Roush Review: Paul Rudd’s Delightful Double Act in ‘Living with Yourself’
“I hate you!” screams Miles. “I am you!” Miles shouts back. No, you’re not seeing double — although who could object to any show that offers the sight of two Paul Rudds at war with each other? Living With Yourself is simply, though not so simply, the latest high-concept comedy you won’t be able to stop binge-watching. In the tradition of addictive series like The Good Place, Russian Doll, and Dead to Me, the outrageous twists and cliffhangers just keep coming throughout the brisk eight-episode season.
Rudd’s affable Everyguy persona is terrifically suited to this demanding dual role. We first meet Miles at low ebb, burned out and miserable at work and at home with wife Kate (Aisling Bea). When he checks into a spa promising “a better you,” he has no idea that he’s somehow entered the Twilight Zone, subjected to an extreme rejuvenation process that involves being cloned, buried alive, and replaced in office and boudoir by a chipper doppelgänger.
Miles 2.0 has all the gusto that OG Miles somehow lost along the way, which only stokes his insecurities as he sheepishly tries to reclaim the life that’s rightfully his. “Are you seriously jealous of you?” marvels his amused sister (Alia Shawkat), who kind of likes the new Miles. He’s dead serious, which may account for the ax he wields in several scenes. But thankfully, Living with Yourself rarely slows down long enough to take itself seriously.
Series creator Timothy Greenberg (The Daily Show With Jon Stewart) keeps viewers delightfully off balance by continually shifting perspectives between the two versions of Miles, and sometimes the perplexed Kate, as the narrative doubles back on itself in a farcical existential crisis of epic proportions. Best of all, by sharing the screen with himself — old Miles so frazzled and hangdog, the substitute so guileless and full of exuberant wonder — Rudd has never been more appealing or had such a perfect partner.
Living with Yourself, Series Premiere, Friday, October 18, Netflix