The time has come once again (again). The summer sun set long ago. The days have grown colder and the nights have grown longer and we’ve filled those nights with fretting about the election new fall TV. As happens every autumn, the five major networks unleashed a flurry of new programs meant to entertain us into these dark, frigid winter months (and beyond). So many choices. So much risk! How will you know what to watch? That’s where I come in. I watch every new fall pilot episode so that you don’t have to (even if it takes me months to do so). I take one for the team, so you can watch the… screen(m). It’s time for more of…
THE PILOT PROJECT (2016 Edition Pt. 2)
No Tomorrow (Tuesdays on CW)
The CW has undergone a remarkable transformation over the last few seasons. Five years ago, The CW is where you would have gone to watch Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie, Hellcats, Nikita, One Tree Hill, The Ringer, Smallville, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries. It was a network that programmed specifically for teenage girls. Now, that’s not to say that these shows were without their merits (I’ve succumbed to many a guilty pleasure in my time), but The CW wasn’t the haven for progressive, critically acclaimed dramas that it is today.
These days, The CW is the place for highly-entertaining, well produced genre fair like The 100, iZombie, and the Arrowverse family of shows – Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. These shows aren’t for everybody, but it’s impossible to deny that they’re of a higher quality than the programming The CW was serving five years ago (Supergirl is 10x the show Smallville ever was). That being said, The CW is still the place to go for romantic dramedies – they’ve just classed them up a little. The critically-acclaimed Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend delivered the networks first two Golden Globe awards (both for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy). The CW has grown into the little network that could, with one of the most consistently entertaining lineups of any broadcast network, so it’s always interesting to see what new shows they’re willing to introduce into their overcrowded schedule (they only have room for 10 hours of programming a week, compared to the 18 hours that other networks are working with).
Enter No Tomorrow, a charming, quirky romantic comedy that I’m sure The CW hoped would be their next Jane the Virgin or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The high-level concept is that bored warehouse manager Evie (played by the lovely Tori Anderson) encounters the attractive, adventurous Xavier (Joshua Sasse, of Galavant), who believes that the world is going to end in 8 months and 12 days after being struck by an asteroid. This has led him to leave his job and pursue the completion of his “apocalyst” – a list of things that he’d like to do before the end. Evie is taken in by this idea and makes her own apocalyst to complete. Effectively, this show is about a girl trying to cross items off her bucket list in an attempt to live life to the fullest. Not a wholly original concept, by any means, but Tori Anderson’s so adorable that it’s hard to care. Anderson and Sasse are probably the two most charismatic leads of any new fall show, so it’s easy to forgive this pilot its flaws (one of which is the extended cast, which I’m not sure I’m sold on yet).
The one thing that could set this show apart from other “bucket list” stories is the “end of the world” aspect. It will be interesting to see how much the show ends up dwelling on that idea, since there’s no proof that the world is actually ending. If it is, then it certainly puts a bit of a time-limit on the show’s life span, doesn’t it? Without the “end of days” conceit, I’m not sure how sustainable the bucket-list idea will be, although I suppose I’ve seen better shows do more with less.
I’m choosing to remain optimistic about No Tomorrow. It’s an endearing show with endearing leads and I genuinely hope that it improves. That being said, it looks like The CW’s probably going to end it at 13 episodes, so… you’ll be able to binge it on Netflix (where new episodes are airing in Canada) quite easily!