One thing HBO Max has done recently is drawing me in with their trailers. The trailer for Locked Down was the first one to do it, and Made for Love followed soon after that. Made for Love, an adaptation of Alissa Nutting’s novel of the same name, tells the story of Hazel Green-Gogol (Cristin Milioti) escaping from her narcissistic husband Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen). And boy, is it one wild ride.
Across the board, the cast is spectacular. As the star of the show, Milioti is charismatic and hysterical. She hits every one of her lines out of the park. I can’t say enough good things about how much she was made for this show. Magnussen works as the perfect foil, pulling off the narcissistic, naive, technological mastermind to Miloti’s fed-up character. They’re a perfect match, and I want to see them in future things together.
The show’s concept revolves around a play on Apple. Byron is a tech mogul who’s aloof from the world and invents a chip, which he calls “Made for Love”. He meets Hazel, whisks her away on a date, and then they get married hours later. Ten years later, Hazel escapes, only to find she has a chip in her brain that allows Byron to see and hear everything she does. It’s absolutely intriguing. Byron’s lust for Hazel feeds into his desire to build a relationship with her, giving her everything people think they could ever desire. And yet, he never does the one thing a marriage needs: being vulnerable and building the relationship.
The best parts of the show really focus on Hazel and her quest to truly find some normalcy. The second best part is in the riff on technology throughout the show. From the chip in the brain to the intense location tracking, and calling the person right next to Hazel, Made for Love draws it up to just be simple narcissistic behaviors. But in all actuality, some of these exist today. It can be scary how much information technology allows us to find on others, and so protecting yourself on the internet should be important.
Ultimately, Made for Love presents a strange concept, but the phenomenal cast takes the script and runs with it. Milioti was made for this type of show, there’s not a minute where she doesn’t exude star power. With the show renewed for Season 2, it’ll be interesting to see where it will go after the conclusion. But wherever it goes, I’ll be along for the ride. – Katie Rentschler
Made for Love Season 1 is now streaming on HBO Max.
The show stars Cristin Milioti, Billy Magnussen, and Ray Romano.