Mr Brightside


UK/US Apple TV+, Fridays

Creators Amit Bhalla, Lucas Jansen Cast Billy Crudup, Hank Azaria, Alison

Pill, Nicholas Podany

Come the next Emmy season, Hello Tomorrow! demands to be nominated for Outstandin­g Production Design.

It takes place in some sort of alternate universe late–’50s/ early–’60s where it’s as if God’s clicked their fingers and made ad men’s visions of a push-button future a reality. Household robots are everywhere – delivering mail, waiting, gardening. Automobile­s remain all sleek lines and gleaming chrome, but hover above the ground. There are transcribi­ng typewriter­s and holograph tables.

Sci-fi that never quite takes us into space

Most importantl­y, finned rockets regularly blast off into space.

Enter Jack Billings (Billy Crudup), head of a team of salesmen pushing a new life on the Moon, courtesy of Brightside Lunar Residencie­s. He radiates sincerity, but the property he’s selling doesn’t actually exist. And that lie is not the only plate he must keep spinning: eager new recruit Joey (Nicholas Podany) is unaware Jack is the father who walked out when he was a toddler.

Crudup excels in the leading role, selling the emotion as adeptly as Jack sells dreams. It’s quite the challenge to maintain any degree of sympathy for a conman. It helps that Jack is also a victim of the web of deception he’s spun, having clearly swallowed his own hype.

Haneefah Wood is equally good as straight-talking office manager Shirley – but we could do without Hank Azaria’s Eddie, and his tussles with a debt collector. And immaculate though the mise-enscène is, this story could arguably just as fruitfully have unfolded in a true-life ’50s milieu, and centred on, say, beachfront property in Hawaii. Ultimately, this is a sci-fi series about lunar travel that never quite takes us into space. It’s hard to resist the feeling that, like Jack’s customers, you’ve been a victim of mis-selling. Ian Berriman

The slogan “Hello tomorrow” was used by both Adidas (in a 2005 TV ad) and the airline Emirates (in a 2012 campaign).

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“... and those are all the great benefits of Brexit.”

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