Pros: Paul Rudd in versions of the tired and vigorous hero; intrigue at the end of each episode; message Cons: minor plot holes Living with Yourself
Genre comedy, drama
Creator Timothy Greenberg
Starring: Paul Rudd (Miles), Aisling Bea (Kate), Alia Shawkat (Maya), Desmin Borges (Dan), Karen Pittman (Lenore), Zoe Chao (Kailin), John Glaser (Henry), etc.
Year of release 2019
The showrunner of the series “Living with Yourself” was writer and producer Timothy Greenberg (winner of two Emmy awards for his work on the entertainment program The Daily Show). As a longtime fan of science fiction, Greenberg decided to develop the theme of cloning by adding personal experiences to it. So the showrunner was able to come up with a story in which a person meets the best version of himself. The screenwriter combined an absurd situation with everyday worries, thus appealing to every viewer reflecting on the good and bad sides of his personality.
The plot of the series features a copywriter named Miles. He has reached the stage where fatigue obscures all the good things in his life. The hero is unable to generate new ideas at work. Coming home, he disappoints his wife with inactivity. To pull himself together and change the situation, Miles simply does not have enough strength. Out of despair, he takes the advice of a colleague, who recommends attending a procedure that supposedly cleanses the body and thoughts. Miles goes to a spa, where he falls asleep and finds himself buried underground. Having managed to return home, the hero experiences an even greater shock – his place is taken by a clone, which is a more perfect and happier copy of Miles.
Long before the launch of the project, Timothy Greenberg saw Paul Rudd in the title role. After Netflix commissioned the series, the actor agreed to star in the lead role (before that, in 2017, a pilot episode with another artist was supposed to appear on the American TV channel IFC, which, fortunately, never happened).
Paul Rudd is truly perfect for the role of Miles – fatigue seems to be an integral part of the appearance and internal feeling of his character. In the depression portrayed by the actor, many recognize their condition. And that’s definitely something showrunner Timothy Greenberg wants to talk to viewers about in every episode. Before us is a completely real person who finds it difficult to cope with everyday life and his emotions.
At the same time, Paul Rudd portrays a Miles clone who has much more strength, zeal and awareness of his own happiness. What’s really nice about the show is that Rudd’s second character doesn’t turn into a robot. Yes, he is close to ideal, but he still remains human. Therefore, the clone storyline is no less interesting.
Thanks to the idea of the film crew, they didn’t go overboard with the clone’s appearance. When Paul Rudd plays him, he’s just neat, combed and made up for a regular shoot. When the real Miles is in front of us, then the actor is simply released onto the set without makeup, dressed in wrinkled clothes. Paul Rudd himself, who had to act out scenes together twice, always appropriately switches to the desired mood of one of the characters.
In terms of atmosphere, “Living with Yourself” may vaguely resemble last year’s series “Maniac.” It also has something of the work of Charlie Kaufman, who wrote the screenplay for the films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation. At the same time, Timothy Greenberg does not copy anyone, constructing semantic loads in his own way.
Watching “Living with Yourself” is very easy – the episodes fit into 20-30 minutes. They always end with an abruptly interrupted intrigue. For this reason, you don’t want to take pauses between episodes, so you can “swallow” the series in one go.
In some places the plot is not that disappointing; rather, you expect more from it. In many ways, the series is tied to depicting events from the point of view of different characters. Because of such intricacies, shortcomings and inconsistencies appear in the series. They don’t really affect the overall impression; they just catch your eye from time to time.
In general, after the end of the series, the shortcomings are forgotten. The main message remains in the memory, which lies in reconciliation with yourself and the opportunity to learn to appreciate what you already have. “Living with Yourself” also makes you think about what an improved clone would be like for each of us.
perhaps you expect more from the series “Living with Yourself.” But overall, this is an interesting story that fits into short episodes that can be watched in one sitting.