BY Maureen Ryan
Leave it to the CW to come up with an optimistic apocalypse. The low-key but charming “No Tomorrow” is everything that “The Walking Dead” is not (and that’s no knock on the latter — there’s room in this vast television universe for all kinds of doom-laden scenarios).
Evie Callahan (Tori Anderson) is the kind of woman who would very likely enjoy a day spent at the Container Store: She organizes her closet by color and has desk drawers full of office supplies arranged in perfect rows. She’s also a loyal friend and a hard worker who’s trying to make the best of a clerical job that’s dominated by boring tasks and a boss nicknamed “Demon Breath.”
Of course, even hyper-organized people long for a little disorder now and then, and Evie, who’s beginning to feel family pressure to settle down, isn’t averse to someone shaking up her world. That person arrives in the form of a hottie from the farmer’s market. When she finally has a meet-cute with the guy she spotted one day near a produce stand, the chemistry between them is palpable — but there’s a catch.
The reason that Xavier Holliday (Joshua Sasse) has so much time for vegetable shopping and various other daytime activities is because he quit his job after coming to the conclusion that the apocalypse is on its way. According to Xavier, an errant asteroid is to blame (or will be, in less than a year). “No Tomorrow” doesn’t spend a lot of time deliberating on whether Xavier’s theory is true or not, because it’s much more interested in the bucket-list aspect of not waiting passively for the end to come.
With reservations, Evie takes up Xavier’s challenge to live her life more boldly, but the efficient and deft script by Corinne Brinkerhoff, Scott McCabe and Tory Stanton also points out how his obsession with doing things that feel right in the moment can look at times a lot like selfishness. Sasse brings an adroit blend of charm and obliviousness to Xavier, and he’s well matched by Anderson, who gives Evie an optimistic and endearingly awkward energy.
The show’s first episode passes by quickly and enjoyably, but if every week Evie learns a lesson about living life to the fullest and Xavier’s efforts to get her to “go for it” go a little too far, “No Tomorrow” could quickly drift into the realm of formula. Yet there are promising grace notes in the pilot: Jonathan Langdon and Amy Pietz are excellent additions to the workplace storyline, and some comedy could easily be mined from the whole ensemble learning to dream bigger as well.
For those who appreciate the CW’s brightly colored and non-gloomy approach to potentially difficult emotions or scary scenarios, “No Tomorrow” probably deserves at least a few more days — Tuesdays, to be specific — to make its case.
TV Review: ‘No Tomorrow’
Comedy: 13 episodes (1 reviewed); CW; Tues. Oct. 4, 9 p.m. 60 min.
Executive producers, Corinne Brinkerhoff, Maggie Friedman, Brad Silberling, Grace Gilroy, Ben Silverman.
Tori Anderson, Joshua Sasse, Jesse Rath, Amy Pietz, Sarayu Blue, Jonathan Langdon