Paul Rudd is an established movie star, but he has done a ton of television in his career, and even as his profile in movies has risen steadily since the 1990s, he has never stopped popping up on TV. Of course, on the small screen he is best known as Mike “Crap Bag” Hannigan, husband of Phoebe Buffay. But he has also popped up on shows like Veronica Mars and Strangers with Candy, and he had recurring roles on Parks & Rec and Reno 911!, and most importantly, he co-created the short-lived but brilliant comedy series Party Down. More recently, he has done two seasons of the Wet Hot American Summer spin-offs series, both of which are on Netflix.
So it’s not that surprising that Rudd’s next project is a new series for Netflix. It’s called Living With Yourself and the premise sounds like The Prestige but no magic and plus comedy. Basically it’s about a dude who, in an effort to improve his life, undergoes a new treatment only to find out that his “better self” is, in fact, a doppelganger. Rudd will play both roles. The series is being directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the duo behind Little Miss Sunshine and Battle of the Sexes. I don’t hate any part of this, but it is so high concept it’s going to depend entirely on execution.
The question is, do people want this much Paul Rudd? Most people like Rudd, and he’s one of those actors everyone is low-key aware of, but I don’t know that people are clamoring for more Paul Rudd in their lives. Look at Ant-Man. Sure, Ant-Man and the Wasp has improved on the first movie’s box office and is overall a better movie than Ant-Man, but it’s only doing acceptable business. No one was expecting a bonanza, but even adjusted for reality it’s meeting the low end of expectations. I think people like Paul Rudd when he’s a sidekick, like in Captain America: Civil War or Anchorman, but I don’t think people are that interested in watching him be the lead. So will you tune in for an eight-episode series starring TWO Paul Rudds? How much Paul Rudd do you actually want?