Vampire shows you need to watch after binging Netflix's First Kill
Netflix's latest includes First Kill, an eight-episode queer-ified Romeo & Juliette love story woven into a sci-fi world of monsters and monster hunters. The Juliette of the tale (literally) is the monster – that is, vampire (Sarah Catherine Hook) – who falls hard and fast for monster-hunter Calliope (Imani Lewis). About to fulfill life-long destinies, the high school students struggle to mesh their senses of self with intense family expectations. Their forbidden romance enhances their struggles and blurs battle lines as other forces push their families and community into deadly chaos.
After watching this new vampire romp (which is a hit so far), we thought we'd assess which of its blood-sucking predecessors had the sweetest bite.
But before we get to the ranking, a few parameters: we looked at vampire shows that have been released between 1990 and today, not including children's programs and focusing only on shows that center specifically on vampires, not other sci-fi creatures as well (sorry, that means no Legacies or Supernatural on this list). We also only looked at shows that explicitly mention vampires (e.g., so no Midnight Mass).
To come up with my ranking, I considered each show's Rotten Tomatoes' critics score (the Tomatometer) and audience score, IMDB ratings, awards recognition, and what EW staffers have written about the shows through the years.
With that criterion, below are the top seven vampire shows since 1990. But first, a special shout-out to a web series that doesn't quite fit with the rest, but certainly walked so First Kill could run.
Carmilla, Vervegirl 2014
The vampire show I did not rank but must mention is Carmilla. Launched in 2014 on the YouTube channel of Canadian culture publication Vervegirl (it's now with KindaTV), Carmilla was a single-camera web show version of the 1872 Gothic novella of the same name (there are also several film versions, including a 2019 film starring Outlander's Tobias Menzies). The web show featured three seasons of 36 episodes, each between three and 17 minutes. It told the story of Laura (Elise Bauman), a plucky college student who discovers her mysterious roommate Carmilla (Natasha Negovanlis) is a vampire. Things get progressively chaotic as the unlikely pair fall in love and fight evil together. Carmilla was cheesy and low-budget, but it was unabashedly fun and is beloved among a certain LGBTQ crowd. The cast and crew landed convention appearances, and the fanbase remains deeply devoted to the show and cast. Though its web series status kept me from ranking Carmilla with the other vampire shows, I would be remiss not to honor it. That's especially considering it's perhaps the most similar to First Kill; its premise is a woman-loving-woman romance that starts off explicitly forbidden. Anyone who loves First Kill must check out this goofy, gorgeous web series that came before it.
Now, before we finally sink our teeth into the top seven, we also have to give shoutouts to Netflix's 2019 series V Wars, the Netflix/BBC One mini-series Dracula from 2020, NBC's 2013 take on Dracula, and The WB's 1999-2004 Angel series. In ascending order, here are our top seven shows to binge after your First Kill.
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