29th Oct2019

‘Living With Yourself’ Review (Netflix Original)

by Rhys Payne


Living With Yourself is a Netflix original starring Paul Rudd alongside other great actors such as Paul Rudd (as he plays his clone) and Aisling Bea. This is a very unusual and strange series that follows the life of Miles Elliot who ends up going to a spa to be cloned for him to live his best life. This is a show with strong language and scenes which means it is not family-friendly, instead it’s a show for a more mature and serious audience.

The show opens in a very strange way, with a man emerging from the ground with what appears to be a plastic bag over his head. This is a very unusual way to start a series but it does exactly what it needs to do –  be a shock opening; so shocking that it catches the attention of the audience but also is a subtle way to prepare viewers for the fantastic and peculiar themes in this series. Later in this series, we have a scene where Paul Rudd runs through the forest looking to get back home and he stumbles across a house and says “What sort of house doesn’t have clothes rack?” it’s an obvious homage to many shows that had preceded this one. Insomuch that the typical cliche is that when someone appears half-dressed in the middle of the forest they can find a house that has clothes hanging outside… clothes that just so happen to be the perfect fit! Which is incredibly unrealistic. The knowing nod to this long-held cliche is a great commentary and critic of the trope; and as well as being very funny, helps to try and ground this series into the familiar, even though this is mor fantastical than your usual ‘sitcom’.

The title sequence of Living With Yourself is minimal and striking which suggests a sort of edgy and experimental series but the actual content of the show was comedic and at times dramatic and so I was very confused about this shows purpose. It contains real-world issues such as trust, working situations and relationships but also the unusual topic of human cloning and so it doesn’t particularly fit into one set genre, which did make this show very difficult to watch at times. What was very unnecessary was the inclusion of Irish music when Aisling Bea’s character (Kate Elliot) was on the screen. Unless you knew that Aisling, the actor, was Irish then this choice of music wouldn’t particularly make sense within the context of the series.

Overall Living With Yourself was an easy to watch series that was very different from many of the other shows available on Netflix. It was at time edgy, at times comedic and at times dramatic which made for a nice show, perfect for casual watching when you can find the time. It is solely built on the trope of twins/clones having to fix the problems made by the other and, to be honest, I knew what the ending was going to be by the second episode which made it very hard to endure. I also personally think this series works well as its ONLY season but I believe that Netflix plans to introduce a second series – we’ll have to see how that expands upon this story.

** 2/5


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