Review: Living With Yourself, Netflix

Review: Living With Yourself, Netflix

Are you one of those people who watches Black Mirror and wishes Charlie Brooker could do a comedy version of his futuristic version? Then Living With Yourself might be just up your street. It's got the same skewed vision of how scientific progress may not always work out as you hope, but there are laughs too. As well as more existential thoughts about the very nature of identity later on.

Paul Rudd playes slighty boring and bored hubby Miles who decides to go to a special kind of spa – no, not that kind, stop being smutty – because he has heard it can kickstart your life again. In fact it does more than that. It clones you and – literally – makes a better man out of you. 

Except that things go wrong for Miles. He should have been bumped off so his clone could step in but instead he wakes up in a forest, naked, buried and wrapped in plastic. He manages to make it home in the middle of the night only to find another man in bed with his wife – except that the other man is him...

There follows some sharp comic interplay as well as some good computer trickery to get them in the same scenes together. But how are they going to resolve things? It's a difficult situation for the original Miles because frankly his clone is a better version of him – let's call him Miles Better. But what do we want in a man? Perfection? Or are the flaws what makes someone so desirable?

There's a serious strand of philosophy here (though not as much as in The Good Place) as Miles has to wrestle with his future. Or should that be futures? Paul Rudd is good in both roles, even though at times the only different seems to be that one of them has tidier hair. Aisling Bea, whose profile continues to rise, plays his wife Kate. She doesn't do a lot in the first couple of episodes but there are already narrative seeds being planted to suggest that her role will get bigger.

I happen to love storylines like this, from the Michael Keaton film Multiplicity in which the star duplicates himself to cope with his workload (with inevitable comic consequences) to The Man Who Haunted Himself in which Roger Moore's life is taken over by his evil twin. So I was hooked from the very start. I was hoping for the comedy to be more laugh-out-loud but actually the laughs gradually get replaced by someting far more intriguing.

And with episodes running at only 30 minutes a quick binge-watch is easy. Living With Yourself is great, but maybe the wait for the true comedy version of Black Mirror contnues. 

Watch Living With Yourself on now.



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