Tune in Tonight: Rashida Jones stars in ‘Sunny’

The new mystery series “Sunny” arrives on Apple TV+. Endowed with an ironic title and perhaps one too many unsettling elements, “Sunny” must be admired for its inventive audacity.

Based on the novel “The Dark Manual” by Irish writer Colin O’Sullivan, “Sunny” stars Rashida Jones as Suzie, an American expat in Kyoto, Japan, a city closely associated with that country’s highly ritualized ways. Not to give too much away, but at the show’s beginning, Suzie is informed that the flight carrying her husband, Masa Sakamoto (Hidetoshi Nishijima), and young son has crashed, and while a search for survivors continues, she should expect the worst. She’s first seen attending a Japanese ceremony intended to evoke tears from the already grieving, something Suzie resists.

Her tough-girl demeanor stands out among the more polite Japanese. She’s particularly irked when her husband’s tech company gives her Sunny (Joanna Sotomura), the latest generation of the company’s personal service robots. Her annoyance turns to confusion when she’s told that her husband was developing Sunny particularly for her. Suzie had been under the impression that Masa had been working on refrigerators.

This revelation is the first of many. Flashbacks reveal Suzie and Masa’s backstory, her prickly personality and the mysterious reasons she arrived in Kyoto. But while we are given hints as to Suzie’s past, her present and future remain as confusing as they are tragic. The more Suzie digs into her husband’s story, the less she seems to know or understand about the man she married.

Her plight is compounded by her odd relationship with the quirky helpmate, a device that behaves more like a cartoon character than an android. And to compound matters, Suzie’s search for answers brings her into a dark netherworld of robot hackers, people who turn their sweet little domestic droids into creatures capable of, well, anything.

Jones does a good job of projecting a slightly sour personality without becoming merely brittle or unpleasant. “Sunny” may remind some viewers of Netflix’s speculative sci-fi series “Dark Mirror.” Jones wrote at least one “Mirror” episode. As murky as things can get with “Sunny,” episodes last only about 35 minutes. While that’s unorthodox for a mystery or drama, it’s a smart way for these dense chapters to unfold.

— Netflix streams the limited documentary series “Receiver.” As fans anticipate the NFL season and preseason, talk of quarterbacks dominate the conversation. But that’s only half of the passing equation. This series singles out the NFL’s five best pass catchers of the 2023 season: Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Amon-Ra St. Brown.

— A very different take on the sports documentary, “Quad Gods” (9 p.m., HBO, TV-14) profiles four New York City men, quadriplegics who meet at a neuro rehabilitation lab, bond over their situation and form the world’s first e-sports team consisting of quadriplegic players. Together, they’re not only out to win, but to challenge assumptions about life with disabilities.


— Ripley keeps a secret on “Chicago Med” (8 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

— “Great White North” (8 p.m., Discovery, TV-14) looks for sharks off the coast of Canada.

On two episodes of “The Real CSI: Miami (CBS, TV-14): the death of rapper XXXTentacion (9 p.m.); a football star and his girlfriend are found slain (10 p.m.).

— Secret cash on “Chicago Fire” (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

— “Expedition Unknown: Sharks vs. Nazis in Paradise” (9 p.m., Discovery) only sounds like an exploitation movie. It’s about the search for a vessel sunk by U-boats in predator-infested waters.

— A cold case mystery sends Upton down a rabbit hole on “Chicago P.D.” (10 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

— Otherworldly species get the once-over on “Alien Sharks: Ghosts of Japan” (10 p.m., Discovery, TV-PG).


Vincent Price stars in the 1960 shocker “House of Usher” (8 p.m., TCM, TV-PG) and “The Pit and the Pendulum” (9:30 p.m., TCM, TV-PG) from 1961. Both were directed by Roger Corman during his Poe period.


“The Price Is Right at Night” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-G) … “MasterChef” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) … “Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … “Claim to Fame” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) … Experts sip from a multi-use water bottle on “Shark Tank” (10 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).


Gretchen Whitmer and Martha Stewart are booked on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (11:35 p.m., CBS) … Jimmy Fallon welcomes Channing Tatum, Common, Pete Rock, Posdnuos and Bilal and Keith Robertson on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC) … Whoopi Goldberg visits “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC) … Taylor Tomlinson hosts Chrissy Teigen, Adam Pally and Sandy Honig on “After Midnight” (12:35 a.m., CBS).