Living with Yourself is a comedy-drama television series following a man who, after undergoing a mysterious treatment that promises a better life, discovers that he has been replaced by a cloned version of himself. The series stars Paul Rudd and Aisling Bea and is exclusively available to stream on Netflix.
Living with Yourself follows the story of Miles, a copywriter who is unhappy with his life. After deciding to undergo a mysterious treatment in the promise of a better life, he learns that he has been replaced by a cloned version of himself. The premise is fairly simple but it works brilliantly and the aspect of a ‘new and improved’ Miles coming up against the ‘old Miles’ creates for some hilarious and thought-provoking moments.
Paul Rudd plays Miles and the cloned version of Miles and is one of the reasons why the series is so good! The series is driven by Paul Rudd’s performance and he brings so much to life to each version of the character he plays. The ‘old Miles’ is fed-up and bored of his life, whereas ‘clone Miles’ is high on life and puts a positive spin on just about everything!
It’s credit to Paul Rudd that through subtle mannerisms and varying tones of voice, he can create two completely contrasting characters. These scenes which both versions of Miles are in are magnificently comical and aside from a few scenes where someone has clearly stood in for one version of Paul Rudd, the editing is seamless.
Aisling Bea plays Kate, Miles’ wife in the series. Initially I was surprised at how big of a role she actually plays within the series, however her character and performance are brilliant. Having mainly only seen her in stand-up comedy previously, it’s refreshing to see her in a starring role in Living with Yourself. Her character provides some great dry humour, which is a nice contrast from the typical jokey humour provided by Paul Rudd. The dynamic between her character and the two Miles’s is entertaining and comical to watch play out.
The episodes generally follow the three main characters, with each episode focusing on a series of events from one of the three characters’ perspective. The format works and I really enjoyed the scenes in which the dots are connected between each episode, but towards the end of the series it does get a little played out. I feel as though the series could have been cut down to maybe 6 episodes instead of 8, as there is a fair bit repeated across some of the episodes. That being said, the format does help to delve a little into the personality and persona of each character, with the audience learning a lot about ‘clone Miles’.
Living with Yourself never takes itself too seriously, but at its core there’s a much more thought-provoking message. Despite being fed up with his life and wanting a change, the minute Miles’s old life is taken away from him, he soon realises what he’s lost. This theme of taking things for granted is fairly common throughout the series and it does somewhat put things into perspective for you. I liked how the cloned version of Miles wasn’t particularly anything special, he was just a positive person, grateful for being alive, and I think there is a lot to take from that.
Hilarious, strange and thought-provoking, Living with Yourself is a comically absorbing watch, driven by a fine dual performance from Paul Rudd.