Parents' Guide to

Physical

By Angelica Guarino, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Bulimia, harmful self-talk in dark '80s-housewife comedy.

TV Apple TV+ Comedy 2021
Physical Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Could have been good but it’s not

This is shot well but honestly we found it to be very pedestrian. It’s an unrealistic portrayal of women in the 80s. It seems to emphasize the worst possible type of people-shallow, negative, immoral. I can’t put an age level for when this is appropriate for kids because we would t let our kids watch this. It’s gross. There’s nothing positive or redeeming about it.

This title has:

Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This '80s-focused dramedy is a welcome addition to the TV's recent narratives starring suburban wives who don't fit within the typical sitcom tropes. Physical shares some themes with Kevin Can F--k Himself and American Housewife but it's set apart in the offbeat, merciless humor through which Sheila sees the world. Sheila is utterly miserable, and it's sometimes difficult to feel sorry for her, yet we still root for her to fix her own problems. Woven into her domestic melancholy is a core mystery: Why did Sheila's life divert from academic potential and political passion to simply existing in an unhappy marriage in a small coastal town? Whose idea was it to get married and have a baby? Did Sheila choose to drop out of graduate school, or did Danny pressure her into doing so? What is stopping her from going back to work, despite pleas from a former teacher to not let Danny keep her away? Is she really enduring pressure from her husband to stay at home, or is she afraid of the success that would likely await her if she finished her graduate degree?

These questions linger in the air of every scene, and no answer would be surprising. The lack of simple explanations are part of what makes Sheila a deeply captivating character. While some may not be able to see past her incredibly mean thoughts about herself and those around her, others will understand that her eating disorder shouldn't, and doesn't, define her. Still, her actions are reprehensible, and being mentally ill does not absolve her from needing to be accountable for her mistakes. Though this all sounds heavy and serious, the show manages to ground itself as a comedy with subtle jokes placed at just the right moments, a testament to its ability to walk the lines of multiple genres and a wide range of moods.

TV Details

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