You can believe they put a man on the moon, but have you ever thought about becoming a full-fledged lunar resident, with the wife and kids in tow, wooed by the lower gravity there and living in a duplex with a backyard and a bird’s eye view of planet Earth, along with the stars and the galaxy as your sky.
All you have to do is sign a contract and let Frank Billings (Billy Crudup) do the rest, because he’s so honest in selling you a cheap place, what could possibly go wrong?
Hello Tomorrow is Apple TV+’s newest sci-fi dramedy set in a retro-future world where living on the moon has become a reality, except that only the richest can afford it. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Earth though, as there are still robot dogs, clean streets, and high-tech androids that do your bidding, from fixing you a good drink, and even be your lover if that’s your thing, but Billings has a way to get people to sign up for a home in Brightside, an estate on the moon.
How? By making the moon better than living on Earth, and selling a dream of a better tomorrow, where the grass is greener on the other side of the well, lunar orbit.
Accompanying him as he pitches from town to town are his teammates Eddie (Hank Azaria), a rough and tough salesman with a gambling problem; Shirley Stedman (Haneefah Wood), a trusted friend of Billings who serve as his assistant manager; Herb Porter (Dewshane Williams), an overly optimistic and courteous salesman whose goal is to be number one, and rookie Joey Shorter (Nicholas Podany), a small town 20-year old who wants to become a somebody. The greater con here is that all of them are seemingly unaware of Billings’ plans, and would love to move to the moon at some point of their career too.
Taking folks’ money isn’t the only secret that Billings is hiding, as he goes from one town to another, telling everyone he meets that his wife and son are happily living on the moon when in reality, his ex-wife is in a coma and that Shorter, the new hire, is actually his real son – though Shorter isn’t aware of that fact either, as the whole family are grounded on planet Earth.
As the saying goes, the truth will always come to light so each episode in Hello Tomorrow!’s ten-episode run has Billings trying to hide his lies and stop his teammates, as well as his customers, from finding out the truth about Brightside. There is no extreme Billings would go to protect his lie, so watch as he creates even more lies to stop the earlier lies from coming out. It’s a great flaw to his character but is the main driver for the series because no lies and no drama means there’s no Hello Tomorrow – it’s quite simple.
That said, Hello Tomorrow! is an easy series to watch, with even simpler characters. None of these characters are complex or particularly interesting but are instrumental in displaying just how cunning Billings can be. Stedman is an incredibly smart and dependable woman, but even she was played and fooled by Billings as she was blinded by years of friendship. Shorter thinks Billings is giving him such good treatment because he’s got the potential to be a successful sales manager, when really Billings is just trying to make up for being a shitty dad for the past 18 years, without actually taking responsibility.
It is rather clear to viewers from the start what Billings’ true colours and intentions are, but the shit only hits the fan when Myrtle Mayburn (Alison Pill), a disgruntled housewife and customer, desperate to get on the next rocket to the moon, finds out that her husband isn’t the only one who’s cheating her. It is only with Mayburn’s mayhem and desire to burn the entire Brightside sales team to the ground when the lies spin out of control, do we find Billings grasping at straws to make his dream of making Brightside a reality.
Hello Tomorrow! skews closer to a dramedy than a sci-fi series. Even if the comedy isn’t up your alley, it is fun watching the uncovering of the truth. The set-up and eventual reveal isn’t mindblowing – as mentioned, this is an easy and straightforward watch – but one does get invested in Billings’ lies and how this man has no stop button when it comes to keeping his false reality together.
Aside from The Jetsons-like retro-future aesthetics shown in the cast’s clothing and advanced homeware technology, there isn’t anything inherently sci-fi about it. There are plenty of moon discussions and rocket launch talks but we don’t even see a rocket until the last episode, and we never even get to step foot on the moon to know what living there is like! Unlike Star Trek, Firefly or even The 100, there’s no space exploration, space travel, or any of that sort. The series isn’t even set on the moon as all the drama unfolds on Earth. It can disappoint fans of sci-fi with a keen interest in catching some space-travel or space-based series (like us, admittedly), but the drama makes Hello Tomorrow! worth checking out.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
If a man tells you that he can get you to the moon – maybe don’t believe him so easily. Hello Tomorrow! Is Apple TV+’s latest series that shoots for the stars, but remains grounded on land. It is an easy-to-watch dramedy, though there’s plenty left to be desired in the sci-fi genre.
Story - 6/10
Direction - 6/10
Characterisation - 6/10
Geek Satisfaction - 6/10