Friday, October 18, 2019

REVIEW: 'Living With Yourself' - Miles Is Stunned by the Results of a Mysterious Spa Treatment in 'The Best You Can Be'

Netflix's Living With Yourself - Episode 1.01 "The Best You Can Be"

Fearing his career and relationship are both going down the tubes, Miles heeds the advice of a newly successful co-worker and visits a mysterious spa.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the series premiere of Netflix's Living With Yourself.

"The Best You Can Be" was written by Timothy Greenberg and directed by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris

This is very much a premise pilot. The sore direction of the story is getting Miles to this mysterious spa treatment and eventually learning that he has been cloned. That's basically all there is to the story of this specific episode. It's still light on its feet and charming though. A lot of that has to do with Paul Rudd's winning performance. He initially presents as a sad sack largely going through the motions of his life. He doesn't have the energy to put into his work. He doesn't really care that he has nothing to pitch to his bosses. At home, he bumps into a table and doesn't really strive to connect with his wife, Kate. The following morning he can't seem to motivate to confirm an appointment at a fertility clinic. This is clearly a man in a rut in his life. That is having a severe impact on his entire life and everyone in it. It makes him enviable of his co-worker who suddenly seems to have everything figured out and has become impressive in everything he does. He doesn't view Miles as actual competition anymore. However, he is more than willing to refer him to this spa treatment that did wonders for his life. He does so not even fully knowing exactly what happens in this facility. It is certainly a strange and unsettling environment. The two employees seem to appear out of nowhere. Miles doesn't know how effective a spa can be in terms of reinvigorating one's life. However, he is willing to go through it all because it seems like the only possible solution for what currently aches for him. He doesn't feel fulfilled. He isn't that active either. Of course, it's clear all along that this is going to end in disaster for him at some point. The series opens with Miles essentially clawing his way to freedom after being buried alive. That is a terrifying sight. One that ensures something shady is going on. He couldn't have possibly imagined that it was cloning though. That isn't a commonly practiced science. It's not something being promoted. The people who welcome Miles to the clinic talk in vague terms. They are asking for $50,000 without fully explaining what the procedure is. Miles simply goes along with that because he thinks the results are so great. It helps that Tom Brady happens to be walking out of the clinic when he arrives. That immediately gives a sense of legitimacy to this place. If a celebrity of his stature is willing to come to this place in a strip mall, then it may truly do wonders for Miles' life. Of course, Tom Brady coming back for a sixth time possibly infers that bodies and lives simply wear out over time. He may live a rougher life than Miles. But is it truly necessary for him to start over anew as the best version of himself six times? Does each cloning actually create an identical person? It seems unlikely. When Miles ultimately makes his way back to his house, he is startled by the man who looks exactly like him. A clone has now stepped into his life. They immediately trace this strangeness back to the spa. They get answers about how they are the first client where a mistake was made. The original Miles wasn't suppose to come back to life. There was simply an error with the gas. All they are willing to do is offer a ten percent discount though. They won't kill the original like they usually do. They simply send the two versions of Miles off to figure it out on their own. The original is the one having the extreme reaction to all of this. The clone realizes that he is essentially a copy but he has a much more solemn approach to the news. He presents as being more polite and civil. But again, life is bound to grow exponentially complicated for these two. How will that wear on their collective spirits? That's an intriguing question that the show seems well primed to explore this season. Of course, the show would have to expand the world a little further as well to highlight how Miles got to this position in the first place and if his clone truly is the better version.