Review: Living With Yourself

**Warning: this review contains spoilers for season 1**

It has long been understood that there is nothing Paul Rudd cannot do. Except age.

Summary: Miles (Paul Rudd) must convince the people in his life he the more worthy than the seemingly better version himself created after undertaking a spa treatment that promised to improve himself in this comedy created by Timothy Greenberg.

Netflix have another smash hit series online ready to stream. Paul Rudd stars as himself, twice, in this newest science fiction skit.

His character, Miles, pays £50,000 to a dodgy spa in a strip mall to have a revitalised new him after hearing from a work colleague that there’s a DNA cleansing treatment available by referral only.

Why Miles feels the need for the extortionate treatment, we’re unsure. He has what most people would call a happy normal life. His wife is beautiful, but they’re struggling to have children, and they live in a fairytale family home.

So as a viewer, you won’t feel very sorry for Miles, yet. Especially since he stole the money from a shared account to fund the fertility treatment.

Prepare for the unexpected because the first major plot twist is that Miles wakes up buried and sealed in vacuum-packed plastic. What?!

After tearing out of the plastic and digging himself out by hand, he goes home to his wife.

But he’s already home.

There are two of him. He was cloned and his DNA groomed to be a better version of himself. Everyone’s worst nightmare.

It’s a fun idea, if not exactly new; there are shades of every splitting/doubling-up story here, from Dostoevsky to Multiplicity. And if you are warned that – despite Rudd, and comedian Aisling Bea as Miles’s wife Kate – it skews more to the dramatic than the comedic, perhaps you won’t be visited by the gentle sense of disappointment that might otherwise intrude on proceedings.

The Guardian

As the plot thickens, we see a life unfold where a clone feels he’s lived one life, has the same memories, but cannot take up that same life as it belongs to another. Whereas Miles is feeling betrayed, by the spa, by himself, by his clone, and like everyone in his life prefers the new him. Being replaced would be an understatement.

As the audience, you feel bad for both versions of Miles but you wonder if he deserves the situation he put himself in. There’s no argument the clone doesn’t deserve it.

Greenberg isn’t especially concerned with the science involved in his premise. He just barely explains that Top Happy makes a clone with some genes improved, then transfers memories from the original client, who’s typically killed in the process. The problem is that the rules feel wildly inconsistent.

New Miles knows all the moves to the dance he and Kate choreographed for their wedding, which is repeatedly performed for both comedic and emotional effect, but he’s incredibly clumsy with her in bed.

One of the defining differences between the two versions of Miles seems to be that the new one doesn’t feel any of the frustration or resentment that’s been weighing down the old one since he and Kate moved to the suburbs five years ago, after Kate’s failed first pregnancy. But it’s remarkably unclear why a DNA refresh would rid Miles of his actual disappointments, especially as cracks begin to form in his psyche as he fails to seize the life to which he feels entitled.

Read more:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/living-with-yourself

https://www.metacritic.com/tv/living-with-yourself

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/oct/18/living-with-yourself-review-paul-rudd

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-reviews/living-with-yourself-review-for-such-a-highconcept-series-it-aims-remarkably-low-38613297.html

https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/18/20921269/netflix-living-with-yourself-tv-review-season-1-sitcom-paul-rudd-aisling-bea-clone

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