Friday, March 31, 2023

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Fans Are Outraged at Netflix for Cancelling “First Kill”

Netflix has cancelled the lesbian vampire series First Kill after just one season and fans have convincing reasons to be outraged. While the teen love story between a vampire and her hunter wasn’t a critical hit, it mustered a large audience who enjoyed the show’s treatment of lesbian and Black characters.

We are also just a little bit touchy since the news HBO cancelled Gentleman Jack.

First Kill became one of Netflix’s top shows when viewers committed to 48.8 million hours of watching in its first week of streaming. It even made it to number three on Netflix’s list of top shows, only hunting Stranger Things and Peaky Blinders for the top blood. First Kill stayed in the top 10 shows for two weeks, boasting 100 million hours of viewing.

First Kill pulled more viewers than Heartstopper, a series that has been twice-renewed on the streaming platform. In its first week, Heartstopper pulled 14.5 million hours viewed, and 23.9 million in its second week. 

“Renewing Heartstopper for two more seasons and cancelling First Kill when it pulled in over 2.2 million more views than Heartstopper in the first two weeks… I’m so unbelievably tired of this,” one Twitter user wrote.

It begs the question: was First Kill not “queer” enough? Was it too lesbian? While major platforms like Time continue to call the show “queer,” Juliette (hunter) said she’s only attracted to women in the show and Felicia D. Henderson, the showrunner, confirmed Calliope (vampire) was a lesbian in an interview. 

Lesbians noticed the erasure right away. One Twitter user wrote, “stop calling first kill a queer show. Or a sapphic show. Or a wlw show. Or an lgbtq show. its a LESBIAN SHOW. its okay to say it! lesbian isnt a dirty word!”

Netflix’s reason(s) why

Despite First Kill having a bigger fanbase than other renewed shows, Deadline cited that Netflix pulled the plug because it “did not have the staying power of most Netflix hits.” 

Is viewership not symptomatic of staying power? It has been in the past: “Historically, the viewership to cost ratio has driven Netflix’s decisions about cancellation versus renewal,” according to Time.

First Kill might involve more special effects than Heartstopper, making it more expensive to film, but fans believe Netflix didn’t give First Kill a big enough budget in the first place. Perhaps that’s why some found the show “cheesy.”

“first kill did infinitely better in numbers than heartstopper but yk what the difference is? that its a lesbian show and netflix didnt even give it a budget or a chance just like the other shows they’ve cancelled,” one person tweeted.

First Kill fans have responded to the news by reviving the #CancelNetflix Twitter tag, along with #SaveFirstKill, threatening to unsubscribe from the mega streaming platform due to their outrage over the show being cancelled. 

Heartstopper should recieve the two-year renewal, of course we want more media about gay men. But the frustration for First Kill fans is that Netflix claims, despite a large viewership, that stories about interracial lesbian relationships don’t have the same “staying power” as those between two white men.

Read the full article here

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