Let’s Get Physical premieres January 24th, 8:30pm on Pop.
By Ariba Bhuvad
Over the course of the last year, we have seen 80’s nostalgia run rampant in the world of television. Shows like Netflix’s GLOW explored the world of spandex and glitter through women’s wrestling while Stranger Things thrust back into the world of 80’s horror and thriller. Riding on the waves of that comes the next 80’s-esque fairly disappointing comedy, Let’s Get Physical from Pop.
Created by Connor Pritchard and Dan and Ben Newmark, the story of this half-hour modern-day comedy revolves around its central character, Force Joe, played by Breaking Bad’s Matt Jones. After spending the last 20 years of his life in a 80’s cover band, he tries to make his comeback in the fitness/aerobics industry after the death of his father, a 80s aerobics guru. Once destined to follow in his father’s footsteps, Joe is given his father’s broken down gym as inheritance and forced to make something of himself when his deceased father presents a challenge of either selling the gym or receiving more money by partaking in the Aerobics Championship. This results in a face-off between Joe and his arch nemesis, Barry Cross played by Silicon Valley’s Chris Diamantopoulos and his equally ambitious wife, Claudia played by 90210’s AnnaLynne McCord who run the rival gym, “The Metrix”. Alongside Joe in the madness, is his sort-of supportive British mother, Janet, played by Jane Seymour. Together, the two take on the task of bringing life back to their family’s legacy.
While Let’s Get Physical had its comedic moments, it fell fairly short of expectations. Even with a pretty stellar cast at their disposal, it felt like the humor fell dry, went over our heads, or just simply did not make its intended mark. Jones and Seymour make for a semi-hilarious mother-son duo, however, the friction over Jones’ character being a loser got repetitive and mundane. For a story that was based off a rocky relationship between a father and a son, they didn’t spend enough time exploring that aspect of it, and therefore it became difficult to understand or connect with Joe’s intentions to stray away from the family aerobics business. The story felt forced and didn’t quite flow like a comedy as it was intended to.
The far and in between comedic moments usually took place between the characters Jones, Diamantopoulos, and McCord played, who were always at each other’s throats, literally and figuratively. The awkwardly ambitious fitness couple went above and beyond the norms of traditional fitness, displaying a fairly accurate representation of how gyms function today. The dynamic between the couple, while annoying, became moments to look forward to in this otherwise mediocre comedy. As a matter of fact, it possessed the heart of the comedy seen in Let’s Get Physical purely for how ridiculously ambitious they were in an effort to be as fit as possible, by any means possible.
Let’s Get Physical wasn’t everything one would imagine it to be, given the overall storyline and the hilarious cast. Unfortunately, the comedy just wasn’t up to par with its competition and became muddled in its constant efforts to be hilarious, even when it wasn’t necessary. The over-the-top humor, the odd jokes, and not so enticing storyline made for an average comedy that didn’t quite grab the attention it meant to. And while the cast and their attempts to play along did shine through, it was simply not engaging or entertaining enough.
I give Let’s Get Physical a C-.