11:21am PT by Daniel Fienberg
Take Me to the Pilots '16: The CW's 'No Tomorrow'
[I'll remind you at the top of every single one of these: These entries are not reviews. They're gut reactions to not-for-air pilots that could change in big and small ways between now and September or October or midseason. Full reviews will come then. They'll be longer. And more carefully considered. The opinions may even change. Who knows?]
Show: No Tomorrow (The CW)
The Pitch: Me, My Crazy New Boyfriend and the Apocalypse
Quick Response: The vein of aggressive whimsy that flows so effortlessly through The CW's Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend shows signs of being tapped out in the all-too-twee No Tomorrow. Both of those early CW hourlongs quickly established the parameters of their fancifulness, but No Tomorrow is a bit slap-dash in when onscreen text is underlined, when flashbacks are appropriate, when we're supposed to think it's magical realism and when we're just supposed to accept that Echo Park is an amber-tinted, oversaturated fantasyland of young people who gravitate towards each other because they're beautiful and more in need of psychiatric treatment than they're willing to admit. Because as charming as Tori Anderson and Josh Sasse are — and they're both extremely charming and there's no question the show could finesse its tone to rise to their level — they're playing characters who come across as less stable, more stalker-y and certainly less likable than the show wants them to be. I know Sasse, in particular, will have instant admirers, but if a guy who looked like Steve Buscemi did the things Sasse's Xavier does in this pilot, he'd be the creepy villain or the sad, sympathetic lunatic and not the aspirational romantic lead. From the pathologically shy alternative love interest to the boss with bad breath to the main character's parents and pushy sister (Kelly Stables, who I always like), everything in No Tomorrow tries just a bit too hard and comes across as just a bit too creepy and I don't think that's the intent. Anderson and Sasse make for charming sociopaths, though. Time for a Wicked City remake, anybody?
Desire to Watch Again: Limited, and less than when I started. I may have said Crazy Ex-Girlfriend comes by its whimsy effortlessly, but that actually wasn't true in the beginning. It took time to find its tone. I can give No Tomorrow an episode or two to live up to the charisma of its leads, but nothing here is as transcendent as the Crazy Ex songs, which earned that show its long initial leash.
Take Me to the Pilots '16: Fox's 'Pitch'
Take Me to the Pilots '16: CBS' 'Kevin Can Wait'
Take Me to the Pilots '16: NBC's 'The Good Place'
Take Me to the Pilots '16: ABC's 'Designated Survivor'
All of My 2015 Take Me to the Pilots Entries