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Living with Yourself
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Living With Yourself is a series about a man (Paul Rudd) who tries to change for the better and instead winds up battling with a duplicate of himself for control of his life. Mature content includes sexual jokes about a spa actually being a brothel that gives "hand jobs," and a running joke about a man watching pornography. In another scene, a married couple has passionate sex with noises and movements; her breast is briefly visible as she takes a shower. Violence is mostly implied, but there are some creepy scenes with a medical bent, and one in which a character wakes up in a shallow grave, having been left for dead. A man tells a frightening story about getting a young inmate killed in a concentration camp; we also hear how bodies are disposed of in an illegal cloning operation. Characters drink at gatherings, and one character drinks alone, lining up beer bottles on a table and burping sloppily. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "motherf--ker." This series makes interesting points about what happens when people stop trying to do the right thing, and how it feels to be sharply reminded of that. It also subverts gender and racial stereotypes in an interesting way (though the main character is a white guy).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
What would your life be like if you were faced with LIVING WITH YOURSELF? That's the dilemma Miles (Paul Rudd) finds himself in, when after a visit to a mysterious "spa," he wakes up buried in a shallow grave. The spa attendants who promised to rebuild his DNA better than ever instead cloned him, and implanted all his memories into the new, better Miles. But something went wrong, and the old Miles woke up. Now there are two guys trying to fit into just one life, and Old Miles finds that he must battle to hold on to his job, his wife Kate (Aisling Bea), and even his identity.
Is it any good?
With a nifty sci-fi premise, possibly the world's most lovable actor in the lead spot, and a plot that ticks along as briskly as a pop song, this winner of a series is an addictive kick. Old Miles, recognizable by his glasses -- new and improved Miles doesn't need 'em -- and a truly terrible wig, voices the truly existential dilemma out the heart of this series: "He's better than me, like, in everything." While Old Miles is distracted and grumpy, New Miles asks how Kate's day was, and cares about the answer. When New Miles enters a room, a perpetual beaming smile on his face, he tidies up dishes and folds the blankets that Old Miles left crumpled on the sofa. New Miles has enthusiasm at work -- and in the bedroom. It's easy to see why Kate and everyone else in Miles' life would like the changes in him, and just as obvious why Old Miles quickly grows to resent him.
Face it: If you had to hang out with the very best version of yourself, how much would you like it? As the Miles' relationship morphs from confusing to cooperative to dangerously hostile in Living With Yourself, Old Miles is reminded again and again how much his half-assed attitude has upended his life. But if you think a simple lesson about gratitude and appreciating what really matters is all this subversive show has on its mind, keep watching. You'll find it's very livable, indeed.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about being pulled in different directions. How does Miles manage his different responsibilities? Do you ever feel split in too many directions? How do you manage multitasking? What steps can you take to reduce the pressures on your time?
Talk about male and female stereotypes. How do Miles and Kate fit into stereotypes of male and female behavior in our society? Do we see fewer gender stereotypes in contemporary movies? What role do movies and television play in reinforcing or challenging stereotypes?
The idea of having a duplicate of yourself that will take on the more onerous aspects of your life or help you become more successful is a fairly common one in science fiction and fantasy. What other takes have you seen on this setup? How is Living With Yourself similar or different from these other depictions?
For kids who love dark comedy
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