Don’t Look Up- Instead, Watch No Tomorrow

I considered writing a review of the Adam McKay/Netflix film Don’t Look Up, but I can’t be bothered to review things I dislike. (Here’s a mini review- Don’t Look Up is another expensive, cynical, misogynist, racist, classist “white bros win again, no matter what” film, dressed up as a climate change satire. Not what I was looking for or what anyone needs to watch right now. Or probably ever. Rich, powerful people, stop flaunting your privilege and wealth and competing to see who can be the worst. Get your acts together and actually save the world instead, okay?)

If you are interested in watching a show with similar themes which delivers on its promises, has charming, talented stars, and is an actual romantic comedy/gentle dark comedy-satire, I have just the show for you. No Tomorrow, starring Tori Anderson and Joshua Sasse, ran for 1 season on The CW in 2016 and is currently available on Netflix.

This review was originally written in November, 2016, 6 episodes into No Tomorrow’s 13 episode season, right after we started Metawitches.com. It’s lightly updated.

Recaps for all episodes can be found at the tag. (Listed out of order, because that’s just how I roll. 😉)

Original review:

Let’s continue my tradition of writing about shows nobody watches on the blog nobody reads with an introduction to No Tomorrow, shall we? Maybe eventually readers and viewers will flock to us both. Like Xavier with an X, it’s my truth, and I believe. Don’t judge. 😘

No Tomorrow is was on Tuesday nights on the CW, following The Flash. Flash theoretically should have been a great lead in, being the CWs highest rated show, but in reality, the audiences for these 2 shows are very different. The Flash attracts comic book fans, families, and a few shippers/fans of its stars. No Tomorrow has been advertised as if it was a light romantic romantic comedy with a quirky premise and a lovably deluded male lead. That’s going to attract a different audience, and, in fact, Flash’s audience hasn’t stuck around, leaving No Tomorrow with too small an audience for even the CW to order a full season beyond the first 13 episodes. But even it it stays a limited run, 1 season show, it’s still worth checking out. Firefly only had about the same number of episodes, after all, and it lives on in legend and on Netflix. Update- as does No Tomorrow: as of 12/2021, you can stream all 13 episodes on Netflix or buy them digitally in any of the usual places.

No Tomorrow is, in fact, a dark comedy. It’s much smarter, more modern, broader themed, and more nuanced than its advertisements would lead you to believe. It has that in common with its sister CW shows,  Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (though Jane is not as dark as the other 2). Evie (Tori Anderson, Blindspot), the female lead, is the only truly sunny character in the show. Xavier (Galavant’s Joshua Sasse) believes the apocalypse is coming in a few months, courtesy of a world-ending meteor. Since he’s unable to convince the world’s scientists and governments that their calculations about the meteor’s trajectory are wrong, he decides to live life to its fullest for the time he has left. After they meet, Evie comes along for the ride. The show leaves the possibility open that Xavier could be right, using his beliefs as a tool to explore relationship issues, prejudice, religion, mental illness, adulting and acceptance. It leads to some thought provoking, complex, and hilarious situations.

My favorite couple, though, is the B couple, Hank (Jonathan Langdon, NOS4A2) and Deirdre (Amy Pietz, Animal Kingdom). Deirdre is the deadpan manager at the Amazon-like warehouse where much of the cast works. Hank is her conspiracy-loving assistant. Initially, Deirdre’s is an unrequited, forbidden love. Slowly, Hank unpeals Deirdre’s layers to reveal the mysterious, passionate woman hidden inside. Their differences lead to an epic courtship, fraught with unfortunate misunderstandings and intense reunions. (😇 The flowery language will make sense if you watch the show.)

The cast also includes Evie’s other coworker Kareema (Sarayu Blu, I Feel Bad), a cynical, bisexual woman who doesn’t believe in love until she finds it herself with her brother’s fiancée. Kareema’s a whiz on the work computer system, probably the most efficient in the place when she wants to be. Evie’s ex-boyfriend Timothy (Jesse Rath, Supergirl) writes magazine articles about technology and pines for Evie, while also trying to create a new life and stronger persona for himself. Evie’s parents (Ted McGinley and Gigi Rice) struggle through mid-life, financial, and marital crises but are warm and supportive through it all. (Once they’ve expressed their feelings about each crisis, of course.) It’s easy to see where Evie’s sunny disposition comes from, but Mom and Dad are still working on realism, too.

Xavier’s friends and family weave in and out of the show as well, while each week he and Evie cross items off their Apocalyts, Bucket Lists tailored to the coming apocalypse. Xavier’s “No regrets, live life to the fullest” philosophy touches everyone he meets, with varying consequences. Even for Xavier and Evie, the results aren’t always positive. What looked like harmless, if irresponsible, jokes in the pilot are now coming back to bite Xavier 6 episodes later, with several months to go before he expects the meteor to hit. Even short term living requires a certain amount of planning and responsibility, and Xavier’s timing wasn’t the best.

Hank is also a conspiracy theorist, with a different date in mind for the end of the world, and a different approach to preparing for it. Hank’s approach allows him to “pass,” while Xavier feels it’s his responsibility to warn as many people as possible, even if it makes him look crazy. Some of the best scenes come out of this, as Evie is forced to confront her own prejudices and need for conformity and security. You can definitely watch the show and ignore the deeper implications of issues like this, but it’s so much more interesting to pay attention. Especially given how limited our time is.

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