Paul Rudd’s new Netflix show, “Living with Yourself” digs into the deepest desires of its viewers. Its scientific plot captures the true possibility of cloning while leaving a hilariously awkward theme in its path.
Rudd’s character Miles Elliot visits a spa after a recommendation in an attempt to become a better person. After waking up in a grave hours later, he finds a clone of himself living in his house who has no recollection of the events. Cloning themes hit on society’s inner fantasy of constantly bettering oneself. Humanity has made many efforts in order to change the way it looks, feels or acts while somehow never feeling fully satisfied.
Although the show is a spot-on illustration of cloning and the events that follow, the production itself also seems like a duplicate. “Multiplicity,” a 1996 sci-fi starring Michael Keaton has a similar plot. Keaton’s character, Doug, is offered a chance to have a more macho clone of himself. Of course, in the movie, there are various other clones and issues that prove contrast from the show, but the two have many similarities.
While Rudd’s show is comparable to the Keaton classic, it is different in the sense of characters. Through the set design as well as the diverse personalities of the characters, the show displays originality in multiple aspects. With Miles, Rudd conveys a lazy, flawed human being with a lack of determination. However, his clone is quite the opposite with an innocent, joyful personality in contrast to the original Miles.
Rudd’s acting in the first season was astounding and diverse, but also a little held back. He showed great promise when acting as Miles with his rugged, disturbed personality, but seemed to be distant from his role as the clone. Rudd is a universally loved actor so hopefully, he will open up to the possibilities of both characters and their achievements in the next season.
While the possibility of cloning is very prevalent throughout the show, it is not often coherent. Miles just goes into a spa where his DNA is swabbed and later wakes up in a grave. The process of forming that DNA is not shown, nor is the making of the clone. With the explanation present, viewers would have a true understanding of the events that took place throughout the creation of Miles’ clone.
Miles’ relationship with Kate, his wife, is an odd one. The season never truly shows a backstory to where their marriage began, but their feelings for one another are evident towards the end. While trying to have a child, Miles and Kate struggle, which might be the turning point that led him to go to the spa.
The show does take a few episodes to truly discover the plot, but “Living with Yourself” has surpassed expectations and opened viewers’ eyes to their own desires. Rudd exceeds the portrayal of two characters in order to create diversity between both versions of Miles. The aspect of self-improvement within the cloning theme has created a first season that will frankly be hard to top.