By Emma Ralls
Premiering on Oct. 18, Paul Rudd’s new Netflix series “Living With Yourself ” has been met with overwhelming approval and provides an ending that leaves audiences hungry for more. Rotten Tomatoes awarded the show an 83% rating, but also stated the average watcher would rate the show a 90%. Rotten
Tomatoes also stated that the show was “Strange, surreal and surprising. “Living With Yourself ” takes a minute to come together, but once it does it proves to be a clever rumi- nation on identity driven by Paul Rudd’s impressive dueling performances.”
The show boasts a talented cast, headlining with Aisling Bea, Desmin Borges and the absolute star of the show, Paul Rudd. Over an eight-episode arch, the narrative switches between characters to provide a diverse plethora of storylines that all interweave and line up no matter the time jumps.
The show follows Miles Elliot (Rudd), a cynical and worn out copywriter who is dissatisfied with his life. After a suggestion of his co worker and workplace rival Dan (Borges), Miles goes under a mysterious treatment to “better himself,” spending almost all of his family’s savings.
Hours after the treatment Miles wakes up buried in a forest, naked barring his underwear, and must return home. Upon returning home, Miles discovers an exact clone of himself at home with his wife (Bea), and this clone shares all his memories.
This sparks many strange and entertaining escapades and situations. From the Miles Clone being in love with real Miles’ wife Kate, workplace shenanigans, a run in with the FDA, and a murder attempt, “Living With Yourself ” keeps viewers on the edge of their seat all the way up to the penultimate ending.
There is even a scene after the original Miles attempts to kill his clone where the original is overcome with guilt and gives mouth to mouth to his clone in an attempt to resuscitate him. Rudd stated in an interview with Vulture in which he said, “I couldn’t just do that to air, like I had done some of the other scenes. Instead, someone had to get into what Rudd jokingly describes as “a green body bag. To get it right, I had to kind of put my mouth over his chin.”
And, of course, Rudd also had to shoot the scene in reverse, with him on the ground as the helpless clone Miles. While all that was challenging, Rudd said in the same interview that he was more intrigued by the symbolism of that action.
“I loved the idea of that, and if you could somehow marry these things, two guys beating the hell out of each other and then one trying to save the other,” said Rudd. ”And then there is the underlying beauty of the series: all the woven in metaphors.
“Living With Yourself ” is sprinkled in with many metaphors that give a deeper meaning to the story. One overlooked example was in the dance with Kate and the real Miles. Throughout the series, viewers see the real miles and Kate in an unsatisfying and disappointing relationship, but one can never deny that the two love each other. After her night with the clone, Kate is torn between a satisfying relationship with the clone, but void of all chemistry and an unsatisfying relationship with the man she fell in love with.
When she arrives home and dances with her actual husband Miles, it is revealed how truly in sync they are, compared to the lackluster dance she did with the clone.This helps reestablish their bond and reunite them to be the same joyful couple they were when they were first married.
The show as a whole is a metaphor as well. It is a metaphor for self-love and overcoming self-hatred. Old miles was plagued with self-doubt, and stuck in a rut of an unhappy life. He could not see the amazingness in the world around him because he was so unhappy. He tries to take a shortcut to make himself better, for himself and the world around him, but by doing so he changes nothing and just makes it a bumpier road in the long run. It is only when he truly realizes his mistake and puts in effort to change himself for the better that he starts to rebuild his life.
The series is an enjoyable watch that makes viewers bounce between thought provoking scenarios and witty humor that leave the audience wanting more. There is an overwhelming amount of people who are requesting a second season, especially since there was an open-ended finale. The show has set itself up perfectly for this.