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  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 14, 2018
The First Image
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

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  • Summary: Laz Ingram (Natascha McElhone) heads up a crew that attempts to become the first humans on Mars in this sci-fi drama series created by Beau Willimon.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Science Fiction
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Sep 4, 2018
    91
    The middle section of Season 1 features some of the best character development, perspective shifts, and overall writing this year.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd VanDerWerff
    Sep 14, 2018
    80
    What The First is: a surprisingly affecting drama about several families and a planet in crisis.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Starr
    Sep 11, 2018
    75
    Hagerty and Ingram do, at times, veer toward predictability but it doesn’t impede the series overall feel (and, let’s face it, this is a series that needs viewers to be emotionally invested in its characters.) Willimon’s writing, pacing and sense of place, so evident in “House of Cards” (particularly in Seasons 1 and 2) resonates here.
  4. Reviewed by: Allison Shoemaker
    Sep 14, 2018
    58
    It’s that feeling of endlessness, of shapelessness, that makes this collection of mostly interesting parts uninspiring.
  5. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Sep 13, 2018
    50
    The First is under no burden to be as quippy or feel-good as The Martian, as awestruck as The Right Stuff, as gee-whiz as Apollo 13 or From the Earth to the Moon. But it needs to have some compelling reason to tell this story, in this way, and it never really finds one.
  6. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Sep 12, 2018
    50
    Visually compelling with a nicely pensive music score--courtesy of Colin Stetson of Arcade Fire and Bon Iver--The First is otherwise plodding and padded.
  7. Reviewed by: Adam Chitwood
    Sep 4, 2018
    20
    At every turn, The First is far more interested in lingering shots of Tom in pensive thought, or delivering a monologue about man’s destiny for space travel, or grieving for his dead wife. And perhaps that would’ve been fine if the show had something else to offer, but it also misses the mark in telling a genuinely compelling story about space travel.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 13
  2. Negative: 6 out of 13
  1. WS5
    Sep 20, 2018
    10
    I didn't expect to like this as much as I did. Pretty amazing series. It is sort of Terrence Malick meets The Right Stuff. I didn't mindI didn't expect to like this as much as I did. Pretty amazing series. It is sort of Terrence Malick meets The Right Stuff. I didn't mind that most of the show is set on Earth. And I don't think Sean Penn has ever been better. Expand
  2. Sep 15, 2018
    10
    I thoroughly enjoyed it! Binged all 8 episodes. I knew Sean Penn could handle gritty roles, but seeing him play a father with a troubledI thoroughly enjoyed it! Binged all 8 episodes. I knew Sean Penn could handle gritty roles, but seeing him play a father with a troubled daughter was a pleasant surprise. I didn't know what to expect because I didn't know much about the series before watching it. The acting was wonderful, the scenes were visually fantastic and the storyline was unexpected and refreshing. I found it to be just what I wanted to see: a drama that told a story without being overly heavy, messy or violent. I also wan to express my gratitude that it was not yet another sci-fi, unrealistic mess that yearns for a cult following of YA fans. Worth your time. Expand
  3. Sep 16, 2018
    10
    Amazing show and amazing performance from Sean Penn. I can understand those who give it a unfair low score, just because the show is not asAmazing show and amazing performance from Sean Penn. I can understand those who give it a unfair low score, just because the show is not as they expected, not because of the show itself. It's not a Sci-Fi it's a wonderful drama. Expand
  4. Sep 16, 2018
    4
    While there's a lot to appreciate in the writing and shooting of this drama, and Sean Penn does a surprisingly outstanding job, the wholeWhile there's a lot to appreciate in the writing and shooting of this drama, and Sean Penn does a surprisingly outstanding job, the whole series is quite boring. If you're interested in TONS AND TONS of character development, relationship complications, and social issues salted with the slightest bit of sci-fi, then this may be for you. I can't deny some inventive cinematography and unique vignettes here, though a good bit of the non-relationship writing is a tad simplistic (as relates to government/science issues).

    That this is a series about going to Mars is basically a MacGuffin to just drive the drama.

    While I enjoyed Solaris (2002) for what it was, it was like having to watch an 8-hour version of that style. It is a mature, complex drama, though, if that's what you're looking for.

    It barely gets a 4 because I hate to give it a negative rating. It does have artistic merit. I didn't find it to be that enjoyable, though.
    Expand
  5. Sep 17, 2018
    3
    The narrative is extremely disjointed and is marred by a lot of self indulgent scenes that go no where. They had an interesting premise thenThe narrative is extremely disjointed and is marred by a lot of self indulgent scenes that go no where. They had an interesting premise then pulled out various plot points randomly out of a hat and shoved them into the story whether they fit or not. Nothing much happens, the characters are pretty much one dimensional, even though Sean Penn tries his hardest to bring some life to his. It like listening to a four year old tell a meandering story about nothing. This happens, then this happens, then this happens… it's a Hulu snore-fest. Expand
  6. Sep 20, 2018
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. May Contain Spoilers* I love every part of the science, the training, space possibilities, space problems and all the NASA parts. If that was it, it would be an awesome 10 out of 10 series. But, then you have the drama parts. If there was just a little bit of it like, “Martian” that would be great but there isn’t just a little bit of useless drama but a ton of it. You also have to deal with a lot of useless family garbage as well. There will be so much of it that you will only get about 10 minutes or less per episode when it comes to anything to do with space. Now, if you were to splice only the NASA parts together then oh it would be wonderful. In fact maybe someone will do it in the future. Also, if that wasn't enough, the trailers and commercials only shows NASA / Science parts to suck you in to watching it. Expand
  7. Sep 17, 2018
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I like Sean Penn. the actors in the series were famous. I did not find the series interesting though. There was drama, but not a lot of real technical data. Sure it showed the SLS and dramatized the risks. If the person in question had so much personal distraction drama, they would have been grounded from a flight. I am sure there will be a second season because there is a lot of unfinished questions.
    What was the deal the old-fashioned dial phone??? is that a terrorist plot???

    I do hope the second seasoned delves further into the technology and less on the sappy emotional stuff (bah)/
    Expand

See all 13 User Reviews

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