‘Living with Yourself’ review


Living with yourself

Chuck Sipps, Arts and Life Editor

“Living With Yourself,” Netflix’s new surrealist comedy, features the age-defying Paul Rudd as the series dual lead.

You really don’t need to know any more than that. It’s double the Paul Rudd. You know, from “Antman”? How about “Anchorman”? “Clueless”? Look, it’s Paul Rudd. You either love him or you love him at this point. It’s double the charm, double the fun and double the “how in the hell does he still look the same?” Fine, if two times the Rudd isn’t enough for you, “Living With Yourself” is tons of fun and worth a binge.

It’s impossible to talk about “Living With Yourself” without spoiling the show’s premise. So if you somehow don’t know what the show is about and want to be surprised, then dip out here. I won’t be upset. I promise.

Ok, still here? Good because if you did leave, I’d hate you. 

Back to the plot. Rudd plays Miles Elliot, a once prolific ad man who is down on his luck both at home and at work. He feels worn out and is often left to wonder, “What is the point of it all?” He notices one of his co-workers, who has also been a mess recently, exuding a level of confidence previously unseen in them. Curious, Miles asks him his secret and is directed to the Top Happy Spa. 

Desperate, Miles forks up $50,000 to utilize the spa and fix his life, but instead of feeling relaxed and rejuvenated Miles awakens in a ditch in the middle of nowhere. Clothed in only his underwear, Miles makes the slow trek home, only to find a clone of himself living in his house. Instead of making Miles a better version of himself, Top Happy Spa made a better version of Miles. The two Miles are then forced to find a way to live with themselves. 

The way Rudd differentiates the two roles is masterful. Whenever he is on screen there is never a question of which Miles he is portraying. From his hair, dress and even his demeanor, Rudd plays both versions of the character with a level of believability that is both a joy and a real gut punch to watch. While the show definitely deals with some high concept stuff–there is cloning going on after all–many of Miles’s problems are grounded and relatable and that always keeps the stakes high.  

Aisling Bea, who plays Miles’ wife Kate, also gives a superb performance. She commands each scene she is in and makes it obvious as to why both versions of Miles are madly in love with this woman. Despite the obvious love between the two, Kate and Miles’ relationship exhibits all the signs of complacency that long-term relationships can bring. It is their relationship that is at the heart of the show.

Each of the Miles has plenty of motivation to deal with as well. “Old” Miles can’t understand why this new version of him is so good at everything. “New” Miles, on the other hand, is forced to question his reality as all the memories he has aren’t truly his own.

“Living With Yourself” is a show that is as funny as it is morose. With an eight-episode season, and each episode coming in at a brisk 27-34 mins, it is perfect for your next binge. Plus, there are plenty of questions left over to justify a season two. It also finally answers that age old question: “What’s better than Paul Rudd?” Two Paul Rudds.

“Living With Yourself” is awarded 10% of a potato on The Sipps’ Potato Scale.