When the marketing for First Kill kicked off back in May, the marketing seemed to enjoy drawing comparisons to Buffy the Vampire Slayer while also trying to use the teenage lesbian aspect as a selling point. The marketing never truly went beyond either, giving First Kill shaky legs to begin with, only for the poor reviews to tear the Netflix series down further. So, it’s no surprise that the showrunner, Felicia D. Henderson, has spoken out against the show’s poor marketing, citing it as the reason it was ultimately canceled.
Two days after the news broke that First Kill would not be returning for Season 2, Henderson sat down to speak with the folks at the Daily Beast about the cancellation. “I so enthusiastically signed on to this show [because] it has something for everyone,” she explained. “Strong women leads, supernatural intrigue, an epic, Shakespearean battle between warring families, and a prominently featured Black family in the genre space, something Black viewers crave and a general audience needs to be treated to.”
However, as she notes, while the marketing for the series was stunning, it never really did a great job at selling what First Kill was about. “The art for the initial marketing was beautiful. I think I expected that to be the beginning and that the other equally compelling and important elements of the show — monsters vs. monster hunters, the battle between two powerful matriarchs, etc. — would eventually be promoted, and that didn’t happen.”
Here are some of the posters released for reference.
While Henderson’s comments are understandable, it’s also worth noting the romance aspect was the center focus of the story. Still, Netflix did fail to showcase the powerful families in the series, as well as the various monsters lurking nearby.
While First Kill did make Netflix’s Top 10 for within its first week, the show had trouble with audiences completing the series. Deadline reports that First Kill ranked at Nov. 7 with 30.3 million hours watched, peaking at No. 3 in its first full week of release with 48.8 million, going on to clear 100 million hours viewed within its first 4 weeks. Despite all of that, the series lacked the competition hours necessary for Netflix to renew it.
Still, in the end, Henderson is grateful for Netflix did do. “They licensed the IP, paid for a pilot script, and gave it a healthy production budget.”
First Kill is streaming now on Netflix.
Source: Daily Beast.