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 The First

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Big John

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PostSubject: The First   Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:10 am


The First is a near-future drama about a crew of astronauts attempting to become the first humans on Mars.

This 8 episode Hulu original series stars Sean Penn in the lead role. How can you go wrong with Sean Penn? You can't. I'm 2 episodes in and the production value of the show is top notch from the acting to the writing to the cinematography on down the line. The show is very dramatic and a bit preachy on the side of exploration but overall I am captivated. Gonna binge the rest of it this weekend.
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Big John

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:46 pm

Watched through ep7. Heavy on drama, light on sci-fi. The finale should be just the opposite which will make or break this series for me.
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Big John

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:57 pm

Meh. It's more of a soap opera than anything else.
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TBC

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:12 am

How can you go wrong with Sean Penn? Wed him to Madonna and put them in a movie together does it.

Sorry...had to go there. I really liked him 30 years ago.

The only thing turning me off here is Hulu. IIRC, the last time I was watching stuff there it was a free service with lots of ads that interrupted your viewing, and they had a premium service that still had all the ads but allowed you access to a bunch of old art movies that TCM wouldn't bother with.
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MrBill60

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:31 am

I don't know if Hulu has a free service anymore. There are no ads in the subscription service.  It's the only service that has "The Outer Limits" (original and the reboot) and I'm enjoying the heck out of rewatching those. They also have Night Gallery, haven't seen that series since it first aired, so that's also on my list. The original programming seems to be top notch, Castle Rock was amazing for the most part and I'm looking forward to watching "The First".
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TBC

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:13 pm

They were the first streaming movies service, right after the Great Writers Strike Cave-In (You want royalties in perpetuity...fine...we'll show movies on-line for NOTHING. HA HA HA HA), with a way of doing things. They didn't learn the lesson that premium cable movie folk, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax taught the industry, that people would really rather NOT have their viewing interrupted by commercials, TYVMGDI. (You can suss out the last three letters) Along came Prime, I guess they wised up.
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MrBill60

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:19 am

I've watched the first 3 episodes and it's been sort of a mixed bag for me.  It's very plodding in parts and I'm not a fan of some of the editing choices when they cut to different scenes.  It's been clunky in some places without much of a setup.  I like Penn's character, but not a big fan of McElhone's. She seems too stand-offish, sort of  robotic and lacks passion as the director of the space program.  

I know I'm only 3 episodes in and they're in the mission planning stages and there's a lot of politicking and putting together a team, but some of the team's backstories are just boring - even the astronaut parties are boring -  Bad karaoke, come on, lol.  We've had very little astronaut training and maybe one scene in the simulator so far.  There's been way too much time spent on Hagerty's (Penn) daughter and not enough time spent on the space program itself.  

Who the heck is the narrator with the heavy southern accent who cuts in at mostly inappropriate times?   I don't recognize him as any of the characters we've been introduced to so far. Is it supposed to be Hagerty as an older man who develops a Southern twang?  Hopefully we'll find out by the end.    

I'll keep watching because things seem to be heating up and there are some really interesting segments.  Hopefully they'll be on their way to Mars soon, but at the pace they're going, I'm beginning to wonder if that will happen by the end of the season.
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MrBill60

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:04 pm

Watched eps 4 and 5 and it heated up to just below room temperature. The story lines are banal and glum and there's absolutely no enthusiasm or passion for Mars, even by the lead characters. We're stuck in family-issues land and Mars is just an afterthought. Not my cup of tea.
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TBC

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:12 pm

That's a shame.
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MrBill60

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:08 pm

I guess people who enjoy family dramas would get something out of this.  It would be ironic if the series wasn't picked up for a second season and they haven't even left Earth yet.  (I don't know if they achieve lift off by season's end).
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TBC

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:07 am

"Lets do a family drama about the first people to land on Mars" said no writer who ever worked in the industry again "because nobody has ever been separated from their family for two years before."


There's is an ongoing manga, Uchuu Kyodai, English title Space Brothers, although kyodai is a gender-neutral term in Japanese. It was made into an anime a few years ago, and that had a respectable two year, 100 episode run on Japanese TV. The story centers on the Nanba brothers, Mutta, the oldest and Hibito, younger by two years. As children they saw what they thought was a UFO and pledged to both become astronauts, but when the series begins in earnest, in 2025, only Hibito has stayed with his vow. He has joined JAXA, the Japanese space agency, and is about to become the first Japanese to set foot on the Moon, as part of a NASA mission to a recently-established base. Mutta, on the other hand, is living a boring life of pushing papers for an automobile maker while he pushes 30...until the day his supervisor pushes him too far, makes a comment about how he's inferior to his little brother, and he goes "Zizu" on him...head butts him in the chest a la Zidane on Materrazzi in the semi-final of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. This gets him sacked and black-balled from the Japanese auto industry. While he's looking for work, on a whim he fills out the JAXA application which Hibito had left for him, submits it, and surprisingly is accepted. The story follows the two brothers on their careers, the anime ends with Mutta sitting in the back-up CapCom Chair for a launch at Canaveral, another move up the ladder towards getting into space, and Hibito, well, I won't say. I haven't read the manga in any of the on-line scanlation sites for a while. I should probably get current with that.
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MrBill60

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:23 am

There's a  whole mind-numbing storyline where there's a big todo over one of the female astronauts deciding not to get pregnant while in Astronaut training and it's creating friction with her husband because he wants kids.  WTF, he married an astronaut.  Even if she gets bumped, she's a backup and there's a chance that she'll go.  Just one of the "highlights" and of course there's Penn's college-age daughter who gets too much screen time dealing with a downward spiral and grief over her mother's suicide, of course the reason that Penn's character got initially bumped from Mission commander for an earlier failed mission in the first place. There's even a reluctance on his part in taking over the new Mars mission which just adds to the overall lack of passion for Mars exploration in this series.
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TBC

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:31 pm

I would imagine someone, somewhere is finding all this quite gripping.

Wait, I have it! It's like Ghost Hunters. The science fiction equivalent. In that show they never actually found any ghosts. They just ran around in old buildings acting scared. Here we have a show about space travel where nobody actually goes into space. They just sit around and freak over how it will impact their lives if and when they do.
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stuntdog

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PostSubject: Re: The First   Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:07 pm

While it wasn't perfect, I liked it. I think most people were looking for it to be more of a sci fi action series. The creators were obviously going for more of a drama series.
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