‘Hello Tomorrow!’: On show about selling lunar homes, gorgeous look is eclipsed by meandering story

Billy Crudup leads stellar cast in a dark Apple TV+ comedy set in a future world with a retro 1950s vibe.

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Jack Billings (Billy Crudup) travels from town to town hawking homes on the moon in the futuristic world of “Hello Tomorrow!”

Apple TV+

What a gorgeous and innovative retro-futuristic world we see in the Apple TV+ original series “Hello Tomorrow!” It’s a world where the fashions and the cars and the furniture have a distinctly 1950s vibe, but the future is today in “Hello Tomorrow!,” because those gorgeous vehicles in Fiestaware colors gliding down the streets have no wheels and are essentially flying at a very low altitude, and you can speak to your friends and loved ones via videotelephone, and your server at the diner is a robot with a friendly voice.

Oh, and one other thing: You can buy a house on the moon, and you’d be surprised at how affordable they are at this very moment. Don’t hesitate, this is the opportunity of a lifetime— an opportunity to say, well, HELLO TOMORROW!

It’s a promising setup, and for the first handful of episodes, we’re drawn in by the exquisitely detailed production design, the dark comedy, the vaguely “Twilight Zone” overtones, and the energetic and winning performances from a stellar cast led by Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”) and featuring Haneefah Wood, Hank Azaria, Dewshane Williams, Alison Pill and Nicholas Podany. Alas, the momentum stalls as the main story arc meanders this way and that, and there’s a certain repetitiveness that chips away at our enthusiasm. By the time we’ve reached the end of Season 1 with a cliffhanger, we’re not entirely convinced it’ll be worth our time to make an investment in another season, if there indeed is one forthcoming.

‘Hello Tomorrow!’

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Streaming three episodes Friday, then a new episode each subsequent Friday through April 7 on Apple TV+.

Crudup’s Jack Billings is a handsome, slick, smooth-talking charmer who heads a small team of salespeople who travel from town to town, hawking Brightside Lunar Residences — affordable homes on the moon where you can pursue the new version of the American Dream. Jack has an almost evangelical fervor when he makes his pitches, often winning over skeptical, world-weary, working-class stiffs who find themselves swept up in the moment and decide to make a down payment on a new home on the moon. (Launch date to be determined. There seem to be a lot of delays when it comes to actually transporting clients to their new homes.)

The world of “Hello Tomorrow!” has a kind of “Don’t Worry Darling” bubble feel, as Jack and his colleagues set up camp at the Vista Motor Lodge (dig that orange neon sign!), and we see only a few indications of the world beyond this one locale. There’s a local team called the Vista Volts that plays a variation of baseball, but we don’t see any evidence of a larger country, i.e., no national news, no talk of politics, no indication of a federal government. It’s just Jack and his colleagues pursuing leads (the competition among the sales staff has echoes of “Glengarry Glen Ross”), and the various townsfolk with whom they get involved, one way or another.

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Haneefah Wood plays Jack’s lieutenant, Shirley, who is married but having an affair with one of the sales reps.

Apple TV+

Haneefah Wood is Jack’s top lieutenant, Shirley, who has been with him from the start. Hank Azaria provides the sometimes-broad comic relief as Eddie Sharples, an unscrupulous cad who is having an affair with the married Shirley and is always engaging in one scheme or another in order to fuel his gambling addiction. Dewshane Williams is the unsettlingly upbeat Herb Porter, and Nicholas Podany is Jack’s grown son Joey, who doesn’t know he’s Jack’s son because Jack left Joey and Joey’s mother some 20 years ago.

As the sales staffers deal with their myriad of ongoing problems, we’re also following the adventures of one Myrtle Mayburn (Alison Pill), who suspects this whole Brightside Lunar Residences thing isn’t on the up and up and enlists the help of a bureaucrat named Lester Costopoulos (Matthew Maher), who tells Myrtle, “Forms, ma’am, appropriately filled and filed, are the lifeblood of our orderly commercial society.”

In Lester’s worldview, Jack and his operation are an unsavory lot, mainly because they haven’t filled out the proper forms. Oh, and they might be running some kind of Ponzi scheme. Or maybe not, maybe there really are houses on the moon and people living their best lives up there. It’s possible, especially when you hear Jack rhapsodize about Brightside Lunar Residences.

Some of the subplots remain fresh, while too many others feel like filler. “Hello Tomorrow!” is a clever enterprise, right down to the mid-20th century musical choices, e.g., “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” with the lyrics, “Say it’s only a paper moon, sailing over a cardboard sea, but it wouldn’t be make-believe, if you believed in me.”

Billy Crudup, who has largely eschewed the traditional leading-man choices in favor of building a more interesting and varied career, is in prime form and carries the day in many an episode. The supporting players are wonderful as well, including all of the aforementioned, plus the likes of Jacki Weaver as Jack’s mom, and Dagmara Dominczyk as a wealthy potential investor and possible love interest for Jack. It’s mildly disappointing, though, when we travel through 10 episodes and so many questions are left unanswered. It just feels like the delivery never quite lives up to the sales pitch.

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