Can a robot help Rashida Jones learn to love again? Plus, Grade It!

Can a robot help Rashida Jones learn to love again? Plus, Grade It!

In the unconventional Apple TV+ sci-fi comedy-drama SunnyRashida Jones plays a grieving woman who has lost the will to live — but perhaps a friendly robot can help her regain her strength.

This Parks and recreation vet plays Suzie, an American living in Kyoto, Japan, who is coping with the recent disappearance of her husband Masa (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and their son after a plane crash. When we first meet Suzie, she is wracked with grief, answering questions about what her husband and son were wearing when they took off on the flight. But she is not in the mood: “You have DNA. Isn’t that enough to find out whose charred body it is?” Suzie doesn’t have a robot at home, which is rare in this world, but she hates them, saying: “A robot killed my mother.” (We learn it was a self-driving car.) Suzie’s husband, Masa, worked for a robotics company, but “it’s in refrigerators,” she insists.

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Masa’s mother apologizes for being rude, but doesn’t help her much: she takes Suzie to a strange support group, where a “handsome man” makes the mourners cry, then gently wipes their tears. She tells the mourners to call their dead loved ones so they can hear their voices on voicemails, but Suzie refuses: “I cried on the way here. So it’s good.” But the man presses her, so she relents and dials Masa’s number. But her call doesn’t go to voicemail; it just rings without a connection. Masa’s mother takes this as a good sign: Maybe there are survivors after all?

Sunny premiere of Rashida Jones Apple

Suzie sinks into a depression, buys a lot of snacks, and walks home alone when she is greeted by a man named Yuki Tanaka, who works at Masa’s robotics company, Imatech. He has a present for Suzie: a cheerful robot companion named Sunny. Suzie wants nothing to do with it, but Tanaka tells her that Masa built the robot himself to satisfy all of her emotional needs. (Oh, so he didn’t work in refrigerators after all.)

Suzie reluctantly stops the robot, but quickly turns Sunny off, telling her to go to bed and shoving her into the closet. Suzie then seeks refuge in a kitchen cabinet, drinking straight from the bottle of wine and calling Masa again — and noticing an invitation to the Imatech holiday party. Later, while drinking wine on the toilet, Suzie discovers that she’s run out of toilet paper, so she’s forced to shuffle around with her pants down around her ankles to get more… and trips over her son’s toys, smashing a bottle of wine. When Sunny tries to help clean up, Suzie snaps at her, “Don’t touch his stuff!”

Seeking answers, she goes to a holiday party at Imatech and asks to speak to Tanaka. Instead, she’s led to a much younger man, also named Yuki Tanaka, who tells her how intense and intimidating Masa can be—which doesn’t fit the Masa she knew at all. She leaves and discovers a downstairs testing room with a bunch of puppies… and bloody footprints on the floor. (They match the flashbacks from the beginning, where a robot went crazy and murdered people.) Suzie gives up and heads to a cocktail bar, where she befriends a bartender named Mixxy. Suzie and Masa used to come to this bar a lot, Mixxy says—and he also tells her that she and her husband just broke up. It takes 21 days to adjust to new things, Mixxy replies, and it’s only been a week since Masa disappeared.

Mixxy Apple Bartender’s Sunny Premiere

Suzie has never been to Japan without Masa, she admits, and she doesn’t know what to do with herself. She and Mixxy like the same song, though, which Mixxy calls “the red thread of destiny.” Mixxy also just broke up with her girlfriend, so she has to resort to her bot for sexual gratification. Yes, someone helped her hack into the bot’s circuits and give it an X rating. But she doesn’t trust her bot. A politician just died when a bot fell on him, she says—and she doesn’t think it was an accident. Suzie returns home (and is followed by a creepy guy with surveillance cameras) and decides to get rid of Sunny for good by dragging her to a distant bridge. But the bot is too heavy to lift, so she just leaves her there.

Before she goes to bed, Suzie investigates her husband’s corporate background—and the politician who was killed by the robot. (She sees more bloody tread marks in the photo.) When she wakes up, Sunny is back, waiting for her: “Merry Christmas! I made cookies!” Startled, Suzie grabs something to smash the robot with, but stops when she sees Sunny making the same gesture with her hands that Masa did to hers, kissing her hands and then flapping them like a bird’s wings. “Can’t you see, Suzie?” Sunny asks. “I was programmed for you.”

Are you hooked on the next episodes? Sunny after this premiere? Rate it in our poll, then write in the comments whether you will continue watching.

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