The First: Season 1 (2018)

Season 1
The First

Critics Consensus

Sean Penn gives an intensely poignant performance as the driven but conflicted Tom Hagerty in The First's rather slow-moving first season.



Critic Ratings: 62


Audience Score

User Ratings: 234
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Air date: Sep 14, 2018
Air date: Sep 14, 2018
Air date: Sep 14, 2018
Air date: Sep 14, 2018
Air date: Sep 14, 2018
Air date: Sep 14, 2018
Air date: Sep 14, 2018
Air date: Sep 14, 2018

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Critic Reviews for The First Season 1

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (23)

The series may well develop into an absorbing character-led take on humankind's dream of exploring the solar system, but Willimon seemed to be relying on the audience having a bite at the second episode before deciding.

Nov 2, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The First is surprisingly pompous, inflated by its soundtrack... But stick with it.

Nov 1, 2018 | Full Review…

The First delivers, handsomely.

Oct 30, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

As flawed as I found the first season, I'll admit, it hooked me enough that I'm interested to see how they live life on Mars.

Sep 13, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

[Tom] acts like a complex hero in this post-"Sopranos" era, but the aimless writing and the arty editing leave him flat.

Sep 13, 2018 | Full Review…

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.

Sep 12, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Sadly mistaken for a full on sci fi epic, The First is a drama quest on our limits and emotions. Sean Penn shines. [Full review in Spanish].

May 15, 2019 | Full Review…

The First needs to up its game or it's headed for the black hole of oblivion.

Mar 8, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The seriousness of the subject doesn't entirely explain the solemnity of this pilot episode, nor the glacial pacing.

Mar 1, 2019 | Full Review…

For a show about people looking up to the stars in wonder, its gaze is disappointingly earthbound.

Oct 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The First: Season 1

  • Jul 27, 2019
    Loved every episode...Sean Penn was awesome...I hope there is a season two...I binged and watched every episode in one night!!! It's a must watch show!!
  • Jul 07, 2019
    I love space stuff. This is not terrible. At times very engaging. But the pacing is glacial and there are so many solemn scenes of people strapping on spacesuits, strapping into seats or just staring at the horizon that it becomes a bit of a joke. I'm going to stick with it - its sort of worth the effort. But the show may take itself a bit too seriously.
  • Jun 10, 2019
    This series is intelligent, poignant and well written. The characters are well drawn, deep and engaging. No wonder it was cancelled! I only wish it was on Netflix. I mean they give a series a chance to find its audience!
  • Jun 07, 2019
    The First was an emotional roller-coaster of human emotion on an epic scale. What pleasantly surprised me was that the impending space mission thread through the episodes is treated almost as a sub-plot while the characters deal with very real and very well captured and well explored issues. On more than one occasion, the series caught me with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as we explore the heartbreaking relationship between Penn's main character, his deceased wife and their daughter. All three deliver outstanding performances along with the ever strong Natascha McElhone in an inspirational supporting role. As much as I'd love to see this back for a second season, it would be a beautiful end to a fantastic run of episodes.
  • Apr 22, 2019
    Its just not your expecting its more of a family drama, drug addiction, suicide , father daughter relationship. the mars aspect seem like and afterthought. It is quite slow paced maybe 5-6 episodes may have have helped 8 was to much for this drawn out drama.
  • Apr 20, 2019
    High production values and solid acting help this series. But the characters have the maturity of adolescents and much of the show is about their histrionics about their feeeeeeeeeelings - which is exactly what separates them from the real life people they're supposed to represent. Those who have the personal resources to excel and achieve against the odds tend to find self-absorbed neediness inexplicable.
  • Apr 03, 2019
    Want to see more seasons!!!
  • Mar 26, 2019
    Great acting. The show delves into the hardwork, personal and professional obstacles faced by those who work in space industry.
  • Mar 26, 2019
    Amazing drama-sci-fi series, Interstellar like...unfortunately it was not renewed for a second season.
  • Mar 24, 2019
    This is a great show and can't believe it's been canceled. What are you thinking Hulu?

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