Living with Yourself premieres October 18 on Netflix.
By Elazar Abrahams
Paul Rudd is one of my absolute favorite actors. So when I heard he was starring in a Netflix show, I couldn’t wait to check it out. When screeners for Living with Yourself finally landed in my inbox last month, my hyped intensified when I read the series details and saw that Rudd would be playing two main roles! Double the Rudd! What could better? Unfortunately, this so-called “comedy” really disappointed me. Even the biggest Paul Rudd fan can skip this binge.
Rudd plays Miles, a dude burned out on life. His marriage is weakening and he isn’t giving it his all at work. At a friend’s recommendation, he forks over $50K for a procedure at a shady strip mall spa. He wakes up to find that he has been replaced with a better version of himself. Shenanigans ensue.
Living with Yourself is a dramedy. When done right, (like say, Orange Is the New Black,) the genre has the potential to be transcendent television. The problem here is that these eight episodes fail at both of a comedy-drama’s jobs. Firstly, it is just objectively not funny. I barely cracked a smile throughout the four hours. Additionally, the show is not nearly as interesting as it thinks it is. The plot has potential but the writers don’t go far enough with it, instead settling for an uninteresting small scale story.
Obviously, the main draw here is getting to see Paul Rudd play two versions of Miles. His performances are nuanced as expected, but the two characters are barely on screen together. Instead, they split up daily tasks, so we rarely get to see Rudd acting against himself. When it does finally happen, it’s super cool. I just wish the whole show had been like that.
Two random positives about Living with Yourself before I close. I loved seeing Desmin Borges in this; he deserves more roles. And my god, there is a brilliant cameo in the first episode that Netflix has forbidden me from revealing. Watch the pilot purely for that, then ditch the show.
I give Living with Yourself a D+.