‘Physical’ Season 2 Works Out Better Than S1 — Thank You, Rose Byrne

‘Physical’ Season 2 Works Out Better Than S1 — Thank You, Rose Byrne
Last year, Apple TV+ debuted the first season of the Rose Byrne-starring drama, “Physical,” about San Diego mother Sheila Rubin (Byrne) and her desire to build an aerobics empire in the 1980s. The series had many of ’80s-set show staples, including a colorful wardrobe. Alongside that, it was a personal story for series creator Annie Weisman, who felt that San Diego and the ’80s were often portrayed as idyllic places which she wanted to subvert. The first season received mixed reviews from critics, with several pointing out that Sheila’s voice-over narration, coupled with her character’s eating disorder, were anxiety-inducing and indulging in disordered eating stereotypes.

Season 2 feels like a course correction with a desire to embrace the “autonomy” Weisman found interesting about women and aerobics in the 1980s. Sheila is working to tailor herself into a lifestyle brand, but everyone else in her orbit is working on themselves,
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