Physical is one of the best shows of 2021, but it’s also one of the darkest and bleakest things put on television under the banner of “comedy” in recent memory. The White Lotus and Severance and even Barry have their moments, but they also have enough laugh out loud comedy to sweeten the salt, whereas Physical’s humor, such as it is, is more “that’s funny” than “laugh out loud”. Physical is coming back on June 3 for a second season, and the trailer arrived this week with more of Rose Byrne as Sheila, working and lying her way to a workout business empire, plus more of her sh-tty husband being sh-tty (shout out to comedian Rory Scovel for being legit great at playing the loser husband), and more of John Breem being a hypocritical conservative power player. Season two also introduces The White Lotus’s Murray Bartlett as Vinnie Green, a man with a workout empire of his own.
It seems in season two, Sheila’s business is taking off, and she’s left behind her mall storefront partner, Bunny. Having seen season one, and the depths of anxiety-ridden despair that makes up Sheila’s inner life, I don’t quite buy into the Coen-esque crime vibes this trailer is emitting, but oh GOD I love the idea of Physical turning into a Coen-esque crime caper. Bunny and her surfer boyfriend, Tyler, are plotting to get even with Sheila for stealing Bunny’s workout routines, and I WISH this would be where Physical is going, but there are just as many cues that season two will continue to show Sheila living a double life, becoming the face of home fitness while struggling with an eating disorder, not to mention the inevitable breakdown of her marriage on the horizon. As much as I want to see the crime comedy version of Physical, it looks like season two is mixing old and new blood from the people Sheila will eventually suck dry on her way to the top. Sheila says it herself. She’s after “annihilation”, and Physical will undoubtedly continue to annihilate everything from the 1980s to workout culture to everyone in Sheila’s wake.
Attached - Rose Byrne filming Apple TV+'s Platonic with Seth Rogen earlier this week in LA.