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First Murder review A highstakes teen lesbian vampire love story

Sometimes its so bad its good but the story of a teen gay vampire who falls in love with a brave vampire hunter is far from boring.

Based on a short story by YA Queer and fantasy author V.E. Schwab First Kill mixes a little Buffy Supernatural and Charmed with Romeo & Juliet and a side of Heathers. But she admirably adheres to her dark mythology and sinister sense of humor in weaving the potentially tragic story of Calliope Emani Lewis and Juliet Sarah Catherine Hawke. The pairs enthusiasm at first sight is electric but innocent spurred on by the relationship between Louis and Hook who can make Calliope and Juliet seem like the only two people in a crowded room.

These rooms are usually very crowded as well between the Juliet family Vermonts and part of the elite Savannah and Georgia though secretly vampires and Calliopes people the Burns family are part of a long line of trained monster hunters. While the dueling killers family dynamic is good material for soapy drama the supernatural horror that accompanies it ranges from the sinister to the absurd.

Rated Rrated vampires that feed on say a superfast zombie that rips through someones spine are played against the dry humor of a quiet southern city that is being overrun with demons demons and vampires. The moment when one of the main characters accidentally devoured a relative entity is laughter and laughter. However not all laughs are intended with some dialogue really worth groaning and some rough rendering to match the oddly designed fight scenes and consistently cheesy lighting.

Schwab and her coworkers bring intriguing wrinkles into vampire myths—the Juliet clan are inherited vampires daywalking descendants of a pure dynasty—but the book leaves big gaps or unexplained questions that may irritate viewers. For example we meet a few generations of Vermontese but know nothing of the aging process. However the show repeatedly and delightfully surprises by escalating the conflict between the Vermont and Burns families much faster than expected. Plot twists pop up in time to keep the gluttony flowing.

The narrative turns that tend to work best are the ones closest to reality. Juliets best friend for life Ben well played by Jonas Dylan Allen doesnt know her secret and it gets tough when the nature of his true mortal girlfriend is revealed. But Ben keeps secrets of his own as the side sister of DL Straight bro Noah Roberto Mendes who has brutalized his boyfriend in relationships even though there are no real monsters involved in the relationship.

During its 8episode season First Kill attempts to develop its general themes that promote tolerance and fight bigotry. The series enforces a story in which Vermonts who would rather be only wealthy sedentary Southerners begin to feel victimized by monophobia who view them only as murderers. Led by Bens housewifes mother Bani Annunziata Gianziro not good but a shoutout Monsterphobia forms the MAM Action Group Mothers Against All Monsters after a series of murders committed by monsters that have ravaged the city.

Theyve been portrayed as uninformed reactionary madmen but this time the lunatics have a point. Monsters like Elinor Gracy Disney the ruthless older sister of Juliet who wisely but ruthlessly feeds on the men she picks up in bars probably shouldnt be encouraged to devour people. Society has to draw a line somewhere.

So that angle doesnt make sense but First Kill enjoys trying to make it work along with other weird details from blood servants giving sips from their wrist at a cocktail party to zombies still hoping to get a part in school play. Amid all the harrowing weirdness its the incredible adventure of two girls in love that takes center stage and keeps this horror show out of control.

About Yashwa Malik

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