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Netflix’s new teen drama lacks bite, critics say

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Netflix’s new teen drama lacks bite, critics say
Juliette and Calliope stand over a dead body in their high school in Netflix's First Kill TV series



(Image credit: Netflix)

First Kill, Netflix’s new vampire-led teen drama, has proved to be divisive with reviewers.

The Netflix show debuted on Friday (June 10) with all eight episodes in its first season dropping on the same day, as has become Netflix tradition.

Based on the short story of the same name by V. E. Schwab, First Kill is a reimagining of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It is about Juliette Fairmont, who is a vampire in a long line of vampires that can live in plain sight in Savannah.

Approaching her 16th birthday, Juliette, who has spent her life thus far living off blood pills, discovers that the pills are losing their efficacy and she must confront the prospect that it is time for her to make her first kill – something she does not want to do.

Things are complicated further by the arrival of a new girl in town, Calliope Burns, who Juliette quickly becomes infatuated with. Calliope Burns’ family history is just like Juliette’s. Calliope is a monster hunter who was raised by a family full of monster hunters. Oh dear…

Modern day takes on Shakespeare’s plays have proved to be rich source material for teen dramas, with the likes of 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s The Man and Get Over It all winning a place in heart of teenage movie goers with their clever takes on The Taming Of The Shrew, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. How does First Kill compare with the critics? It turns out that it does not fare very well with critics.

Do critics hate it?

They don’t hate it, but they’re not exactly enamored either. The show has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 55%, which isn’t a kicking, but it’s not enough to earn the show a certified fresh rating.

Some critics really dislike it, too. Variety’s Caroline Framke (opens in new tab)wrote that the show was “sunk by a noxious combination of flat writing and flatter directing”, while Decider’s Joel Keller (opens in new tab) said that the show’s “storytelling is so clumsy it’s just very hard to watch. “

A few critics were more taken with the show, though, with Paste Magazine’s Anna Govert (opens in new tab) writing the show was a “…lot of fun. It’s quirky, it’s funny, and it’s dramatic. This is everything you would expect from a modern, teenage vampire story. Meanwhile, San Jose Mercury News’ Randy Myers (opens in new tab) said: “If you surrender to its delicious cheesiness, you’ll have a lot of fun. “


Analysis: Will this “kill” First Kill?

Some spoilers for First Kill follow, so if you want to watch the show, stop reading here please.

It sounds obvious, but it will depend how many people watch the show. As we’ve learned in 2022 thus far, Netflix have no problem canceling shows if they aren’t bringing in the required numbers.

First Kill is a short story from a collection of vampiric tales, not a giant young adult book franchise, so it didn’t have a baked-in fanbase ready to go. However, the show ends on a cliffhanger, with Calliope and Juliette both alive and kicking. This is quite different to Shakespeare’s tragic end for Romeo and Juliet. We’ll wait to see how the audience reacts.

Looking for a new Netflix show to get stuck into? We’ve up 30 of the best of them.

Tom Goodwyn

Tom Goodwyn is TechRadar’s Senior Entertainment Editor. TechRadar’s Senior Entertainment Editor oversees TechRadar’s coverage of the most popular TV shows, documentaries, and movies on streaming services, theaters, and beyond. Based in London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two children…

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


Author: Mark Hachman
, Senior Editor

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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