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Brokaw: Rose Byrne returns to get ‘Physical’

By Francine Brokaw - Special to the Daily Herald | Jun 15, 2022

Courtesy photo

"Physical" is streaming now on Apple TV+.

Rose Byrne is back for season two of the Apple TV+ series “Physical.” In the freshman season, Sheila Rubin (Byrne) discovered the world of aerobics and turned it into a thriving business, a la Jane Fonda. The story takes place in the 1980s and reflects the hair, clothing, and culture of the time.

“Physical” is a dark comedy, however, it is more dark than comedic. It is a drama about the relationships between people with each other and with themselves. As Sheila confronts her bulimia in this season, she also hides another personal secret – her affair with her husband’s archenemy.

Sheila also deals with the people she screwed over on her way to the top of the business ladder. As the saying goes, if you mess with people on your way up, you are bound to come across them on your way down. Will they manage to derail her budding career?

Sheila’s empire is a combination of Fonda and Richard Simmons. She is a motiving source for countless women, and thoroughly believes in aerobics. She has a self-image complex and the exercise routine helps her stay slim (along with her bulimia) and at the same time she enjoys the workouts.

While she has risen in the aerobics market as a VHS entrepreneur (remember those bulky tapes?), she is not satisfied. Sheila wants to be bigger than just a VHS exercise instructor and motivator — she wants to be a self-help guru. So as she explores this new venture with the help of her friend Greta, Sheila deals with her marriage, her family, and her life in a way that must frustrate viewers. This woman connives, hides, and manipulates people to no end. But there is something about this show that is a little addicting, not unlike the endorphin rush one gets when actually doing aerobics.

Season 2 of “Physical” is streaming on Apple TV+.

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