Mooning around

Published date21 February 2023
Publication titleSignal
IN an era of bingeing vs weekly release, Apple TV+ tries to have its cake and eat it, too. Its approach to new series means it drops the first three episodes in one go, but then delivers the rest once a week. It’s an attempt to satiate those trying to while away an afternoon, while allowing landmark shows like Ted Lasso and Severance time to build a buzz

But for its latest series, retro-futuristic dramedy Hello Tomorrow!, this just doesn’t work. The idea behind the show certainly packs a punch. It’s the tale of a duplicitous travelling sales team, who hawk property on the moon. Throughout, it explores the fallacy of the American dream with big shiny rockets and gorgeous costumes. But by the time the three 30-minute episodes that were provided for review conclude, you are not yearning for more. There’s no great cliffhanger that must be answered — or a deep sense of why these characters are worth waiting six days at a time to revisit.

The show has an undeniably gripping start. Billy Crudup’s salesman Jack Billings, appears alongside a dishevelled man at the bar of a shiny American diner, offering him a brighter future with a polished sales pitch delivered in a sharply tailored mid-century suit. The lightest of devilish twinkles in his eye appears when he promises, ‘‘One word is going to save your life,’’ and that word is ‘‘Wow!’’

As the scene goes on, more delightful futuristic details emerge; the waitress is a robot that resembles Rosie from the classic cartoon The Jetsons, and what Crudup is specifically selling are cheap timeshares and permanent relocations to the coveted ‘‘Brightside of the Moon’’ for working-class mid-westerners, a luxury normally reserved for the rich and famous. It’s a world (whose year is never specified) of dreamy Americana rooted in the 1950s, complete with black and white TV, neon-signed diners and intricate stiff hairdos, albeit one also filled with hover cars, space migration, and distinctly non-1950s racial politics — where black characters never experience racism and interracial relationships pass without comment. We then go to a woman collecting her mail from a floating van ‘‘driven’’ by a chipper animated stork; she is grotesquely crushed between it and her garage door.

That unsettling gore is not emblematic of what is to come, with the plot instead focusing on the antics of the sales team that Jack manages, including sarcastic gambling addict Eddie (Hank Azaria); his secret love interest, the level-headed Shirley (Haneefah...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT