PHYSICAL is a tough, show to watch. It does not pull any punches about Sheila’s (Rose Byrne), confusing, self-incriminating life. 

Sheila suffers from bulimia. She hears and listens to an insidious, cruel voice inside her head that tells her everything she is doing is wrong. Her lifestyle has destroyed her marriage, her connections to others, her relationship with her mother, and her overall self-worth.  It is a challenge to watch her spiral downward. Her saving grace is aerobic exercising and creating her “empire.”  This is where Sheila derives her power and confidence. We can see the true, joyous image of what she could become. The journey, however, is a rocky road with many setbacks that create extreme challenges along the way and culminates in a creepy cliffhanger. 

PHYSICAL’s ensemble is amazing. They act as catalysts and feed off Sheila’s negative and positive energy.  Nothing is off-the-table. Every scenario is drought with dark humor, angst, and phony bravado. It is compelling and intriguing. The viewers never know when Sheila or those around will step into the next pile of crap.  The writers have nailed the dialogues to propel this series into a hopeful renewal. I also must mention the lighting. Each scene appears frayed and darkened, much like Sheila’s life. It adds another dimension as to who each of the characters truly are deep inside. 

PHYSICAL is not a show for everyone. I believe audiences must “want to go there.” It is a series for the realist who doesn’t mind seeing people continually fall on their ass while looking for the peace and inner joy they secretly desire. Good or poor choices doesn’t always lead to “annihilation.”

PHYSICAL is available to stream on APPLE TV+. 

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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