A year ago we learned about Paul Rudd’s Netflix series in which he would play a dual role, and I said it sounded like “The Prestige but with no magic and plus comedy”. We now have a trailer for Rudd’s show, Living With Yourself, and holy hell, IT IS The Prestige but with no magic and plus comedy. Rudd stars as a guy who goes to a spa that promises to make him a better version of himself, only he finds they have replaced him with a doppelganger. Based on this trailer, it looks like Rudd is playing the Hugh Jackman AND Christian Bale parts of The Prestige at the same time. Also, I love that a dude’s glow-up is just pushing back his hair and wearing clothes that actually fit.
I get a Maniac vibe from this, not so much in style—Maniac is WAY further out there, stylistically—but in the “sci-fi technology to fix you” premise. There is also a maybe a dash of Russian Doll here, too, with the depressed character living out a bizarro reality. And there is some Rick and Morty, as the “doppelgangers fighting” story is strongly reminiscent of a stellar Rick and Morty episode, “Rest and Ricklaxation”. After watching this trailer, I knew it reminded me of something, besides The Prestige, so I spent the afternoon googling variations on “story about a doppelganger replacing a guy”, and eventually I landed on Rick and Morty, remembered the Toxic Rick and Toxic Morty episode, which is quite similar to this, right down to the spa trip, and now I low key wonder if Justin Roiland and the Rick and Morty team will have anything to say about this.
Living With Yourself looks a bit like a casserole made from re-heated science fiction, but it doesn’t look bad. After all, they’re borrowing from the best. And the last time Rudd produced a TV show, it was the excellent Party Down, so he set himself a high bar to clear in coming back to television. I do wonder if this is actually an autobiography that will explain how Rudd has not aged for the last twenty years. “Pseudo-magic spa treatment” sounds as reasonable as any other explanation for Rudd’s perma-young face. Like if you told me he is getting cold plasma facials administered by a wizened crone who mutters protective spells under the blood moon, I would believe you. This motherf-cker is 50! He’s 50! Being unproblematic truly is the fountain of youth for a white man.