Spoiler-Free Review of “First Kill” on Netflix: Watered-down True Blood is a Delightful Distraction

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“Young love is a powerful thing…”

First Kill premiered on Netflix on June 10th 2022 with eight episodes available to stream now. The YA teen vampire series from executive producer, Emma Roberts, stars Sarah Catherine Hook, Imani Lewis, Elizabeth Mitchell, Gracie Dzienny, and Will Swenson. Each episode runs for approximately 46-52 minutes.

Juliette and Calliope begin to fall for one another, but soon realize that one of them is a vampire and the other is a vampire hunter, causing a feud between their families.

Here is the trailer:

First Kill features a LGBTQ+ power couple in this modern interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, but does it have enough bite? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

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Images courtesy of Netflix

Undeniable chemistry.

I really felt such an electric charge between these two from the very first moment we saw them interact with one another. I was super excited to see a LGBTQ+ couple shine on a vampire series and it was easy to root for these two against all odds. More please!

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Images courtesy of Netflix

Fantastic cast and stand-out characters!

I am a huge Elizabeth Mitchell fan and I was so beyond thrilled to see her on this show! She does a fabulous job and I really liked the majority of the characters. 

Gracie Dzienny is a scene-stealer as Elinor! Wow, what a character. I’d love to see her have her own show because she is deliciously wicked.

The Cons:

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Images courtesy of Netflix

Contrived at times with painful dialogue…

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this series, but I couldn’t take it too seriously. It’s more of a guilty pleasure watch. I’m already seeing a lot of comparisons to Buffy, but this series felt more like a PG-rated version of True Blood to me.

The dialogue was really bad at times (“You bit me. You staked me!”). This made it harder to connect even though I genuinely liked the characters. The plot wasn’t bad, but there were too many characters involved, which over-complicated things. I also could have done without the overdone and overused voice-over narration. There were just so many elements that felt really contrived and I wanted some more edge, even though we saw glimmers of it at times.

It will be interesting to see where we go from here if we get a second season, especially since we got a few cliffhangers at the end.

So am I in or out?

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Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in!!!!

Love at first bite!

This series is really entertaining as long as you don’t take it too seriously. If you enjoy vampire series, you’ll find enough to be excited about with this one and a new ship to swoon over!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on First Kill in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

A Halloween they’ll never forget…

Scream Hunt Halloween

When former friends, Shay and Adriana team up to participate in a Halloween scavenger hunt with a cash prize, they temporarily put their differences aside to outsmart their opponents. However, they soon start to realize that a dangerous threat is playing their own version of the game, stalking them during each hunt.

Winning is now a necessity as their lives are at stake. As old wounds and memories re-surface, Shay and Adriana attempt to unmask the threat before the night is over, but soon learn that Scream Hunt is not done with them just yet…

My young adult horror thriller is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Scream Hunt is available here!

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Throw-back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 villains from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV Fans!  For today, I have returned to one of my old favorites, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Buffy and her friends are a blast to watch and are always trying to ensure that goodness prevails in order to protect Sunnydale and the rest of the world.  But this would get boring if Buffy could always easily save the day against countless vampires. 

What makes the show surpass this is the introduction of formidable foes that cross her path.  Ranging from the geeks she went to high school with to the first evil that existed in the world, there is a lot of evil and chaos thrown at the Scoobies. 

Let’s not forget that some of Buffy’s closest friends have turned on her and mortal enemies have become great allies along the way.  Buffy is the Chosen One for sure, but these villains are not only worthy of an all out battle, they are more complex and smarter than your average vampire turned to dust.   Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet.

My top 5 villains from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are:

5

Drusilla

Drusilla was introduced to Buffy in season 2 along with her boyfriend, Spike.  When she first came to town she was weakened from a mob, but was revealed to possess psychic abilities.  When Drusilla is at her full strength she proves to be extremely dangerous and even kills another slayer who gets in her way.  What makes Drusilla such a stand-out villain is that she is completely insane. 

She has an innocent girl-like quality at first and manipulates Spike to do her bidding, all while having a tea party with her dolls.  One of my favorite scenes with Drusilla is when she blindfolds one of the dolls and says she’s not allowed to watch with the rest, as she kills someone brutally in front of them.  There is a haunting quality about Drusilla that makes her beyond scary and a real threat to Buffy.

