Ruddtrospective #6: Double The Fun

Some spoilers for the TV show Living With Yourself; if you have Netflix you should just go watch this because it’s great. I will say that this is one of those shows that are fun to go in to while knowing absolutely nothing about the premise, so if you are interested, watch this before reading the review. I will link below a great scene from one of the last episodes. It won’t spoil anything, but hopefully it convinces you to watch this.

Living With Yourself is an eight episode Netflix original series starring Paul Rudd, Aisling Bea, and Paul Rudd. The supporting cast includes Desmin Borges, Karen Pittman, Zoe Chao, Zach Cherry, Gene Jones, James Seoul, Rob Yang, Alia Shawkat and Jon Glaser. The first season was released in 2019, and as of yet no second season has been announced. But there really should be a second season. Things are left open at the end so there definitely could be. Each episode is about 20-30 minutes long and it’s a really short watch.

Living With Yourself is a comedic drama with a bit of a sci-fi premise, but the sci-fi bits are not the focus of the show. This is a show about a man who has a great life, but has completely lost sight of what he has. And in the eight episodes he slowly rediscovers himself as a person and learns to fight for what he has. This show is funny because of the unique premise and the odd characters that Paul Rudd encounters along the way. But there are also some intense elements that may be somewhat triggering. Throughout the show, topics such as suicide and mental health are covered, so if you have a hard time with those things, I would recommend staying away from this.

Full(ish) spoilers from this point forward; if you want to watch this I’m telling you to go do it right now. NO TURNING BACK!!! FULL(ISH) SPOILERS NOW!!!

Hi! Welcome to the official spoiler section of the review! Here’s the premise: Paul Rudd gets cloned. I bet you were wondering why I had put him in the cast-list twice. Was it a bit? Does Paul Rudd play his own twin, like the movie Jack and Jill with Adam Sandler? No, Paul Rudd is cloned in this TV show, and the result is nothing short of four spectacular hours of comedy. Unlike Jack and Jill, which is probably the worst movie in existence. I haven’t seen it, but it can’t be any good. I did end up wasting a good twenty minutes of my day just reading bad reviews for Jack and Jill because I wanted to make sure I was thinking of the right movie. These things do involve research, and sometimes research includes typing “What is the worst Adam Sandler movie?” into Google.

Paul Rudd plays Miles Elliot, a man in his late thirties who works for an advertising firm. He’s married to a beautiful architect, Kate Elliot(The great Aisling Bea), and lives in a house in the suburbs of New Jersey(?). His life should be great. But he’s wildly depressed, he hates his job, and he’s constantly starting unnecessary fights with his wife. You learn later in the show that he was not always this way, but over the years he has become lazier and his relationship with his wife lacks the spark it once had.

In the first episode, Miles gets a spa recommendation from a coworker who seems to have found a new lease on life. Desperate to be happy again, but unwilling to go to therapy, speak to his wife, or put in the work to make any meaningful change, he happily seeks out this mysterious spa. When he arrives at the strip mall in which the spa resides, he is skeptical at first, until he sees Tom Brady leaving the spa. He is greeted by two Korean gentleman, who explain that they will be refreshing his DNA, so he will become an altogether happier and better person. The best person he could ever become. They have him take off all his clothes and put on an adult diaper. They then attempt to sedate him, but the sedation doesn’t fully work at first.

The episode then loops back to the beginning of the episode, where Miles finds himself buried alive in a plastic bag and a diaper in a grave in the middle of nowhere. He climbs out of the grave, rips open the bag, and runs back to his house, where he hears his wife speaking to another man. Desperate, angry, and confused, Miles grabs an axe from the garage. The other man comes downstairs, Miles pounces, and the two struggle in the darkness. After a short fight, the two of them discover that they are, in fact, the same person. Except the fully-clothed one looks much nicer and has much better hair. Looking for answers, the two Miles’ go back to the spa, where it is revealed to them that the “spa process” is really just a secretive clone factory. The two Korean men, Jung-Ho and Youngsu, set up a get-rich-quick plan in the US, where cloning is illegal. The subject comes in for a spa treatment and the brothers then clone the subject, sedate the original into a coma, and bury it in the woods. But the machine malfunctioned when Miles went in, which is why he survived.

The two Miles’ plan to part ways, but in the one day that New Miles was living his life, he turned his career around with a pitch at work. The pitch is to advertise the new telecom company as a friendly, neighborly institution. But Old Miles is so cynical that he can’t pull it off. So the two decide to split the life until the pitch is over. The optimistic and loving New Miles takes work while Old Miles writes a play at home. Things obviously don’t go well and Kate eventually finds out, causing an even greater rift in the relationship. And that’s all I’m going to say. I won’t spoil it from there, because you have to watch this show. Just watch it!!!

Other Thoughts

  • The special effects in this show are spectacular. You don’t notice them because it’s just used to make a man be two places at once, and that was perfected back when they made the Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap movie. But it’s very good. There’s some physical altercations between the two of them that look really good, too. It’s so well done.
  • Paul Rudd’s acting in this… my God. I know I give him a lot of credit all the time, and that’s because he’s amazing. But you forget that these two characters are played by the same guy. He plays the Old Miles as kind of hunched and beaten down, while New Miles walks tall, and he’s kind of in awe of life. But then that version of Miles becomes disillusioned by life as it slowly infects his happiness. You also learn when you see Tom Brady that he’s gone through this procedure six times. Which means the clones are like babies that just get poisoned by life much quicker. Which I think is a great metaphor.
  • Paul Rudd isn’t the only powerhouse in this. Aisling Bea plays her part so well in this show. A smart, funny, badass woman who wants desperately to keep loving Miles but at the same time is well and truly fed-up with his bullshit. This is the first thing I ever saw her in, but my God this woman is incredible. And she manages to hold her own and not get overshadowed by the two Paul Rudds! Which seems impossible.
  • The cast other than the main three characters isn’t really that important. The show is really only about these three. But all the supporting characters are great too. Having now watched Arrested Development, it was kind of weird seeing Awlia Shawkat in this and have very little to do comedically, but it’s always nice to see her in a thing. I really should watch Search Party.
  • Watch this show.

Overall Rating: 9/10(It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s definitely mine. Great show!)
Rudd Rating: 10/10(Come on. It was never not going to be a ten. The man puts in two incredible performances and makes you fall in love with two characters that are both the same guy and not at the same time. An incredible feat that he pulled off effortlessly.)

Thanks for reading this! Let me know if you check this out because this is one of my faves. I think for next time I’ll finally use the “break glass in case of emergencies” review. This is gonna be a fun one. Get ready to hear about a few episodes of my favorite TV show, Parks and Recreation next week.

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