Paul Rudd gives fans double the fun in Living With Yourself, a new Netflix series premiering this Friday October 18. There are only eight episodes in Season 1, and they are short -- only about 25-35 minutes each. That comes up in some of the reviews from critics who got to see all eight episodes in advance.
Living With Yourself follows middle-aged Miles Elliott (Paul Rudd) who is burned out at work and also struggling in his marriage to wife Kate (Aisling Bea). A co-worker suggests he head for a spa cleanse, and Miles discovers he's been cloned -- with New Miles (Paul Rudd) seeming to be better than Miles in every way.
EW's Kristen Baldwin gave Living With Yourself Season 1 a grade of B+, with these comments:
Living With Yourself is perfectly calibrated for binge-watching. Several of the episodes end abruptly, at the peak of cliffhanger tension, and the eight half-hour installments whiz by in a satisfying rush. We could all use a break from living with ourselves, so spend a few hours with Miles and Miles. You’ll come away refreshed.
TVLine's Dave Nemetz gave Living With Yourself a B, criticizing the story's failings toward the end:
The immensely likable Rudd puts his casual charisma to great use here in a boldly surreal, Charlie Kaufman-esque sci-fi comedy, and though it runs out of narrative gas in later episodes, the unapologetically weird concept and Rudd’s appeal make it worth sticking around to see how it all turns out.
Leslie Katz of CNET highlighted the deeper messages, while making some other pop culture comparisons:
It's like Black Mirror meets Big, with a bit of rom-com tossed in as Original Miles struggles to regain the affections of his once-adoring wife. But at its core, the thoroughly enjoyable Living With Yourself -- created by Timothy Greenberg, an Emmy-winning former producer of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart -- is about the ways we battle ourselves. It's about the voices in our heads telling us we're not good enough or smart enough or attractive enough or lovable enough, and an exploration of what enough really is anyway.
TV Guide's Tim Surette gave it a 3/5 said the push-and-pull of Miles vs. Miles 2 is played more for mild laughs than comedic deep thinking -- arguing Living With Yourself is to cloning as Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet is to zombieism: a great starting point, but an imperfect execution. Here's more of his take on the series:
I was never bored with Living With Yourself, but as the zany problems mounted as the series progressed, I felt like Miles watching his potential slip away. That's particularly apparent in the disappointing finale, which reels in red herrings to move the plot along and ends on a reveal that leaves things open to a second season without going into too much detail of what that will look like. If you're a Rudd fan, keep your expectations tempered and you'll be happy.
I'm sure Paul Rudd fans will tune in just to see double the Paul Rudd. Eight short episodes doesn't really seem like enough for a full TV season, but I haven't seen the show yet myself. Hopefully enough fans are interested -- and Marvel's Ant-Man star Paul Rudd has enough time -- to return for more in Season 2.