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Proof that the series located during the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s – a major trend at the moment – do not all have nostalgia for ambition, Physical was not written to make people dream. The latest Apple TV + production is set in the somewhat creepy San Diego of the early 1980s.
Coastal metropolis without charm, humming administrative capital, traditional families rub shoulders with a community of moderately gifted surfers but attached to the conservation of a nature threatened by the great Reagan deregulations. The choice to crudely represent a place and a time is for many in the interest aroused by the series created by Annie Weisman, who was, among others, a producer – it is not surprising – on Desperate Housewives.
The voice-over which gives to hear the hateful soliloquies of Sheila is one of the best finds of the series
The desperate housewife Physical has a first name (Sheila), hairstyle and makeup well of its time. Married to Danny, a mediocre academic, mother of an ill-behaved little girl, she practices a consummate art of self-hatred on a daily basis. Rose Byrne (permanent, skeletal) lends her stiffness, her cold smile and her big sad eyes to this unlovable character, curled up on his neuroses.
The voice-over which gives to hear the hateful soliloquies of Sheila is one of the best finds of the series. There are many others, such as the one that consists of staging the young woman’s binge eating as a tragicomic ritual, a mixture of New Age nudity and fast food. It’s’American Way of Life that Sheila devours and then regurgitates.
Gleefulness of an era
There is also something deeply American in the vision that gives Physical of the torque balance. Without an income, Sheila sneaks out family savings. Without status, her husband wraps himself in misogynistic pride. Cornered financially by the dismissal of Danny, the Rubins will catch up with the branches of the American dream.
At the risk of a haggard stroll in a mall, Sheila gets caught up in an aerobics class one day. She first made it an outlet, before glimpsing the possibility of emancipation. During this time, her husband prides himself on politics and is running for a mandate with the support of local leftists, a pretext for a few colorful supporting roles.
Alternately pathetic, hilarious, fascinating, Rose Byrne deploys throughout the ten episodes a complex palette, perfectly mastered
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