Critic Consensus: Sean Penn gives an intensely poignant performance as the driven but conflicted Tom Hagerty in The First's rather slow-moving first season.
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Penn is solid and stolid as Hagerty, conveying more depth in the scenes with his family than he does with his crew.
The First could be made of stronger stuff than it is. Its use of imagery and a drawling, unidentified voice-over philosophizer are both recurrent and generally intrusive.
A noble, ambitious series, but one that demands equally ambitious viewers.
Penn, for one, is a revelation here...You don't often see or hear his pain and grief, but you constantly feel it.
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.
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