| Cult of Mac

Pumped for Physical season 3? Here’s why we’re really not. [Apple TV+ reviews] ★★☆☆☆


Episode 10. Rose Byrne in ★★☆☆☆
It's basically more of the same for Sheila (played by Rose Byrne) in season three of Physical.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+’s enormously frustrating ’80s fitness comedy Physical bounces back for its third and final season this week. Aerobics queen Sheila faces a new adversary, both physically and mentally, as well as a new business model — and all the same old problems.

In the first two seasons, the show never expanded or focused enough to make its surface-level treatment of a tormented self-help icon the impressively acidic comedy or drama it so clearly strove to be. Season three of Physical opens with a few promising developments before becoming bogged down in the same distraction and confusion that marred its first two outings.

A workout battle begins in Apple TV+’s Physical season 3


‘Physical’ Season 3 on Apple TV+
The third and final season of Physical will premiere globally on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

The third season of the Apple TV+ dark comedy Physical will feature a psychological battle between Rose Byrne‘s Sheila and a new rival for premier fitness entrepreneur status played by Zooey Deschanel. The first trailer for the upcoming season gives a first look at their struggle.

In addition, Apple’s streaming service revealed Wednesday that the series will return in early August -0- and that this will be the final season of Physical.

Apple TV+ picks up dark comedy Physical for third season


Rose Byrne plays fitness entrepreneur Sheila Rubin in
Rose Byrne gets to keep playing fitness entrepreneur Sheila Rubin in "Physical" on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

Physical starring Rose Byrne will return to Apple TV+ for a third season. The dark comedy about a female fitness guru is set in the 1980s.

There were some questions about the show’s future after a shaky first season, but season two made continuing the series a no-brainer.

Physical season finale leaves us praying for cancellation [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Physical season 2 finale recap: Please say it's over.★★☆☆☆
Please say it's over.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s second season of Physical draws to a merciful close this week. Though she’s finally gotten John Breem out of her bedroom, Sheila still has to deal with him. He’s still making Danny crazy — and he’s still the only man in town with power enough to satisfy Sheila’s needs.

Wouldn’t it be funny if she had to wind up trapped with him in a business agreement? Well, no, it wouldn’t, and it isn’t, but that’s where we’re headed.

Breezy rehab can’t fix Physical’s core problem [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆


Physical recap: Sheila (played by Rose Byrne) tries to sort out her problems this week. Sorta.★★☆☆
Physical recap: Sheila (played by Rose Byrne) tries to sort out her problems this week. Sorta.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s Physical, the story of would-be workout icon Sheila Rubin, is in recovery this week. Can Sheila finally combat her inner critic? Can she make Danny forgive her? Will she make friends at a retreat? Can she finally be honest with herself about her life and her problems and her image of herself?

The answers probably won’t shock you in this perfectly ordinary episode.

Everyone’s getting high on Physical except me [Apple TV+ recap] ☆☆☆


Physical recap: This show can make a drug-fueled fling annoying.☆☆☆
This show can wring the fun out of a drug-fueled fling.
Photo: Apple TV+

This week on Physical, Sheila goes on the lam with Vincent Green in a drug-fueled, disco-scored bonding session.

The wheels on the Sheila Rubin’s aerobics train are clearly about to fall off — and she’s not even going to have the voice in her head to comfort her when all is said and done. It’s another annoying week filled with failed attempts at humor and humanity on Apple TV+’s fizzling ’80s flashback show.

Physical needs to get a grip on its sexuality [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Physical recap: Things were looking up for a minute there.★★☆☆☆
Things were really looking up for a minute there.
Photo: Apple TV+

In this week’s episode of Physical, Apple TV+’s death trip in spandex pumps the brakes to reconsider its priorities.

Aerobics star Sheila breaks her contract, reconnecting with Danny and Greta as she plots her next big move. But she remains selfish at heart, so nothing goes quite the way any of them had planned. Meanwhile, John and Maria plot one last attempt at salvation.

This week’s episode, titled “Don’t Try This at Home,” delivers some of the highest highs of the season, but still manages to blow a commanding lead in the home stretch.

Physical puts a grim face on blackmail and adultery [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆☆


Physical recap: You can be sure any bright moment between Shiela (played by Rose Byrne) and Danny (Rory Scovel) won't last.★★☆☆☆
You can be sure any bright moment between Shiela (played by Rose Byrne) and Danny (Rory Scovel) won't last.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s Physical has an incurable itch to break free this week. Both Sheila’s and John’s spouses know something is up. They try to help, but they can’t — because there’s no cure for being blackmailed by a vindictive Bunny.

John stares a new life in the face, a real one and an imaginary one. Sheila contemplates becoming an even worse version of herself. And Danny’s out of luck in every way he can be.

Brace yourself for more of the same bad behavior in this week’s episode, entitled “Don’t You Have Enough.”

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.

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.