Living like there is No Tomorrow

Joshua Sasse plays a thrill-seeker and Tori Anderson a cautious office manager in No Tomorrow.
Joshua Sasse plays a thrill-seeker and Tori Anderson a cautious office manager in No Tomorrow.PHOTO: RTL CBS ENTERTAINMENT

A man believes the world will end soon and convinces a woman to draw up a bucket list of adventures in the new sitcom

There have been a number of post-apocalyptic romantic comedies lately, but the new sitcom No Tomorrow belongs to a rarer genre: the pre-apocalyptic rom-com, where love blossoms before a cataclysmic event.

Evie (Tori Anderson) is an uptight and cautious office manager who falls for her free-spirited, thrill-seeking neighbour Xavier (Joshua Sasse), who has learnt that an asteroid will hit the Earth in precisely eight months and 12 days.

He convinces her to join him in creating an "apoca-list" - a bucket list of adventures to live every day like it is her last, which includes everything from going after her dream job to singing karaoke on stage.

Speaking to the press in Los Angeles last year, the pair say making the dark comedy, which airs on Fridays at 9pm (RTL CBS Entertainment, StarHub TV Channel 509), got them thinking about how life is short and adopting more of a carpe diem attitude themselves.

It's a reminder not to take every day for granted... You get only one life, so you have to kind of make the most of it.

ACTRESS TORI ANDERSON, on how starring in pre-apocalyptic rom-com No Tomorrow made her rethink how to live life

Anderson, a 27-year-old Canadian actress, says: "It's a reminder not to take every day for granted, to embrace what you want to embrace, go after what you want to do and not sit back. You get only one life, so you have to kind of make the most of it."

And she has been motivated as well. "I've never travelled extensively before and something I've always wanted to do is go surfing in Bali, so I'm planning on doing that for the first time."

She thinks the show, adapted from the Brazilian telenovela How To Enjoy The End Of The World (2012), may be especially inspirational for armchair adventurers.

"We live in a social-media world where you're constantly behind your phone and you're vicariously living through other people and wishing you were doing what they were doing," says Anderson, who appeared in the Canadian teenage soap opera Open Heart (2015) and the science-fiction drama Killjoys (2016).

"And hopefully, it's going to get people to go outside and do those things that they have always wanted to do. It has for me."

Co-star Sasse agrees. The English actor, who appeared in the fantasy musical comedy series Galavant (2015 - 2016), has always been a believer in seizing the day, he says.

"I live my life quite like that. There was a wonderful teacher called Alan Watts who was a spiritual leader in America in the 1950s and 1960s, and (he believed) it was very important to live your life the way you want to live it without being hindered by someone else."

After doing the show, Sasse decided it was time to fulfil his lifelong dream of going kayaking in the fjords of Norway.

"TV shows are evocative like that and that's a wonderful part of our job. It's been nice over these last couple of months meeting people who are, like, 'Do you know what? (The show) really got me thinking and (I did) X, Y, Z.'"

And people have approached the actors with some rather unusual suggestions for the characters' bucket lists on the show, says the 29-year- old.

"Some guy in New York suggested doing a cake-eating competition."

A list can embrace everything from physical, daredevil stuff to more spiritual and intellectual explorations, Sasse believes.

"It can go from Jackass," he says, referring to the 2000-2002 reality series, "to really conscious spiritual stuff or going to university because you've always wanted to get a degree. It depends on who you are."

There is no right or wrong way to approach the end of the world and that is one of the core messages of the show, he adds.

"What's really important about this show is it's not him coming into it with his way as the right way or hers as the right way. It's that you learn it from everyone else and everybody else's take on it."

Xavier and Evie "learn from each other and change that path. Because he meets Evie and she's the antithesis of him. And suddenly his trajectory stops because of who she is", he says.

Anderson adds: "What it's about is that life is so precious and everyone I think comes into your life for a reason, whether for a short time or your entire life. And everyone can learn from one another."

It is unusual for a comedy to provoke deeper philosophical discussions such as these, but Sasse is all for it.

"It's nice that the show has a message behind it that we can explore. That's not always the case, especially with a comedy - you don't have the platform to start getting really philosophical and restructuring your ethos."

And No Tomorrow has been "a real conversation-starter" for the cast and crew as well as viewers.

"Tori told me how she's terrified of dying in an earthquake," he says, smiling at his co-star. "This stuff comes up and it's been nice to work on something that makes us question a little."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2017, with the headline 'Living like there is No Tomorrow '. Print Edition | Subscribe