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Yellowing apple: "Physical" shuffles in place, "Lissy's story" dives into the abyss - Walla! culture


Apple TV's two new series enjoy high profile and top notch players, but that does not help them become a must-watch.

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Yellowing apple: "Physical" shuffles in place, "Lissy's story" dives into the abyss

Apple TV's two new series enjoy high profile and top notch players, but that does not help them become mandatory views.

While "Physical" starring Rose Byrne at least demonstrates interesting ideas and spectacular acting, "Lissy's Story" with Julian Moore and Clive Owen is simply dull


  • Physical - Series

  • Lissy's story

  • Julian Moore

  • Rose Byrne

  • TV review

  • Apple TV Plus

Ido Yeshayahu and Ben Byron Braude

Tuesday, 06 July 2021, 00:00

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Trailer for the "Physical" series (Apple TV Plus)

Apple TV Plus continues to carve its way with more and more new series. Every Friday, new episodes of several series appear, including two new ones that will not be remembered as the best result of the streaming service.

In the case of "Lisey's Story", we have long since encountered such a large gap between the impressive list of credits involved in the project and the disappointing end result. The horror drama is based on a novel of the same name by Stephen King, who has repeatedly testified in interviews that it is one of his personal and favorite works - a statement not to be underestimated by someone who has published more than 60 books - and therefore also took on the script for the series.

The plot deals with Blissy (Julian Moore) - the widow of a famous suspense writer named Scott Landon (Clive Owen) who is in deep mourning and experiences fantastic visions in which her late husband tries to communicate with her. In addition, her older sister, Amanda (Joan Allen), is mentally struggling with suicidal tendencies, and she and her younger sister Darla (Jennifer Jason Lee) need to help her. Not only is there an impressive Hollywood cast for "The Story of Lissy", who directed it is the esteemed Chilean director Pablo Larin whose films include masterpieces such as "NO", "Jackie" and "Fantastic Woman" (Oscar winner for foreign film) ) And was produced by none other than JJ Abrahams. None of this saves her.

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The convincing gameplay doesn't help either.

Julian Moore, "Lissy's Story" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

"Lissy's Story" constantly moves on the axis between reality and fantasy, a routine motif in horror series, but the execution here is philosophical to the extent that it will make even the more patient viewers wander into the dream districts themselves.

In fact, the premiere episode begins with long minutes during which almost nothing is said and we dive straight into Lissy (Moore) who moves between different locations and experiences what can be assumed to be a nightmare.

These whips are beautiful and very cinematic, but after a minute or two the visual impression passes and we are left in the wilderness.

Although it is clear from the outset that Scott is not alive, there is a communication between him and Lissy designed to make us doubt his death or her life.

Julian Moore is one of the best active actresses today, but with such a confused script she also has nothing to do. Even convincing acting performances from the rest of the cast, led by Jennifer Jason Lee and Joan Allen, fail to get the viewer interested in what appears to be a collection of homage scenes to all of King's work, but they do not contain a drop of meat. Even when a suspense plot is already creeping up on her towards the second episode, she too is running unbearably slowly.

A possible theory for this resounding failure lies in the fact that Apple TV Plus, a content body in its infancy still does not know how to set limits to this large amount of ego, and has given everyone a completely free hand to express themselves.

For comparison, the previous collaboration between JJ Abrahams and Stephen King, "Castle Rock" for Hollow, was on paper no less pretentious - a series that incorporated into one town many of the writer's characters.

The result was good, sweeping and smart, even though it was canceled after two seasons.

"Lissy's Story," however, will be remembered (if at all) as one of Apple's most disappointing television projects to date, and probably in King's career as well.

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The case of "Physical" is much less bad, and it's still hard not to feel that this series can and should be better, that it's not completely closed on itself.

On the face of it, she looks like a fitting replacement for the heartbreaking after the surprising cancellation of "Glow," the eighties wrestling series produced by Genghis Cohen for Netflix: The "Physical" plot also takes place in the 1980s and focuses on a woman taking control of her destiny through athletic and aerobic means. In practice it is more reminiscent of another work by Cohen - "The Neighbor's Weed". A series that loves sensational script moves, about the experiences of a mother in the sunny and seemingly perfect suburbs of Southern California, which sets her up for a new business and hides it - and other secrets - from its surroundings.

In the new comedy-drama - which is not funny at all, it should be noted - Rose Byrne ("Bachelorette Party") stars as Sheila, a housewife who suffers from her dull life in a community located on the sunny shores of the Pacific Ocean.

All this changes as she discovers the world of aerobics, and through it the path to personal empowerment.

In addition to Byrne, comedian Rory Skovell also stars as her husband, Danny, and Paul Sparks ("House of Cards," "Boardwalk Empire") as the owners of the local mall.

The series was created by Annie Weissman, who has written for "Desperate Housewives" and "Making Headlines," among others.

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Magnetic and touching.

Rose Byrne, "Physical" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

To the credit of "Physical" it will be said that her affinity for sensationalism is relatively refined, and most of the time also tries to formulate a statement. Behind the façade of Sheila's perfect life she hides a very severe eating disorder, from the hardships and frustrations seen on TV. "Physical" presents her again and again throughout the seasons, as we hear Sheila's heartfelt feelings full of self-loathing, as well as an obsession with her body and the food she puts in and takes out of her mouth.

As if to balance the protagonist's always-exposed inner world, "Physical", as its name implies, is always careful to be in motion. The camera is always moving, approaching and moving away from the characters, evoking a sense of happening. But as the episodes progress it becomes apparent how much the occurrence does not really exist. Just as the protagonist who presents one thing to the world and within it is something completely different, and just as she struggles to free herself from her mental shackles and really move on, so the elegant feverishness of "Physical" masks a plot that shuffles its way forward lazily.

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A façade of a perfect life.

Byrne and Rory Skoval, "Physical" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

Quite a bit happens throughout the first season, which is unfortunate, because there are quite a few things that work in favor of "Physical".

Its periodic recovery is effective.

Although she has unbearable sub-characters (Danny, his friend Jerry, the five- or six-year-old daughter of Sheila and Danny, who for the series it is for some reason normal that she behaves like a baby) she also features heart-wrenching ones (Greta, Tyler).

"Physical" best describes how Sheila's financial distress - which she also hides from her husband and in general - is suffocating her.

And above all, Rose Byrne is just awesome.

She alone justifies watching the series.

Manages to make Sheila's selfish, privileged and even predatory figure magnetizing and touching.

As of the ten episodes of the first season (all of which have been sent for review, five of which have aired so far), that's enough to pull us on.

But if there will be a second season, "Physical" must be better to capture us again.

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Source: walla

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