REVIEW: Hulu’s The First S1E1 – Separation

Hulu has officially dropped the first season of its new near-future drama, The First. Have you read our series survival guide yet? You can go through the basics here if you’d like. Here’s our review of S1E1, Separation. Warning: Spoilers ahead. Please proceed at your own risk.

Eight years have passed since NASA awarded Vista the Mars contract. Launch day is finally here and everybody has mixed emotions. Including former Mission Commander Tom Hagerty (Sean Penn) who is watching everything at home. They know they have eyes on them. Nothing can go wrong. As the crew of Providence I gets ready to become the first human team to go to the Red Planet for 2.5 years and back, the ground team makes final preparations. Despite the fact that the rocket was able to liftoff without any problems, an error occurs during separation and the crew goes with the explosion.

It’s one hell of an introduction but as someone who has experienced a launch before, I have to commend the cast for portraying the array of emotions they did throughout the entire episode. It’s hard to wrap your head around something like a launch failure. Especially when someone you know is associated with a project. You can feel the pain of each family member as they watched the explosion and how they reacted to their loss afterward. You can feel the tension and concern of each Vista employee. It feels like a large ensemble but everybody gets the right amount of screen time. Laz is trying to hold everything together the best she can, but so many people are demanding so many things from her.

Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone lead this cast with iron fists and gumption like no other duo can. As you’ll learn throughout the series that they have a complicated past and different viewpoints, but their goal is ultimately the same. They want to inspire a nation to explore beyond the horizon. Especially when there are protests to focus on matters on our own planet. It’s not necessarily about the paycheck for them. If you’re wondering if this show is anything like Matt Damon’s The Martian, it’s not. Don’t worry. They’re both Mars-heavy but the storylines are completely different. We’re also introduced to Tom’s daughter, Denise (Anna Jacoby-Heron). That shakes things up a bit.

If you’re a fan of space and sci-fi dramas, this one is worth your time. Stick around. The First has one of the best series finales I’ve seen in a while. You’ll want to root for them.

You can also easily binge watch it in a day or two.

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