Zooey Deschanel Just Joined A Most Underrated Series

Zooey Deschanel is joining the third season of the Apple TV+ series Physical.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Zooey Deschanel is joining the cast of the Apple TV+ series Physical for its third season, making this her first regular TV role since the finale of the FOX sitcom New Girl in 2018. According to Variety, Zooey Deschanel will play “a former sitcom star who jumps into the burgeoning fitness industry.” She will be joining an ensemble cast led by series star Rose Byrne, along with Rory Scovel (Harley Quinn), Paul Sparks (Boardwalk Empire), and Lou Taylor Pucci (American Horror Story: 1984). 

Physical premiered on Apple TV+ in June of 2021, created by Annie Weisman, who has written prolifically for shows like Hulu’s cult drama The Path starring Aaron Paul, the ABC hit comedy-drama Desperate Housewives, and the NBC sitcom About a Boy. The series follows a frustrated housewife played by Rose Byrne in the 1980s, as she attempts to support her husband’s (Rory Scovel) political aspirations and enters the increasingly popular world of the fitness industry. It can be speculated that Zooey Deschanel may be introduced to the show as a potential rival of Rose Byrne and her growing empire of high-intensity aerobic workouts. 

Zooey Deschanel is best known for her work on New Girl, a FOX sitcom created by Elizabeth Meriwether that originally began as a starring vehicle but eventually evolved into an ensemble comedy featuring Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone, and Damon Wayans Jr. The show ran for seven seasons and was consistently critically acclaimed, being nominated for numerous awards (including a Primetime Emmy Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series nomination for Zooey Deschanel herself).

In addition to her television work, Zooey Deschanel is known for her starring appearances in films like the Joseph Gordon-Levitt romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer and the notorious Mark Wahlberg/M. Night Shyamalan eco-horror film The Happening. Zooey Deschanel has also maintained a parallel music career to her acting, as half of the musical duo She & Him along with M. Ward. The duo’s most recent release was Melt Away: A Tribute to Brian Wilson, covering 14 songs written by the legendary Beach Boys founder and featuring his vocals on one track.

The first season of Physical received mixed reviews from critics, currently holding a 67% Critics Score. Many critics described the show as punishing, with unlikable characters and dark storylines, though how that differs from the majority of prestige television series like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Sopranos is unclear. 

However, the second season of Physical (which premiered on June 3) currently holds a perfect 100% Critics score, indicating that the Apple TV+ series is beginning to be more positively noticed. Hopefully, the addition of Zooey Deschanel in the third season will continue this upward trend and maybe even show us a darker, more caustic side of the actress than we have seen before. Zooey Deschanel has long been pigeonholed in “adorkable” twee roles in both television and film for years, and this could potentially be a new kind of breakout for her.

The third season of Physical does not yet have a scheduled release date.