story about its two female leads, teen vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook) and legacy vampire hunter Calliope (Imani Lewis), who fall in love. 

Nearly two months after the streamer debuted all eight episodes of the show’s first season, though, the beloved supernatural drama has suddenly been axed by Netflix.

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According to Deadline, the decision to cancel the series was based upon the fact that First Kill did “not meet thresholds for viewing and completion of episodes”.

That sounds like a pretty straightforward rationale for cancelling a new series, especially given the fierce competition from mega hits such as Stranger Things on the streaming platform.

But while the first season was met with mixed critical reception, you need only look at the figures to see that First Kill was far from a flop. The series broke into Netflix’s Top 10 for English-language TV series within its first three days of release, ranking no 7 (no 3 non-Stranger Things title) with 30.3m hours viewed. Within its first full week of release, it had peaked at no 3, only behind the behemoths Stranger Things 4 and Peaky Blinders season 6. And within the first 28 days of release, it had notched up an impressive million hours of viewing.

Netflix’s First Kill

Not only did First Kill accrue decent ratings, but it was a bona fide hit with audiences, scoring 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. It also garnered a dedicated fanbase on social media, both in the weeks leading up to its premiere and after its launch. Many people pointed out the significance of the series given the persistent lack of queer female representation on TV, and encouraged viewers to support the series and boost its chances of renewal.

It didn’t take long, then, for the internet to make its sentiments known in the wake of the news about the cancellation. Before long, First Kill was trending on Twitter – and it’s fair to say that fans weren’t happy with the decision.

Many people pointed out the hypocrisy of cancelling First Kill, a show that privileges the perspectives of young lesbians, while Netflix has simultaneously thrown its weight behind Heartstopper, another recent teen drama about young male queer love that has been renewed for two more seasons.

A number of fans highlighted how rare it was to see a dark-skinned lesbian character on the small screen.

Others pointed out how First Kill was simply the latest in a long line of female-focused LGBTQ+ shows to bite the dust after fan favourites The Wilds and Gentleman Jack were recently axed.

Series cast member Dominic D Goodman, meanwhile, expressed gratitude towards the show’s fanbase.

“I have nothing but love for every single one of you!” he tweeted. “Thank you all for taking the show in as your own, seeing you all feel seen made all the hard work and hours worth it.”

While Netflix has driven a stake into First Kill, it doesn’t necessarily mean a complete end for the show. With such a visible show of support, it’s quite likely that fans will rally together and attempt to get the show picked up again by another streaming service. We’d definitely love to see it.

Images: Netflix

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