Monday, February 5, 2018

Pilot Review: Let’s Get Physical

Let’s Get Physical (Pop)
Premiered January 24 at 8:30pm

There’s a strange subgenre of comedy that has to do with physical activity, involving absurdly exercise-obsessed characters living in a world that isn’t nearly prepared for their regimens. I immediately think of the Sundance comedy “The Bronze” starring Melissa Rauch as a former Olympic gymnast which didn’t really get much reception upon its release. This show is far more tasteful and appropriate, but it’s still the same kind of idea. Joe’s late father was a military man who was so into working out that he owned a gym and was considered “the godfather of aerobics” to many, and he expressed nothing but disappointment for his failure of a son who petered out in the middle of a competition. Naturally he would die during an aerobics class where all the students thought they were just supposed to copy his movements, and he would challenge Joe to get back into shape and destroy his high school rival in order to get his inheritance. I recognized Matt Jones’ voice but I can’t tell from reviewing IMDB where I’ve seen him, but the other three main characters are all familiar. Jane Seymour is best known for “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” and most recently recurred on “Jane the Virgin” and “Smallville.” She’s clearly just having fun with this role. Chris Diamantopoulos is always terrific, namely in his arcs on “Silicon Valley” and “Episodes,” and he’ll make a strong enemy for Joe here. AnnaLynne McCord got her big start on “90210” and has been steadily working since, and it looks like she’s having a good time as Claudia, who’s sympathetic to Joe but ultimately tethered in competition to Barry. This pilot was moderately entertaining but full of stupid exercise humor and negative body imaging, and so I don’t think it’s something that I feel compelled to watch.

How will it work as a series? It only took the length of the first episode to get Joe motivated to crush his Cross rivals, and his mother best summarized the approach that he’s going to have: “You may have the brains but my son has the balls.” What has started as a mockery of those who aren’t in shape could ultimately be a something that shows them as unlikely heroes, though I’m not sure the journey will be all that bearable.
How long will it last? It’s hard to find ratings or review data of any sort for this show since it’s a Pop original, but airing behind the popular “Schitt’s Creek” may help it to be noticed and stay alive. I can’t pretend to care about its fate since I’ll forget this show pretty instantly, and I don’t think that it will end up lasting past its original eight-episode order.

Pilot grade: D

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