I started (and subsequently finished) Netflix’s new series Living With Yourself this weekend, while I laid around, suffering with strep throat. I had never been a huge fan of Paul Rudd, but the premise of the show lead me having enough curiosity to push past my dislike and try it out.
I’ll never doubt Paul Rudd again.
Living With Yourself is more than simply insightful – it’s a powerful commentary. It asks the viewer: “If you had the power to leave everything you hate about yourself out of a carbon copy of you, would they still be you? What would they look like? How would they act? Do you like this new you or do they simply remind you of everything you aren’t? Can you genuinely and quite literally handle living with yourself?”
At only 26 minutes each for the 8 episode season, Paul Rudd undergoes a significant transformation for both sides of Miles Elliott – the original Miles being a tad chubbier in the face and less interested in personal hygiene, while New Miles makes a point of looking his best at every opportunity and standing taller than his counterpart. This major change is a portrayal of taking life seriously, though it allows room for the characters to make light of a truly outlandish situation. It also makes a point of showing the viewer how everything has directly effected each character. One episode will follow Original Miles, while the next will show what New Miles was doing during that time, and so on. The show is intentionally careful with the complicated emotions these people have to deal with, so that you feel sympathetic towards everyone involved, not just one over the other.
If anything, the show makes a twisted strive to promote self-care. It says that the audience needs to make peace with themselves in order to live life to the fullest. Embrace your faults and make changes where you can. It’s possible.
Overall, the story arc is incredibly fulfilling. It’s a totally binge-worthy show, but make the time to savour it because its profound and humbling message will be lost if you don’t take the time to mull it over. Paul Rudd does an incredible job playing two completely opposite versions of the lead, and Aisling Bea manages both of them with such grace. Her character is smack-dab in the middle of the most emotionally confusing situation, and while Paul Rudd shines, she shines just as bright beside him.
I give the show an 8/10, along with the highest of recommendations.