Sometimes it can be hard to like yourself. But at least you don’t live with a genetically enhanced, socially adept and all-around-better version of yourself. Unfortunately for Miles (Paul Rudd), the star of Netflix’s new show “Living with Yourself,” he does.
Miles’ life is falling apart. He and his wife Kate (Aisling Bea) are constantly fighting. He has lost his touch at his marketing job and is being overshadowed by Dan, a formerly meek coworker (Desmin Borges). Basically, he’s feeling stuck and desperate for some sort of change. So when Dan tells him about the elite, secret Top Happy Spa that had changed his life for the better, Miles happily drops $50,000 and calls in for an appointment.
What Dan and all of Top Happy Spa’s clients, including Tom Brady himself, don’t realize is that yes, they wake up as better versions of themselves, but those better versions are actually clones and the original has been buried in an unmarked grave in the woods. Or at least, that’s what usually happens when the deadly gas is functioning. Unfortunately for the new and improved Miles, the old model wakes up in his grave and discovers an imposter in his house, in bed with Kate.
The sort of disaster that can only ensue if not one, but two Paul Rudds are involved — both with the same names, job, wife and memories — ensues and sets the course for an emotionally and ethically conflicting TV show. It’s hard to tell who to root for at times. Do you support the Miles who makes a complete mess of everything, preferring to watch porn and let his clone take over his life, but who is clearly depressed and deserves help and another chance more than anything? Or do you support the clone that treats Kate with the respect and love she deserves, brings fresh ideas to his office and is generally kind to other human beings, but who is ultimately stealing the life of another man?
The show is compelling, beyond the fact that Rudd is doubled (who doesn’t want to see Rudd give himself CPR?), because it personifies an internal and universal truth: People struggle with being happy with themselves. Delete the clone, and what do you have? A man who needed a new perspective on his life. And yes, maybe it took someone else stepping in and showing him up to be his old self again, but watching Miles step up again in his life is oddly inspiring and completely relatable.
Be careful watching this show, though, because it is horrendously addictive (although the first season is only a snappy three hours long, and thus not a disgusting binge time). It accomplishes this by combining the problems of the absolute best and worst of pop-culture from “The Parent Trap” and “Mamma Mia” to “Sister Wives” (unfortunately, yet oddly inevitably). Additionally, it’s just innately hard to turn off a show where two of the same Rudd chase each other with axes, guns, hugs and fists.
It is the wildest TV show out there right now, so if you want to procrastinate, it’s absolutely perfect. It will confuse you completely, but will make you laugh, empathize and flinch against your will. It is an absolute must watch (unless you hate Rudd).
Thumbnail photo courtesy of @livingwithyourself Instagram.
Rebecca Maher is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.