MADE FOR LOVE (2021) Season 1, Episode 1 - 3
Made for Love is the latest HBO Max offering, starring Palm Springs’ Cristina Milioti as a perfect silicon valley wife on the run.
Married to eccentric tech billionaire Byron Gogol (played by an always excellent Billy Magnussen), Hazel has spent her days in the ominous sounding ‘The Hub’ which she hasn’t left since their first date. When she discovers he plans for them to be the first users of his ‘Made for Love’ chip she flees back to the real world – not realising he’s already implanted the chip in her head and can now track her every move and emotional data.
The premise might sound intense, like a sci-fi thriller, but down to the wonderful comic timing of Milioti it’s able to keep a bounce and spirit through the first 3 episodes, making the insane actions of Byron and his team seem more amusing than terrifying – though they are both in equal measure.
Utilising split time narratives throughout the first three episodes, we’re able to follow Hazel as she returns to the real world, whilst also seeing what the past 10 years of her life have been like, keeping the audience further intrigued as we question just how she ended up in this position.
No expense has been spared in the design of the show, the first and third episodes especially showcasing the immense wealth of the pair through lavish clothing, parties and a pet dolphin. Strong performances from the supporting cast fill out the show, making sure it is not just an empty glamourous vessel – a little like Hazel herself feels. Noma Dumezweni, last seen in The Undoing, steals the show in this respect, and whilst we don’t see much of her in episodes 1-3, it’s clear she may have a bigger role in ongoing episodes and her presence on screen is undeniable.
Much will also be spoken about Ray Romano’s turn as Hazel’s estranged father and his choice of lover following her mother’s death, but best to leave that for the fun in episode 2.
There’s definitely enough in each episode to keep you pressing the next button and whilst I have been lucky enough to also see episode 4, I’m chomping at the bit to see the back 4 of the season.