What You Need to Know Before You Watch Hulu’s “The First” with Sean Penn

2018-09-16T12:08:31+00:00Movies & TV|

The First starring legendary actor Sean Penn, premiered its entire first season on Hulu this weekend, here’s why you should watch!

The First is a must-watch series and the entire first season is available now on Hulu; but with so many watchable options is this show the right show for you? Here are a few key things to know before you start binge-watching my new, favorite show.

Natascha McElhone, Sean Penn, and Oded Fehr

Natascha McElhone, Sean Penn, and Oded Fehr

The Premise:

The First is a near-future drama about a crew of astronauts attempting to become the first humans on Mars. Under the direction of visionary aerospace magnate Laz Ingram, the crew contends with peril and personal sacrifice as they undertake the greatest pioneering feat in human history. [source]

Sean Penn and LisaGay Hamilton in Hulu's

Sean Penn and LisaGay Hamilton

It’s a show about space, that doesn’t take place in space.

This may seem like a bad thing at first, but it’s definitely not in my opinion. If you’re looking for the next Star Trek or even a series version of The Martian, you should probably keep looking. The First is a show about the first manned mission to Mars however the series follows the lives of a few key players as they prepare for the mission, both professionally and personally. As the countdown to the mission starts, the astronauts and stakeholders navigate difficult family issues, mission-ready concerns, and the risks of space exploration.

Norbert Leo Butz and Natascha McElhone in Hulu's

Norbert Leo Butz and Natascha McElhone

The cast is exceptional.

Leading the cast is the always intriguing Sean Penn and the underrated (and undeniably gorgeous) Natascha McElhone. Penn’s Tom Hagerty was once the key commander for the mission but has since fallen out of grace and is no longer slated to go to Mars with the rest of the team. McElhone’s Laz Ingram is the face of Vista (think Elon Musk as the face of SpaceX) who is attempting to push the mission forward despite government interference and a tragedy that rocked the company’s public perception.

Other talented cast members include:

  • LisaGay Hamilton (The Practice, Men of a Certain Age)
  • Hannah Ware (Betrayal)
  • James Ransone (Bosch, Treme)
  • Oded Fehr (24:Legacy, Covert Affairs)
  • Keiko Agena (Gilmore Girls, 13 Reasons Why)
  • Rey Lucas (Luke Cage)
  • Melissa George (The Slap, The Goodwife)

The biggest revelation is Anna Jacoby-Heron (Finding Carter, Stranger Things) who stars as the daughter of Tom Hagerty (Penn). There were several times where the actress stole the scene right out from under Sean Penn, who is easily one of the greatest, emotional actors alive.

Anna Jacoby-Heron and Sean Penn in Hulu's

Anna Jacoby-Heron and Sean Penn

A slow burn.

Although the premise of the show is exciting, a mission to Mars where nothing seems to be going right, the show is not action-packed. In fact, it’s very much a slow burn over the course of the first eight episodes, yet, the speed is perfect. The show is a drama about the lives of the characters involved in the mission and is less about the mission itself. The speed of the series allows you to get to know the characters and see them as fully developed people. By doing this, the viewer can empathize with their situations and feel the weight of every decision they make.

The trailer:

I don’t understand why you’re still reading this and not watching the first episode, but if you’re still having trouble deciding if The First is the show for you, check out the trailer below: