Hello Tomorrow!, the Apple TV+ show about a salesman running out of ways to talk himself out of damnation, flies into a panic this week. Jack’s celebrity spokesman goes missing, and if he’s found by the wrong people, it could blow his entire operation.
At the same time, Shirley’s starting to wonder about Jack’s lies, and Joey has just stopped believing him entirely. And when Herb gets a brief moment to shine, he blows it immediately. The episode, entitled “Another Day, Another Apocalypse,” delivers another great half-hour of the show with the most verve and wit of anything on the Apple TV+ lineup.
Hello Tomorrow! recap: ‘Another Day, Another Apocalypse’
Season 1, episode 7: Buck Manzell (played by Frankie Faizon) has gone AWOL. After a psychotic break, in which he believes the things that happened on his highly rated sci-fi show were really happening to him, he fled the nursing home he shares with Barbara Billings (Jacki Weaver).
Her son Jack (Billy Crudup) won’t learn about this for a moment, because he’s courting Elle (Dagmara Dominczyk) into buying as much real estate on the moon as he can talk her into. Jack, of course, is a champion liar. He can sell water to a fish. Still, he realizes he’s dealing with someone a little more savvy than his usual customers. He suggests she come in on the scheme with him, and sell even more at even higher prices. She’s intrigued.
She’d better get interested a lot faster, because the vultures are circling Brightside. Myrtle (Alison Pill), the woman with an ax to grind against Jack and his company because they promised her a moon launch that didn’t happen, has broken into his office and stolen his client list. Now she and Lester Costopoulos (Matthew Maher), her besotted lackey, just have to track down these people and hear their stories. They might have a class-action lawsuit on their hands. And if not, then at least they can increase the size of their two-person angry mob.
Big trouble at Brightside
While Jack puts out the fire his mom started by inviting Joey Shorter (Nicholas Podany) to the home — where the young man saw Buck for himself, discovering Jack’s whole life is a lie — the Brightside sales team spirals into a crisis. Shirley (Haneefah Wood) and Eddie (Hank Azaria) are fighting because she arranged for them to buy a different house than the dream house Eddie wanted to buy for them on the moon. Eddie takes this as her trying to push him away, so he starts blowing through his money.
Joey wants to quit Brightside because he’s sick of lying to people and feeling lied to. Herb (Dewshane Williams) is feeling unappreciated until he learns that Joey is leaving the company. Of course, there’s still the matter of his wife Betty (Susan Heyward), who lied about carrying twins.
Joey’s mother’s medical bills have started piling up. So the second he quits Brightside, he starts looking for money everywhere he can get it. However, nobody wants to do business with a guy in bed with Jack Billings after Myrtle called everyone to say he was a liar and a cheat. Joey scrapes together a few bucks to pay, only to discover Jack already paid for her treatment. This of course changes his mind a little about Jack. But it also raises a few questions. How did the hospital know to call Jack?
This quick fix might backfire
All of Brightside’s disgruntled customers, including Hank (Joel Marsh Garland), start showing up demanding an explanation, but Jack and Shirley are nowhere to be found. They’re out looking for Buck, whose appearance on the street makes Jack look like the liar he is. The news of Buck’s sighting has already potentially scared off Elle, along with all her money and potential customer base.
Herb tries to smooth things over but he doesn’t get far before people start threatening to kill him. Betty sees this, runs to go get Eddie, and steals a bag of money from him to give to the angry customers. This satisfies them enough that they don’t kill Herb. But they’re going to have a lot of explaining to do when Eddie wakes up and/or when Jack gets back, whichever comes first.
Jack and Shirley eventually find Buck, but not before desperation pushes him to reveal that he might be lying to Shirley about more than he’s led on. She wants answers now, and won’t stop Buck until she gets them.
I want more Hello Tomorrow! today
The thing about a show like Hello Tomorrow!, like Servant before it, is that you almost immediately want more of what it has to offer. The half-hour format is thus a blessing and a curse. It means that only so much of the writers’ magic or the great performances or what have you are allowed to shine in a given season. But also it means nothing overstays its welcome.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a show with this particular blend of ideas, genres and styles. It’s such a pleasure to be in this slick retro world of thieves and liars. Not quite a comedy, not always a drama, Hello Tomorrow! is a stupendous blend of all manner of good conventions, cranked up to 11 by a stellar cast. Stopping to write these recaps just slows me down on my way to more of what it offers!
Watch Hello Tomorrow! on Apple TV+
New episodes of Hello Tomorrow! arrive each Friday on Apple TV+.
Watch on: Apple TV+
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.