| Cult of Mac

Physical can’t shake its annoying routine [Apple TV+ recap]


Physical recap: Just like Greta (Dierdre Friel) and Sheila (Rose Byrne), this show needs a plan.
Just like Greta (played by Dierdre Friel, left) and Sheila (Rose Byrne), this show needs a plan.
Photo: Apple TV+

1980s aerobics nightmare Physical goes in circles this week as Bunny and Tyler engage in surveillance for subterfuge, John and Sheila seek outside help, and Danny gets a hard dose of reality from Wanda.

In the episode, entitled “Don’t You Want to Watch,” the Apple TV+ series falls back into a familiar rut of Sheila facing problems and somehow solving them, with too little suspense and zero empathy generated for its ghoulish cast of characters.

Physical needs a Hail Mary in the worst way.

Loot gets stuck in a loop trying to build show worthy of its star [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


Loot recap ★★★☆☆
An alpaca farm is just the start of this week's excitement.
Photo: Apple TV+

New Apple TV+ comedy  Loot goes into damage-control mode this week, as a theme park that Molly owns undergoes a public disaster and the billionaire must take stock of her post-divorce holdings.

Sofia goes to an important meeting, Nicholas goes to an important audition, and Arthur goes to a suddenly important soccer game. The show settles into a comfortable groove as it gives everyone an archetype to play with around dependable star Maya Rudolph.

Physical wants to swing, but everyone’s a jerk [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Physical recap: This episode starts with a nightmare and then goes downhill.★★☆☆☆
This week's episode starts with a nightmare and then goes downhill.
Photo: Apple TV+

This week on Apple TV+ aerobics opera Physical, its star self-help guru buys a whiteboard and the show itself backslides. After a promising showing last week, Physical reverts to its worst tendencies.

Danny is still unbearably pretentious and selfish. Sheila is still a misanthropic jerk to absolutely everybody. John is becoming more desperate by the minute. And Greta indulges in a threesome. None of this constitutes real news or development on this show. But since Physical doesn’t really know what it wants to say, this is just how it goes most weeks.

Loot is funny, but we’ve heard these jokes before [Apple TV+ recaps] ★★★☆☆


Loot recap Apple TV+: Saturday Night Live alum Maya Rudolph needs to get serious in Loot.★★★☆☆
Saturday Night Live alum Maya Rudolph needs to get serious fast in Loot.
Photo: Apple TV+

In new Apple TV+ comedy Loot, Maya Rudolph plays a billionaire playgirl who must grow up and discover a conscience when she realizes that her public behavior casts her charitable foundation in a bad light.

Surrounded by misfits, she must tailor her wild lifestyle to more humble settings. Otherwise, she risks turning the one good thing in her life into a joke.

Sheila freaks out this week on Physical [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆


Physical recap: Rose Byrne finally gets to let loose.★★☆☆
Rose Byrne finally gets to let loose in the role of Sheila.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s Physical, about a would-be fitness guru in California, heads to a funeral this week to rethink its priorities. Sheila’s finally cracking up, John’s lies catch up with him in a sad way, Bunny is at the end of her tether, and a vengeful mother gets her hooks into two generations of women.

A couple of standout performances lift this week’s episode out of the usual doldrums. Rose Byrne is allowed to stretch a bit beyond the usual limitations of her role as Sheila Rubin — and the result is a glimpse into a better version of what this show could be.

Cha Cha Real Smooth might be the worst movie of the year [Apple TV+ review] ☆☆☆☆


Cha Cha Real Smooth☆☆☆☆
Take a long second to get used to this face.
Photo: Apple TV+

Only moments ago Cooper Raiff was a niche figure, someone you could avoid with a little effort. But now, he is the filmgoing public’s problem, thanks to Cha Cha Real Smooth, which premieres Friday on Apple TV+.

Writer/director/actor Raiff’s excruciating 2020 feature debut, Shithouse, captured enough viewers and earned enough praise to garner him a second chance to waste our time with the equally galling and charmless Cha Cha Real Smooth.

Apple TV+ paid an absurd amount of money for this garbage film. Unfortunately, the big gamble on this “Sundance hit” landed the streaming service an indifferently directed trifle starring a weaselly narcissist.

Physical just can’t make aerobics look interesting [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Physical recap: An aerobics demo goes wrong for Sheila (played by Rose Byrne) this week.★★☆☆☆
An aerobics demo goes wrong for Sheila (played by Rose Byrne) this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

Physical, Apple TV+’s series about a fitness pioneer and the collection of damaged people in her orbit, hits the fairgrounds for a protest, a demonstration and a cat fight this week. Dramatic stasis and some awkward meetings fill a rootless episode of the enervating drama.

Unfortunately, there’s just no getting around the hollow center of this show: Aerobics don’t make good TV.

Physical serves up a second season of bouncy self-loathing [Apple TV+ recap]


Physical recap on Apple TV+: Sheila (played by Rose Byrne) is up to her same old tricks in season two.
Sheila (played by Rose Byrne) is up to her same old tricks in season two of Physical.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ just fired up another season of Physical, its antisocial character study about a would-be aerobics instructor/grifter/star. Let’s see if the show learned anything from season one’s imbalances and split-personality disorder.

Sheila Rubin, the wannabe workout queen played by Rose Byrne, is still talking to herself about the filth that is humanity, and everyone’s outfits are still ugly. Let’s do this thing!