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The next must-watch Apple TV+ series debuts this week – it’s like an adult version of Big Hero 6

Published Jul 8th, 2024 2:01PM EDT
Sunny on Apple TV+
Image: Apple

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Sunny, Apple TV+‘s newest addition to its long list of standout sci-fi dramas, packs a lot into its 10 episodes. On one level, it’s a fish-out-of-water story, in which Rashida Jones’ Suzie Sakamoto attempts to navigate a near-future version of Kyoto — without having mastered the customs or the language, which Suzie chalks up to her dyslexia. Sunny, which debuts on July 10, is also a story about grief and moving on, given that Suzie’s husband and son have just died (or have they simply vanished?) in a mysterious plane crash.

Created by Katie Robbins and based on the novel Dark Manual, Sunny is also something else: A sneak peek into a future wherein robot helpers live alongside humans, who treat the robots as shiny pets when they might, in fact, augur something dark and sinister. For that reason, Jones feels like she was the perfect choice to play the grieving widow, who’s also a kind of stand-in for the audience.

Jones has always displayed a degree of detachment in her acting, and here that detachment especially works. She’s reeling from loss, a stranger in a strange land. What’s more, she’s also learning things at the same time we are, starting with what her husband really does (or did) for a living.

Sunny on Apple TV+
Rashida Jones in “Sunny.” Image source: Apple

“He’s in refrigerators,” Suzie used to tell people — which is also the title of Sunny‘s note-perfect first episode — when in fact he builds sophisticated robots. Like the one named Sunny that Suzie is given in the wake of her husband’s tragedy.

Its digital face includes warm and friendly eyes, the kind you might see on a Nintendo character. When the user — in this case, Suzie — puts their robot into sleep mode, the face is replaced by three Zs that resemble comic book lettering. With outstretched hands, Sunny offers Suzie a chipper nice-to-meet-you greeting with “Hajimemashite, Suzie-san! I’m so happy to finally meet you … bring it in!!”

Suzie, still in her grief-induced stupor, is repulsed by the surprise gift from her husband’s employer, which reminded me a little bit of Baymax in Big Hero 6 (built by Tadashi Hamada, the late brother of that movie’s protagonist Hiro). Making matters worse for Suzie is the fact that she didn’t see what we, the viewers, saw at the very beginning of the show’s first episode: A robot seemingly going berserk, someone begging it to stop, a trail of blood, and a presumably dead body.

In case you missed the point, there’s an offhand comment one of the characters makes later, about the robots being hackable, which lets you know that there’s much more than meets the eye in this show. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.