4

Glory

The best way to define her I suppose is if Cordelia had god-like powers with no sense of remorse.  Glory is revealed to be a god and Buffy’s sister, Dawn, is the key that she is desperately looking for.  In one of the first fights with Glory, Buffy is beaten not just badly, but to a bloody pulp, making fans wonder about how she would be able to defeat her.

Glory is an entertaining villain, keeping her manicure and lip gloss in check while continuing on her quest, refusing to allow anyone to get in her way.

3

The Master

The Master is introduced as the first main villain that Buffy must face in the first season.  His face has no humanity left in it, different from other vampires, because of his age.  There is a cringe-worthy factor here for sure, but the Master hasn’t left his sense of humor behind either.  He is ruthless and powerful and even is able to kill Buffy initially.  Thankfully Xander is able to revive her, but he proved to be a dangerous foe and an influence on other vampires nearby.

2

Evil Willow

Everyone loves Willow and she is a great friend to Buffy.  When she begins experimenting with witchcraft, it naturally seems like a great way to help Buffy fight the forces of evil.  But when Willow loses the love of her life, Tara, she is consumed by rage and evil magic corrupts her.

Willow becomes so powerful that it seems like no one will be able to defeat her.  If not for her best friend, Xander, who has no powers or supernatural strength, she would have been lost for good and the world might have been destroyed.  Xander uses love to remind Willow that he will always be there for her and it brings her goodness back to the surface.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Spike
  • Faith
  • The Mayor
  • The Judge
  • Mr. Trick
  • Anyanka
  • Darla
  • The First
  • The Gorch family
  • The Gentlemen
  • Kralik
  • Caleb
  • The Trio
  • Harmony

1

Angelus

Buffy and Angel’s love is so passionate and real throughout the beginning episodes.  There is something very romantic about the idea of a vampire with a soul and Angel has been trying to do good and make up for the monster he used to be.  However, when he is with Buffy, he loses his soul because he experiences true happiness, and Angelus is unleashed on the world once more as a result.  Not only is he a vicious killer, but he targets on Buffy’s weakness and mocks their love, making it seem like he did not care for her in the slightest.

He goes after her friends and family and toys with Buffy in a stalker-like way.  When Angelus unleashes a demon on the world to swallow it whole, Buffy knows that she must kill him to close the portal.  She has pushed her feelings aside and knows that she must defeat him for the greater good.  However, this becomes an almost impossible task when Angel’s soul is restored right at the moment she is about to kill him.

Buffy must follow through with this, sacrificing her love to save the world.  Her love for Angelus is what makes him such a dangerous villain.  Buffy is the Chosen One, but she is also human and a teenage girl with feelings.  Her strength is truly tested when Angelus is introduced, but she is able to do what is necessary to defeat him.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own favorite villains from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Thanks for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Ranking the top 5 episodes of the series

Happy Friday TV fans!  I was somewhat uninspired by the shows that aired last night so I decided to return to an old favorite, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Over the years, Buffy still holds up for me as one of my top shows of all time.  Buffy first aired when I was in high school and in desperate need of a female lead to look up to that was strong, resilient, smart, and selfless.  Plus Sarah Michelle Gellar’s wardrobe as Buffy helped my fashion sense tremendously.

Watching Buffy helped shape me into the person I am today and while I have not re-watched the show in several years, the episodes are still fresh in my mind.  I have to say that out of all my top 5 rankings, this was the most difficult show to narrow down my selections.

I adore making lists so when I was brainstorming last night about which episodes I wanted to include, I found myself scratching off some and adding others repeatedly.  There were some that I really wanted to include but I thought it was only fair to pick 5.  I think that goes to show that there are so many amazing episodes of Buffy.  Good job Joss Whedon!

My five top episodes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer for are:

5

“Hush” (season 4, episode 10).  

I have to admit that I still have nightmares about “The Gentlemen” from this episode.  They are so well crafted and creepy, that even Freddy and Jason cannot compare.  “The Gentlemen” travel to Sunnydale to collect hearts and steal the voices of everyone so that no one can hear you scream.  I was in college when this episode first came out and I remember being very hesitant to open my dorm-room door after a knock because of this.

Sure that is a little extreme, but that’s how truly scary these demons were.  What really makes this episode stand out is that Buffy and the Scoobies have to find a way to defeat them and communicate with one another without their voices.  This leads to some great comedy along the way balanced with sheer terror.

4

“Fool for Love” (season 5, episode 7).

