There’s a new animated series, and Keke Palmer and Stephanie Hsu take center stage. Prime Video’s latest addition, The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy, follows Dr. Sleech (Hsu) and Dr. Klak (Palmer) —aliens, best friends and intergalactically renowned surgeons— as they tackle anxiety-eating parasites, illegal time loops and deep-space STIs.

In Season 1, Drs. Sleech and Klak take on a dangerous and potentially groundbreaking case and, in doing so, put existence itself in jeopardy. Although considering their dismal personal lives, oblivion might be an improvement. Palmer and Hsu spoke with Blavity about traveling on this new journey and the fun they had along the way.

Keke, this is your second sci-fi project outside of Nope. What about the genre do you enjoy the most?

Keke Palmer: I think I like all genres because they give me an opportunity to explore something different tonally subject matter-wise. I think with sci-fi, it always is the opportunity to take something extremely heightened. But it’s always rooted in something extremely grounded. And it’s the same thing with The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy. We’re dealing with this heightened world, but it’s a way to kind of trick you into going into this very deep, grounded place that is relatable to all people.

Stephanie, how different is it to work on an animated project doing voiceover work versus other mediums?

Stephanie Hsu: It’s definitely very different in the fact that you can show up into a voiceover booth in your jammies, and you don’t end up in your jammies when the camera’s rolling. Usually, you end up in your jammies and a full beat if it’s on camera. But I think what’s really the same, actually, outside of the casualness of being able to be in a recording booth, is that when you get special projects like this, the story and the characters, their mission should be the same. I think gone are the days of sort of really hyperbolic cartoons. I think we’re in this era where we’re creating a lot of amazing adult animated series that are really grounded, and it works when the story and the characters feel like very close to home and actual and actualized. So, in that way, it’s just as deep of work as it is when you’re on camera, which I think is true for this show. 

Stephanie, you mentioned that the show still gives enough depth, and you were excited about doing an adult animated project. How do you hope the project is received, and what takeaways are you hoping the audience gets from it?

SH: I hope that people laugh and giggle a lot in their cozy homes with their beloveds. I hope that they’re absolutely delighted and titillated by the imagery because the imagery and the world in the show is just wild and weird but somehow still really cozy. And I also hope that people feel really seen and feel a deep stigmatization around mental health or any sort of health issues they may have with their body or their mind and that they feel comforted also by the show.

Keke, you made history with your recent Emmy win. How significant has that moment been for you in your career, especially after you spoke on some of the woes you’ve experienced with the entertainment industry?

KP: It’s just awesome. I think as an actor or as any line of work — even if you work for Delta, when you get to that big Delta achievement and you’ve done over X amount of flights, or you’ve got an X amount of points, whatever it is, any time in any work that you do, it’s always cool to be acknowledged. It’s nice to be acknowledged by your peers. So it was just an exciting moment. And I appreciated the acknowledgment. And I always love the work I do, whether people are watching it or not.