How Physical Explores the "Societal Flaw" of Parenting in the '80s

Physical star Rory Scovel and creator Annie Weisman break down Danny's attempt to save his marriage to Sheila in season two.

By Cydney Contreras Jun 03, 2022 8:00 PMTags
Watch: Physical Creator & Actor Dish on Parenting Dynamics in Season 2

Suffice it to say, the bar is low for men in season two of Physical.

In the debut episode of the Apple TV+ series, Danny, played by Rory Scovel, makes an earnest attempt to heal his marriage to Sheila (Rose Byrne) by taking on a more active role as a parent. For Danny, "more active" means making their daughter breakfast before dropping her off at school.

And while that's the least he can do as a father, Physical creator Annie Weisman said it's worth some praise considering the series takes place in the '80s. "For me, it's really important to show that this isn't just a character flaw of Danny that he hasn't been a present and involved father," she said in an interview with E! News. "This is a societal flaw."

Annie said that back then it was a "widely held expectation" that fathers worked and the mothers did the childrearing.

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"I wanted to show how as [Sheila's] starting to get some economic power and some independence, [their roles are] shifting," Annie said. "And that was true for a lot of women at the time. You know, we see rising divorces, we see women coming more into their own in the workplace, and how that shifts the family dynamic."

Apple TV+

While Danny previously wanted to be the big man of the house in season one. But this season, he says, his character actually starts to see the benefits of being a doting father. "It starts in a place of just placating Sheila and saying, ‘Well, if I do these nice things, I took our daughter to school that should give me X number of points,'" he explained in a separate interview. "As the season goes on, I think he starts to realize, ‘Oh, I actually do love spending time with my kid.'"

It's a refreshing change from season one in which Danny was wrapped up in his own political ambitions. The question is, will these changes last long enough to save his and Sheila's marriage?

Rory isn't so sure. "I think the tragedy of Danny," he said, "is that those revelations are so fleeting."

Apple TV+

But Annie said that viewers will enjoy seeing this new side of Danny, explaining, "His life hasn't necessarily prepared him for it, so there's a lot of fun and humor in it as well."

New episodes of Physical premiere Fridays on Apple TV+.

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