If there’s one factor Apple TV+’s Good day Tomorrow! is aware of, it’s methods to paint a fairly image. The exteriors of its retro-futuristic world are replete with glossy hovercars and friendly-looking robots, the interiors with tasteful midcentury furnishings. Inside that mileiu, its nattily dressed characters conjure a rosier imaginative and prescient nonetheless: The Brightside gross sales workforce, led by Jack (Billy Crudup), push fantasies of reasonably priced luxuries on the moon — 200,000 miles away from Earthly drudgeries like money owed, failed marriages and dead-end jobs.
So attractive is that this dream that Jack himself continuously appears to lose sight of the hole between the pitch and the fact — a lot of the plot facilities on his makes an attempt to cover that the lunar timeshares he’s hawking aren’t all they’re made out to be. For Jack to get caught up in his lofty ambitions, although, is one factor. It’s one other for the collection to do the identical. Good day Tomorrow! has a lot to say about hope, delusion and the American dream, however struggles to craft characters grounded sufficient to promote its concepts.
Good day Tomorrow!
The Backside Line
Its attain exceeds its grasp.
Airdate: Friday, Feb. 17 (Apple TV+)
Solid: Billy Crudup, Haneefah Wooden, Hank Azaria, Nicholas Podany, Dewshane Williams, Alison Tablet
Creators: Amit Bhalla, Lucas Jansen
Jack understands higher than most the attraction of merely operating away from one’s issues. On the level we meet him, he’s been away from his household for therefore lengthy that the son he final noticed at age two is now a grown man (Nicholas Podany’s Joey) with no recollection of him in any respect. However when an pressing be aware pulls Jack and his workforce — overeager Herb (Dewshane Williams), reckless Eddie (Hank Azaria) and pragmatic Shirley (a really stable Haneefah Wooden) — to his suburban hometown of Vistaville, the exaggerations and fictions that Jack has constructed his life round threaten to come back tumbling down.
As a protagonist, Jack has a little bit of Don Draper in him — the silver tongue, the marquee-worthy appears to be like, the reward for spinning irresistible bullshit — and Crudup is well-cast as a person who’s spent his grownup life concurrently getting away with issues and dwelling in worry that sometime he received’t. However his potential as an all-American antihero is shortchanged by a script whose broadness renders him opaque. How a lot of his personal hype Jack buys into seems like an attention-grabbing query firstly of the present; it turns into progressively much less compelling because it turns into obvious the present has little concept what the reply is likely to be, or what to do with it in any case.
The crew surrounding Jack are drawn with even much less element than he’s. Most are outlined by a single cussed obsession — Herb’s ambition, Eddie’s playing dependancy, and so forth. Together with a tone that gestures towards black comedy with out fairly reaching it, they develop into cartoonish; even the sometimes wonderful Alison Tablet can solely achieve this a lot to show Myrtle, a disgruntled Brightside buyer, into far more than a caricature of a Fifties housewife who’s lastly snapped. And if the characters fall flat, so do their feelings. A serious storyline with enormous dramatic potentialities — Jack’s choice to rent Joey, who assumes Jack to be a pleasant stranger — registers as extra theoretically unhappy than truly shifting.
Good day Tomorrow!‘s bluntness extends to its dialogue, which tends to ditch the subtext in favor of simply plain textual content. The premiere episode, written by creators Amit Bhalla and Lucas Jansen, provides Jack not one however two monologues in regards to the crushing disappointments of contemporary life. (To make sure, a few of that is completely becoming — Jack is the form of sweet-talker who may declare “We’re not simply promoting, we’re altering lives” and nearly imply it.) The present’s reliance on grand thesis statements over emotional intimacy or narrative complexity begins to really feel like its personal type of malarkey. “Why be within the enterprise of homes after we will be within the enterprise of perception?” is each a tidy abstract of what the collection is about, and an implausibly high-minded approach for 2 con artists to debate the rip-off they’re about to drag.
Inevitably, the place there’s this a lot sizzling air, there’s bloat: Good day Tomorrow! has the lumbering tempo and detached episodic construction of a feature-length screenplay stretched to 10 half-hour episodes for no different cause than that streaming status exhibits are the place the cash’s at nowadays. There are midway first rate jokes that get run into the bottom and subplots that spin their wheels for half the season; a tighter edit might need helped distill the collection right down to its finest materials.
But Good day Tomorrow! is tough to put in writing off solely, if solely as a result of the themes that function its foundations really feel so resonant: the significance of hope but in addition the toxicity of it, of the frustrations of present in a capitalist society that’s delivered far lower than it promised. Significantly relatable are its flashes of tension round expertise and company tradition. In a bleak element worthy of Severance, one in all Jack’s most true-blue prospects is a janitor who was laid off for damaging firm property within the means of saving a person who’d tried to drown himself after a “processor-assisted” (i.e., algorithmically decided) layoff.
Within the face of such huge, enduring, intractable points, Good day Tomorrow! can hardly be blamed for failing to provide you with options, or perhaps a coherent assertion in regards to the issues it’s wrestling with — who can? However in its incuriosity in regards to the interior lives of the determined strivers populating its world, it lets them down in a lot the identical approach each different system has: It forgets to see them as people, deserving of empathy and a focus as extra than simply means to an finish.