netflix has canceled the supernatural teen drama series First Kill –an unashamedly camp show that follows star-crossed lovers Juliet (a teenage vampire) and Calliope (a teenage monster hunter) and leans entirely on Romeo and Juliet-esque extravagance—less than two months from its June 10 premiere. The cancellation reported by Deadline on Tuesday drew an immediate backlash from fans.
First killwhile it is not a critical hit, found a large audience among people who tuned in for a quirky vampire storyline centered around black characters. So why was it canceled after just one season — and why is the internet freaking out about it?
What Netflix said about First Kill’s cancellation
Deadlineciting unnamed sources, reported that Netflix canceled the fan favorite after one season because it “didn’t have the staying power of most Netflix hits.”
Historically, viewership/price ratio has driven Netflix’s cancellation versus renewal decisions. First kill has amassed a significant fan base: although Netflix doesn’t share many of its metrics, First kill was in its global top 10 TV listing for three weeks, accumulating 97.66 million hours of viewing in that time alone.
Sarah Catherine Hook as Juliet and Imani Lewis as Calliope First Murder
First kill fans criticize Netflix for its pattern of canceling odd shows
Fans immediately slammed Netflix for the outage First kill, noting that this is far from the first show featuring romantic relationships between women to be canceled by the streamer. Other titles that have met the same fate include Everything sucks, I don’t agree with that, Teenage bounty hunters, One day at a timeand Sense8.
First killThe cancellation led to the hashtag #CancelNetflix trending Wednesday morning.
First kill fans were quick to point out the recent renewal of HeartstopperBritish gay coming-of-age rom-com series, also on Netflix. Heartstopperwhich amassed 53.46 million viewing hours while in the Global TV Top 10 list – almost half of First kill— was renewed for two more seasons. Like a fan put it on“we don’t compare First kill with Heartstopper we compare how Netflix treats mlm oriented shows to how they treat their wlw shows.”
how First killThe creators of have responded
On Instagram, show creator Victoria Schwab called the day she found out her first TV project would be picked up for a full season one of the best days of her life.
“But that doesn’t mean the day it was canceled was the worst,” Schwab wrote. “Because the lack of a second season does not erase the first. It happened, I saw a great group of writers spin the thread, I saw an incredibly talented group of actors bring my characters to life.”
Hook and Lewis, for their part, shared a tender tribute to their heroes, also on Instagram.
“Associating so many of you with Juliet means more to me than words can say,” Hook wrote. “Thank you to everyone who liked and supported our special show. I love you forever, Jules.
“Forever honored. Forever grateful,” Lewis wrote. “Knowing that this show has touched so many of you is all I can ask for. Thank you for allowing me to express so many of your beautiful truths through Kal.”
More must-see stories from TIME