It's easy to criticize the long-running science fiction series for losing their way after several seasons. The initial spark may fade; ridiculous plot twists can occur;
But let's not forget that these hit television series and the expectations set by their fans start with incredible coincidences. How often do we see the right cast, writers, directors, and conceptions of outside events coming together in a watchable, memorable series? And what about when such a series jumps at a seemingly familiar science fiction trail but still digs for new ideas?
By the time I finished marathoning on the debut season of I was living with myself a Netflix series about cloning starring Paul Rudd ( Ant Man Anchorman ), from how this humble series lived up to my expectations. When I first sat down with this show, I was not hot for its shameless use of the concept of "cohabiting clones" by Sirak Black . Unlike that series from BBC America, Living With Yourself comes without genetic research intrigue, there is no enigma to hunt for identity.
It turns out that this narrower focus on cloning in an otherwise humorous life is the fresh element that makes the necessary trope. Living With Yourself ̵
this "Pauls Rudd"?
Lightweight spoilers below.
The series opens when Miles (Rud) breaks down and burns like a middle-aged man. His wife hates him. He is not inspired by the work. She can't fix anything. And his descent is immediately relieved compared to Dan (Desmin Borges), a colleague at his PR company, who fucks everything from the park as it emits a new sexy glow. What's his secret?
Dan wastes no time in drinking and he said, "I went to the spa." Miles immediately makes a joke about "happy endings," but Dan insists: this place is not sexual but something else. Exceptional. Cleaner . The fact that Miles needs a little more provocation than this persistence speaks strongly of what kind of wheel he has landed on. When he calls the spa, his insane demand – $ 50,000 in cash – only makes Miles more determined to go.
By the way: Moments before we see Miles in his root, the series opens with a very different version of Paul Rudd's character … completely naked and on the verge of death. Which means: we, as members of the audience, start the show, assuming that this spa is not really ordinary.
Between this point and the part where one Paul Rudd becomes two Paul Roods (or is it Pauls, there is one Yada-Yada-Yada) Rud ?, and the above description leaves much of the trajectory of the show unchanged. And let me be careful to describe the genetic-research “metaversion” surrounding the cloning of Rud. In short: yes, there is a mysterious network woven around this part of the plot, but living with yourself is prudent as to when and how this drives the story. Significance: This is not X-Files or Black Cheese in terms of comprehensive, confusing Illuminati. Instead, few elements for these shady puppeteers appear mostly in the name of dark comedy or absurdity.
Which is great because this lightness is welcomed, as the series delves into the way relationships can get sour after so many years. Miles' call to transform and "purify" comes largely from his marriage not being respected, but when he becomes two versions of himself – one older and destroyed, the other refreshed and spiritualized – his wife Kate ( played by Eisling Bay) has the opportunity to try many versions of her husband. There are the Miles of old that we experience as spectators through long lightning. There is a refreshed version of a Miles clone that woke up on the night of his spa treatment with exactly the same memories and experiences, only reworked through a new prism of confidence and optimism. And there is the "real" Miles, who has landed in the modern day, for better and for worse.
All Sides of Both Persons
Exactly how Kate experiences each version of Miles is best seen on the show instead of reading this list as a list. What I will say is that each version of Miles has both unique and consistent qualities, and Kate responds in kind. Both actors are at the top of their game to reveal the most broken elements of their characters in the course of their relationship. Each version of Miles and Kate projects hope or faith on their partner while clearly suffering from the interruption of this projection with reality and until the end of the series Rud and Bea reveal themselves as master craftsmen.
We've all been there – trying to be the 'best' self in a way that doesn't add up, whether we fit into a new relationship, a new job or a new thread in life – but no TV series ever has so strongly addressed this particular identity crisis. The cloning trick gets this work done in a way that the most comedic moments of mixed identity of Orphan Black allude to.
Conversely, the first two episodes of the series are ignited by Kate as a one-dimensional mutter that shrugs at some of the larger logical jumps in the series. It takes too many "new miles" in stride, and this seems to be a lazy move for writers to push through the series. Once we get to the more brutal studies of their marriage, through lightning and clone interactions, those complaints from the opening episodes melt away a bit.
Which is to say: power over all eight episodes of Living with yourself if you are looking for an in-depth study of both the positive and the negative consequences that we envision for the development of genetic therapies, in particular CRISPR. The 2019 documentary Human Nature includes some refreshing conversations with real children suffering from genetic disorders and who say they would give up treatment with CRISPR even if they "remedied" their worst states. These children claim that they would not be the same person. Living with yourself takes this control of gene therapy to heart in a remarkably subtle way, while making room for the potential of avant-garde science as a pathway to our best selves. There is no right answer in this TV series and as a result there is room to hate and love both versions of Paul Rudd.