No Tomorrow

When no one was looking, the CW became the best network for television. Suck it HBO. The CW is the home to truly transgressive comedies, intense science fiction dramas, and a lot of superheroes. The Jewel in the CW’s crown right now is Jane the Virgin, a telenovella inspired show about Venezuelan family living in Miami that somehow expertly balances truly over-the-top ridiculous telenovella plotting with very low-key and emotionally resonant family drama. In my opinion, even better than Jane the Virgin is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend a musical comedy about a woman who, after a nervous breakdown, moves to the hometown of her boyfriend from when she was sixteen. Both TV shows take the premise of the romantic comedy (or more accurately, the CW romantic drama) and turn them on their heads in very self-aware ways. It’s from this particular brand of satire that No Tomorrow hails.

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Time to CW

Tori Anderson plays Evie, a meek low level manager at a warehouse with the most bland and boring life possible. In struts Joshua Sasse as Xavier, a roguish Britt who is almost aggressively handsome and lives a care free bohemian life where his only concern is crossing things off his bucket list. It’s a gender inversion of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, normally a woman who is a collection of odd quirks designed to teach the male protagonist to embrace life and follow his dreams.

Of course aiming for that sweet Jane the Virgin/Crazy Ex-Girlfriend spot, it isn’t enough to just gender flip a common trope. Evie eventually learns that Xavier believes an asteroid is about to smash into the Earth killing every human on the planet. Of course the pilot doesn’t land on if he is correct, or mistaken, or genuinely mentally unstable, but it does solidly move in the direction that Xavier isn’t merely quirky and living his life to the fullest, but is actually regularly doing incredibly dangerous things.

The cast is exceptionally winning. I’ve long been a fan of Sasse, who was on the inexplicably good (after the first half season or so) The Neighbors, and was fantastic on my much beloved and much missed Galavant. And, as I said he is absurdly handsome and charming, but in a very not-CW way (Galavant even did an entire song about him taking off his shirt). Anderson is as winning and charming herself, although she has some problems navigating between being meek and boring and joyously throwing caution to the win. Their chemistry is immediately apparent.

On the whole the show is much more sweet and sincere than its CW romcom brethren. Even the suggestion the world is about to end isn’t presented too terribly darkly. It isn’t until the very closing moments of the pilot that the show becomes something more dark and interesting than just a terribly quirky romcom. And yet it is quite enjoyable and charming throughout. It might not have hit the immediate highs of the Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend pilots, but it is solid and has a lot of potential.

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