Paul Rudd out-dos himself (literally) in new Netflix mini-series Living With Yourself – a psychological and oddly melancholic comedy which raises the definition of self-loathing to hysterical new heights.
Gasping for breath as he claws his way free from his own grave bewildered, lost, and hysterically screaming, is how we’re introduced to disaffected married man Miles Elliot, a lack-lustre husband and employee who bets his life’s savings on a mysterious procedure to become the best version of himself. Returning home to find his perfect clone settling comfortably into his life, however, isn’t the deal he was expecting.
The show quickly surprised me in its sincerity and its difficult topics
This short series was far more engaging than I first expected. Originally, I was just intrigued by the sci-fi theme and the trippy premise, but the show quickly surprised me in its sincerity and its difficult topics with are approached humorously but with real, intense feeling. The dynamic between Miles and his clone evaluates some of the trickiest questions we, as human beings, often ask ourselves – existential questions of who we really are, what we contribute to the world, and why it’s so difficult to love yourself.
We watch Miles’ journey in attempting to break from the destructive habits fueling his self-pity while simultaneously addressing his complete and utter hatred for himself manifesting in the form of a bitter feud with his more confident, more talented, and far superior clone. For me this is where the humour truly stems from – the show’s ability to take such deep topics and twist them into scenarios so painfully disastrous and relatable it feels as if you’re allowed to laugh at Miles’ misery because no one can say with confidence that they wouldn’t act in exactly the same, ludicrous way.
While I felt the ending was slightly anti-climactic and too strange to sit well with me as a satisfying conclusion, the whole show is indeed worth watching. It’s easy viewing at it’s finest and there are countless instances that are memorable in the best kind of way. The acting is surprisingly outstanding, with Aisling Bea often stealing the show, and the intricate choreography between both of Rudd’s characters – especially during an action-packed fight sequence in the final episode – is completely seamless and a joy to watch. He delivers numerous impressively nuanced and emotional performances leaving anyone who watches this show to agree on at least one thing: there really is only one Paul Rudd.
Last modified: 6th November 2019