What if you could listen in on every question someone asked Siri? What would you learn about people’s lives?
Those are the questions tackled in Sandra, a new fiction podcast from Gimlet Media starring Alia Shawkat and Kristen Wiig. Shawkat plays Helen, a new employee at Orbital Teledynamics, the company that created “the world’s most intuitive virtual assistant,” called Sandra (Wiig).
But this virtual assistant is less virtual than most people think. Helen is hired as a Sandra operator, meaning she spends her days absorbing the lives of Sandra users and answering their every question.
“Being Sandra? It’s like a superpower,” says Helen’s boss, played by Ethan Hawke. “Imagine being able to walk up to a complete stranger just knowing that you can help them. You know their shopping habits, their browsing history, all the major events of their lives. You even know their heartbeat. But they know absolutely nothing about you.”
As Helen deals with her own problems in the form of a divorce from estranged husband Donny (Girls star Christopher Abbott), she becomes more and more entangled within the lives of the people she’s helping. She has to maintain the illusion of Sandra’s “artificial” intelligence, even as she gets sucked in to one Sandra user’s world in particular (Avi Rothman).
Sandra was written by Kevin Moffett and Matthew Derby and executive produced by Gimlet’s Mimi O’Donnell. All seven episodes will be available Wednesday. More information and ways to subscribe can be found on Gimlet’s website.
Check out the trailer above.