Netflix's New Must-Binge Existential Comedy 'Living With Yourself' Serves Up Double the Paul Rudd
The eight-episode series finally gives the world what it wants — two Paul Rudds.
Since the mid-90s, Paul Rudd has been a constant presence on both big and small screens. First, he won over Beverly Hills' coolest teen in Clueless, joined horror royalty in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers and somehow became the unattractive romantic alternative in Romeo + Juliet. Then, he helped deliver San Diego's news in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, ran for office against Leslie Knope in Parks & Recreation and became the world's smallest superhero in Ant-Man. The list goes on, spanning a trip to camp in Wet Hot American Summer, plus appearances on Friends and Veronica Mars. But it's Netflix's new series Living With Yourself that's finally giving the world all the Paul Rudd that anyone could ever ask for.
Both asking and answering the question we've all been pondering for decades — aka why have one Paul Rudd when you can have two? — Living With Yourself is yet another existential comedy. That said, as written by Emmy Award-winning The Daily Show producer Timothy Greenberg, and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Battle of the Sexes, Ruby Sparks, Little Miss Sunshine), the show finds its own charming niche amongst this growing genre. While the likes of The Good Place, Forever, Russian Doll, Miracle Workers, Maniac and Undone have each contemplated existence and our place in it, they haven't pondered whether we're all actually our own worst enemies in this comic but insightful fashion.
Twice the Paul Rudd is twice as nice, obviously; however the two versions of his character cause quite the chaos in Living With Yourself, especially given that the double-up is a wholly unintended development. Everyone's favourite ageless star plays Miles, a burnt-out writer turned advertising agency employee struggling through an average life, until he discovers an unusual solution. Heading to a day spa recommended by a colleague, he's looking to come out relaxed and refreshed. That happens, but only because he's replaced by a clone and left for dead. Although the new and improved version of Miles couldn't be happier, the old version is still hanging around. So, the original Miles and the new Miles have to work out how to co-exist — and if they even can.
How the pair handle their shared life, wife Kate (Irish actor and comedian Aisling Bea), career and identity fuels the show's eight-episode first season, as do plenty of weighty matters — including the quest to try to be a better version of ourselves. That's a notion that Living With Yourself's fellow existential comedies all deal with in different ways, and it's one that never stops being relevant. Here, in a series that comes layered with a heft dose of melancholy, that tussle not only gets a literal spin, but fuels an engaging, thoughtful and amusing show that does much more than just duplicate one of entertainment's beloved talents.
Before binging the whole first series, check out the trailer for Living With Yourself below:
All eight episodes of Living With Yourself's first season are available on Netflix now.
Published on October 19, 2019 by Sarah Ward