MADE FOR LOVE (2021) Season 1, Episode 7 - 8
We’re headed into the murky part of the film and tv world, where projects that were started pre-pandemic, but finished mid or post lockdowns start to make their way out into the world. Made for Love’s final two episodes show the danger and quality drop-off of this.
Originally planned as 10 episodes, the show was reduced to 8 and paused mid production. It feels clear to see in these two episodes which feel smaller, rushed and unfinished. The writers are able to give us a solid ending that leaves plenty of room for a season 2, but the spark is missing and there are too many loose threads. The cast are the selling point of the film, but as mentioned in my last review, it’s the ensemble and variety that make it work.
The final episode is set almost solely around a showdown between Cristin Milioti’s Hazel and Billy Magnussen’s Byron which should feel rewarding over the 7 episode build, but it doesn’t feel earned. Steps feel lost and the whole thing is rather anticlimactic.
In an interview with Vulture, executive producer Christina Lee discussed the changes the shutdown of production had on the show, including rewrites not just due to losing two episodes, but based on the footage already shot. This may answer why Magnussen’s performance has felt split throughout the season, part mad genius, part cruel villain, the sides haven’t met in the middle and this last episode feels a stark contrast to the Byron we’ve got to know.
Ray Romano’s Herb comes out best in the two episodes, building on his strong performance in episode 6, his arc fully develops and gives him the room to show his range and the characters depth. It’s just disappointing that so many of the other characters lost this opportunity.
It’s not a disappointing wrap up to the season, and it’s definitely still worth watching as the set up for season 2 raises a lot of questions, but just like shows affected by the writers’ strike of 2007, the episodes feel not quite right.