It’s hard to argue with any vehicle that gives Jane Seymour work — or that brings Matt Jones, better known as the bumbling drug dealer Badger from “Breaking Bad,” into a comedic lead role of his own. So there’s nothing negative, exactly, to say about “Let’s Get Physical,” a comedy about a man reconnecting with his family heritage of neon spandex and ‘80s pop. It’s a very particular idea for a show, especially as the stakes of the season emerge: Joe Force (Jones), a 40-something wannabe rocker who inherits his parents’ aerobics studio when his father dies, following years of estrangement about their differing relationships to personal fitness. Joe would have preferred his father just left him his $8 million inheritance, but instead that money is being held for the winner of an upcoming aerobics competition. In order to get his inheritance, Joe will have to re-dedicate his life to aerobics — with the help of his oddball mother Janet (Seymour) and the misfits that form his crew.
If that sounds like a pitch for a television show based solely on this video, well, that’s intentional (a few shots from what appears to be the same competition comprise the opening frames of the first episode). Aerobics competitions still exist, and there’s something fascinatingly wistful about trying to come to terms with such a benighted aesthetic era. But “Let’s Get Physical” is almost too committed to the bit to be more than just a one joke idea for a series. The best jokes in the series don’t arise from the aerobics. Instead they stem from scenes like one absolutely disgusting bit where Janet squeezes white dish soap into a condom while on the phone, and then enters the other room to inform the three men sleeping there that she slept with all of them last night, and they were all sub-par. (She didn’t — but arguably, they were sub-par.) Or from characters like Joe’s lifelong rival Barry Cross (Chris Diamantopoulos), a gym rat who defeated Joe at the competition in their teens… and then started dating his girlfriend Claudia (AnnaLynne McCord), before going on to form an ultra-digital fitness chain that tracks and optimizes its devotees’ every move. Barry and Claudia have synced their relationship to the app, too — meaning that every now and again, it chimes at them to tell them to affirm each other, or look deeply into each others’ eyes. They seem happy with each other, which is the funniest bit of all.
“Let’s Get Physical” is a fun little venture, made all the better by Jones’ commitment to his dance moves and Diamantopoulos’ commitment to, well, everything. The season is quite clearly structured for a finale at the Competitive Aerobics Competition (CAC), meaning that we will see a lot of dedicated high-stepping and robotic flexing before that. There isn’t a lot to the comedy, besides the central assumption that aerobics is hilarious (and the assurance that the title will get Olivia Newton-John stuck in your head). On the other hand, though, they’re right — and maybe that assumption is all it takes.