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Living with Yourself

Jax Media, 2019-

30 minutes


Timothy Greenberg

Reading Time:

4 minutes

📷 : Used with permission, Netflix

Living with YourselfDialogues (NQ3OCH3UGSK9611V)
00:00 / 04:23

Living with Yourself


Image of show's tea brew

Thought-provoking movies and TV shows


Image of show's tea brew

Movies and TV shows about drugs or with disorienting presentations

Chris Chaisson


Human beings have an uncanny ability to adapt to their circumstances. While we typically associate this with people of modest means, the same holds just as true for the haves as it does the have-nots. Many family dramas with an element of fantasy in them choose to highlight characters who take their living situations for granted. Taking an ungrateful character and turning their world upside down paves the way for many hijinks, especially when this change includes the arrival of a new character. Such is the case in the 8-episode Netflix series Living with Yourself.

Created by Timothy Greenberg (The Daily Show), Living with Yourself follows Miles (Paul Rudd, Ant-Man), a suburban husband experiencing a rut who visits an obscure spa in order to rejuvenate himself. Upon arrival, he is cloned and buried alive. When he escapes his burial and encounters the clone, he must figure out how to coexist with his doppelganger and whether or not to keep his dual existence a secret.

Though Miles is a regular suburbanite, his character flaw jumps out at the viewer right away: he does not appreciate his wife or job as much as he should. The show begins with him entering a work meeting unprepared for his presentation, but not terribly bothered by it. He then resents his coworker (Desmin Borges, You’re the Worst) for being more engaging and likeable to the team. The next morning, he shares a rather contentious breakfast with his wife. The particular issue causing friction between himself and Kate (Aisling Bea, This Way Up) is his reluctance to go to the fertility clinic. Their major want as a couple is to start a family, but they are struggling to conceive and Miles drags his feet in seeking consultation, frustrating Kate.

Miles comes across as a sort of Ebenezer Scrooge before his trip to the spa. It’s not that he’s unlikeable; on the contrary, his emotions can be relatable to anyone who feels their daily routine becoming monotonous. Miles desperately needs to shake things up, and rather than go on a vacation with Kate or put his head down and strive for a promotion, he badgers his coworker for some secret remedy. This sets the table for the show’s inciting incident and Miles’s eventual transformation into a more appreciative husband and employee.

Of course, like in many other clone/twin stories, Miles cannot resist the urge to coerce his counterpart into doing all the boring tasks that he is sick of, such as: going to work; hosting a dinner party; etc. There is one issue with Miles’s plan, which is that his clone is very much his superior at all these tasks. Kate takes more of a shine to the clone, appreciating his new attitude. The clone also outperforms the colleagues that Miles had been previously lagging. Rather than be introspective, Miles is consumed by jealousy and insecurity, leading to much conflict, twists and turns throughout the eight episodes. Not only does Miles experience a character arc, but Kate goes through a change in her own perspective. While she appreciates the clone’s demeanor, she realizes that Miles’s imperfections, while frustrating, make him human in a way that the clone could never be.

Living with Yourself is of course not the first movie or show to utilize the concept of a main character getting cloned. While its predecessors provide the easiest comparisons, the series brings to mind other dramadies that had an element of fantasy in them, like The Family Man (2000), where a wealthy bachelor gets a glimpse into his life had he married his college sweetheart. Both present a main character who has essentially become numb to their surroundings. Though Jack in The Family Man was more content than Miles, he had still lost an appreciation for how the people around him enriched his life. The roller coaster ride that Miles’s clone takes him on brings him to appreciate the stability and support he can always count on from his significant other and his profession. If you enjoy escapist narratives with the backdrop of an average suburban lifestyle (and a Tom Brady cameo), Living with Yourself will surely quench your thirst.

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