No Tomorrow, like any romantic comedy, is going to succeed or fail based on a pretty simple equation: Either you’re going to be charmed by these people (and be willing to follow their inevitable path toward true love) or you’re going to be frustrated by them (thus making you a lot less likely to put up with their mishaps). We spend two hours waiting for Harry and Sally to figure their lives out because, for one, the script is unbeatable, and also, because the totally unlikely romantic duo of Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal proved to be masterful comedic foils for each other. And it’s unfortunately very easy to think of romantic comedies that don’t get this right, that settle for a handful of weird tics instead of true characterization, and where the actors were cast because they’d make a nice poster together, not because anything about them works onscreen.
Evie and Xavier (with an X, not a Z, get it right) have some ominous signs. Evie says “Holy smokes” and is awkward as no human has ever been (please see The Office for awkwardness done right). And Xander behaves totally boorishly, in a way that would be wildly unacceptable in real life. Plus, he thinks the world is ending.
But there are also positive signs. By the end of the episode, Evie has set Xander straight about his behavior and established her own agency. She also almost immediately gets over her shyness around him. Not to get too on the nose, but it’s almost like the pilot is checking off a list of romantic comedy signs, because it wants to get to the better, meatier parts. Evie even has two wacky sidekicks at work who mysteriously only want to talk about her life. On the other hand, by the end of the episode, Hank, at least, has a bit more plot going for him, including what will hopefully be a romance for the ages.
The show has also addressed Xavier’s conspiracy theory. He’s not in a cult, and he doesn’t think cellphones are melting our brains. He has a reasonably plausible explanation for what he thinks is happening, and he’s at least tried to raise the alarm, and garnered the same response every doomsday predictor does. Nor does Evie let it slide—they talk about it, and neither of them minds that the other isn’t on board with their concept of whether or not 2018 will exist. Compromise! It’s what makes any good relationship work, whether you’re agreeing to disagree about the ending of Carol or whether our fiery demise is imminent.
We also get an intriguing glimpse of what Xavier looked like before he made this discovery. In fact, he looks a lot like Evie’s rejected squeeze Timothy—a hard-working, glasses-wearing dude, who even worked in a similar industry. Given that we’ve established that Timothy and Hank are friends, it seems likely we’re in store for more of him.
Heading into love triangle territory isn’t necessarily wise for a show built around a sort of “true love” pair, but letting Evie see that Xavier isn’t actually magical, that in fact he’s just another thirty-something guy like the one she dumped, provides more dramatic fodder for a show that’ll need somewhere to go in 8 months and some number of days. Evie and Xavier are clearly letting adrenaline guide their romance to a perhaps reckless extent, and the eventual comedown will be interesting.
And what about their chemistry? Tori Anderson is given a bit less to work with in the pilot, since Evie is often stranded in odd rom-com-ish situations, but the show’s writers have wisely set Joshua Sasse in full dreamboat mode. It’s turning into a bit of a trend for him, given that Galavant was also supposed to be a heartthrob. But in the quieter moments between the two of them, like their conversation about her potential apoca-lyst, there’s the beginnings of some nice banter. Who among us hasn’t wanted to microwave a foil-wrapped potato? That the show is interested in exploring both the bigger adventures and the day-to-day ones is a good sign of balance. And with the appearance of fugitive cousin Jesse, we’re nicely set up for the next quandary facing Evie in her unusual relationship: Just how far is she willing to go along with Xavier on his quests?
- Has anyone ever purchased a rutabaga at a farmer’s market? Is this a west coast thing?
- “I was wearing a lot of different things before, and then I was wearing this.”
- “For $35, I found where Vin Diesel lives.” Because why wouldn’t you want to know where your favorite actors live? Not to stalk them or anything. Just to know.
- No Tomorrow is pretending that Jesse Rath is not also a dreamboat by putting him in glasses, but they are not fooling anyone. Glasses are cool, and I will keep saying that until we can all agree about it.
- Also, you actually can email NASA. They don’t have a “fiery doom” subject choice, though. Maybe he picked “Solar System.”
- The poster for this show is deeply confusing. Is she…scratching his beard? Where is the rest of his body supposed to be?