In this episode, Buffy comes very close to dying and is looking for a way to learn from her mistakes and stay alive.  She decides to go to the vampire, Spike, for help.  She knows that over his lifetime, he has killed two slayers and she wants to know how.  For me, Spike has always been one of my favorite characters.

The development of his back-story was so interesting and necessary to the show.  What really grabs the viewer is when he tells Buffy that “he’s always been bad,” only to flash back to a scene where he is dressed in a dusty suit, reciting poetry.  Who would have thought that one of the most dangerous vampires of all time had a romantic side?  We find out through the episode that he was nicknamed “William the Bloody” because of his “bloody awful poetry.” 

While it is interesting to see how Spike is turned into a vampire and how he defeated the other two slayers, what really stands out is his love for Cecily.  He had been crafting his poetry for her and pouring his heart out, only for her to reject him and say that he is “beneath her.”  This moment is what drags Spike’s vulnerability to the surface and comes back to haunt him when Buffy later says the same thing to him.

For me, the end of this episode always stands the test of time.  Spike goes off to kill Buffy for making a fool of him and he sees her crying on her porch steps after she has learned that her mother is very ill.  He goes to sit with her and comfort her in what I think is the purest and most beautiful moment between them.

At this moment, Spike doesn’t have a soul.  Sure, he has a chip in his brain preventing him from hurting others, but he is able to show true compassion and friendship here, which is really beautiful.

3

“The Gift” (season 5, episode 22).  

This is a very powerful season finale and I often thought that the series would end here.  It wasn’t until the UPN network picked up Buffy for seasons 6 and 7 that it continued on.  A lot goes on in this episode and a catastrophic portal opens that can only be closed by the blood of the key, Buffy’s sister Dawn.

Buffy makes the ultimate sacrifice, choosing to jump into the portal to sacrifice herself to save her sister and the world.  A flash-back reveals Buffy reminding Dawn that their blood is the same, which brought tears to my eyes.  Buffy tells Dawn that “the hardest thing in this world is to live in it.  Be brave.  Live.  For me.” 

As if this moment couldn’t have been tragic enough, Spike’s reaction to Buffy’s death is so heart-wrenching and real.  He does truly care for her and feels he let her down.

2

“The Zeppo” (season 3, episode 13).  

You may be wondering why I included this episode and why it is ranked so high on my list.  “The Zeppo” is the funniest episode of the entire series, following a series of events through Xander’s perspective.

In the beginning of the episode, Cordelia talks about how everyone in the Scoobies has something to contribute except for him.  He’s like “Jimmy Olsen” or “The Zeppo.”  Xander gets into a never-ending adventure where Buffy and the rest of the gang are simply background noise.

Xander’s reaction to each new challenge is hilarious and the music is spot on, which makes this episode stand out for me as one of my all-time favorites.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one episode of Buffy are:

  • “School Hard”
  • “Halloween”
  • “Innocence”
  • “Passion”
  • “I Only Have Eyes For You”
  • “Homecoming”
  • “Lovers Walk”
  • “The Wish”
  • “The Prom”
  • “Living Conditions”
  • “Something Blue”
  • “Who Are You?”
  • “Buffy vs. Dracula”
  • “Triangle”
  • “The Body”
  • “Life Serial”
  • “Once More, With Feeling”
  • “Tabula Rasa”
  • “Conversations with Dead People”
  • “Lies My Parents Told Me”
  • “Chosen”

1

“Becoming Part 2” (season 2, episode 22).  

This has always been my absolute favorite episode of the series.  While the episode has a lot going on, the last moments are what make it so powerful.  Angel has lost his soul and became the evil Angelus and Buffy is fully prepared to put a stop to him, recognizing that the man she fell in love with no longer exists within this soulless demon.  Angelus is opening the mouth of a demon that will swallow the world hold, unleashing hell upon earth.

Just as Buffy is about to strike him down with a sword and save the day, Willow’s spell takes effect, and his soul has now been returned.  Angel doesn’t remember what has happened or where he is.  The damage is done; however, as the demon’s mouth has already been opened and Buffy must destroy the love of her life to close the portal.  Buffy reveals her selflessness again to save the world, losing her true love in the process.

Once the tragic task is completed, Buffy leaves Sunnydale, unable to deal with the tragic consequences.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to comment on some of your own favorite episodes.  Happy viewing and have a wonderful weekend!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl