Here is our review of the Apple TV+ series Physical Season 3, which does not contain significant spoilers.
Fitness star Sheila Rubin (Rose Byrne) has spent the majority of her story arc battling a critical voice inside her own head.
Having subdued this nagging, tormenting voice in the previous season via therapy and the camaraderie of an anonymous support group, she is then immediately faced with a new threat.
The third season of Apple’s eighties-set comedy-drama series Physical centers on the bitter rivalry between Sheila and TV personality Kelly Kilmartin (Zooey Deschanel). This new angle breathes new life into the series, yet the show still can’t help but rehash the same old, tired themes and storylines.
Physical Season 3 Review and Plot Summary
It’s been a long road to recovery for Sheila. She’s had to sacrifice a lot to get to this point in her life. But by addressing her demons, the eating disorder, and that vicious critical voice in her head, Sheila has been able to progress to a much healthier place.
Season three kick starts with a reinvigorated Sheila continuing to grow her business empire. She’s guided, as ever, by the love and support of her best friend and business partner, Greta.
They decide to ditch the small fry, the regional world of health and fitness, and aim for the big leagues of national TV.
Sheila uses her connections and her determination to land a spot on Wake Up San Diego, where she is able to promote her distinct line of fitness workouts to the world.
This success leads to a boom in revenue for her own business, which in turn opens the doors to greater possibilities and endorsement deals.
Of course, this success is short-lived as Sheila’s fitness rival, Kelly Kilmartin, enters the scene. The TV star and fitness personality seems to be consistently beating Sheila at her own game.
Kelly is more popular and wider-reaching, using her stardom to her advantage as she leads the fitness race.
This rivalry looks set to ruin everything Sheila has been working towards, quickly destroying her recovery progression and her reputation in one fell swoop.
As always, the show is supported by subplots involving the creepy entrepreneur John Breem (Paul Sparks) and Sheila’s ex-husband Danny.
Is Physical Season 3 good or bad?
The third season of Physical is a slight step down from the show’s previous season. There’s a distinct lack of comedy moments or genuine fun to be had from this batch of episodes. The commendable focus on character development and the theme of recovery feels clinical and calculated instead of emotive or organic.
The introduction of fitness rival Kelly Kilmartin starts as an intriguing concept in itself, but it soon falls into repetitive, frustrating territory. Zooey Deschanel seems an odd choice for Sheila’s rival. I fear she may have been totally miscast in this role. Her two-faced TV star personality doesn’t quite ring true, with no real depth or panache.
Episodes whiz by at a fast pace, but if we are to put aside Sheila’s central storyline, there is very little else on offer here. Again, minor subplots move forward at a snail’s pace, seemingly as forgettable filler for the main event.
Is Physical Season 3 worth watching?
Fans will be eager to see how Sheila’s story arc concludes, but it’s a rocky road to the finale. The third season may have benefited from some editing down or a more upbeat, tongue-in-cheek rivalry instead of this darker approach.
What did you think of the Apple TV+ series Physical Season 3? Comment below.