In June, Apple TV+ launched Physical, a ten-episode dramedy starring Rose Byrne as a disillusioned San Diego housewife who finds validation by helping to build the 1980s aerobics video craze (evoking “feel the burn” memories from Jane Fonda’s real-life role in that creation). After reviews that called the show everything from “compelling but difficult” to “dark and caustic,” Apple TV+ announces today that Physical will return for second season. Our own review pointed out that the season left many unanswered questions, as “Physical appears to be banking on enough people actually wanting to revisit this show to continue on Sheila’s transformative journey. That’s a prospect that seems unlikely.” Well, we’ve been wrong before.
In a press release, Apple TV+’s director of domestic programming Michelle Lee said, “We couldn’t be more proud to showcase Annie Weisman’s singular take on this darkly funny, heartbreaking and bold story. And then we got to watch Rose Byrne inhabit this incredible, multi-layered character, giving us an unforgettable tour de force performance. We have been thrilled to see audiences around the world fall in love and feel seen by this show and we can’t wait for everyone to experience the next chapter in Sheila’s journey towards personal empowerment.”
The series has apparently been doing well enough in its weekly episode rollouts to clinch a second season. Those new episodes will presumably tell more of the story of Sheila’s transformation from housewife with an eating disorder to VHS mogul, as the entire series begins with a shot of a glamorous Sheila on the set of an exercise video. As the season draws to a close (the finale airs on August 6), she isn’t quite there yet. But the realization of her aerobics video dreams appears to be on the horizon.