Ruffling brushing, ultra high cut Lycra bodysuit and retro soundtrack… “Physical” takes us back to the 80s. Worn by Rose Byrne, this squeaky comedy about a housewife on the verge of a nervous breakdown is available on Apple TV +.
What is it about ?
1980s, on the California coast. A depressed housewife regains physical and mental energy thanks to the fashionable practice of aerobics!
Physical, a series created by Annie Weisman with Rose Byrne, Rory Scovel, Paul Sparks, Geoffrey Arend… on Apple TV +
With its rather unexpected pitch, one might think that Physical is an offbeat comedy that would make aerobics the new yoga, a healthy lifestyle that solves all problems. It’s a bit true, but with a good dose of dark humor beforehand.
Rose Byrne plays Sheila, a woman who is not very fulfilled in her relationship or in her role as a mother. Although she lives by the sea in California where the sun shines every day of the year, in a house completely decorated according to the fashion of the 60s and with a university professor, her life is bleak, unsurprising and full. constraints.
Through a voice-over – for once, perfectly well written – Sheila shares with the viewer her moods but above all her shameful thoughts. A bit in the same vein as Fleabag but with resentment on top of that: she smashes everyone’s heads, starting with her husband!
And even if these confidences have the unacknowledged goal of making it execrable, we can only sympathize. Suffering from eating disorders, victim of the injunction made to women to be perfectly thin and desirable according to obsolete criteria and married to a man who dreams only of threesome … she is not in the best arrangements to be a fulfilled woman .
Aerobics is life!
Coincidentally, it is aerobics that will perhaps help him out of this nightmare. As she discovers this new activity in one of these disembodied shopping malls, Sheila feels like she is experiencing an epiphany. The physical exercise, the music, the choreographed movements… this is what makes her feel powerful again!
We could laugh about it and the series does not hesitate to do so by showing Sheila in completely fantasized sequences where she sees herself as an aerobics queen. Funny thing is, we guess aerobics will transform her, but not to make her a better person.
She has found a way to finally become who she dreams of being, but none of this will make her more lovable or more human. It is the opening scene that tells us. It takes place in an unspecified future, but we understand after a good minute that Sheila is an American Véronique or Davina, who has her own television show and who does not answer questions from her assistants.
It is, in short, the anti-American dream as it swarmed on the screens throughout the 80s and 90s. The series has fun breaking this myth with a bulldozer. Nothing and no one is spared. Sheila is the plague in charge, but around her revolves a gallery of secondary characters formidably camped and each one quite fascinating in its mediocrity.
Physical, a little nugget to discover today on Apple TV +.