Review: In ‘Made for Love,’ She Can’t Get Him Out of Her Head

Kristin Miliotti claims a distinctly distinctive character niche: a woman fleeing a twisted sci-fi trap. In the episode “Black Mirror” “USS Callister,” He was programmed in a simulation by his creepy boss. In the last year “Palm Springs,” He and Andy Samberg said how to break free from a time loop that trapped them in the “Groundhog Day” rom-com cycle.

In “Made for Love”, a light-hearted and dark-minded comedy of technology, control and gaslighting whose first three episodes air on HBO Max on Thursday are all in his head.

As physically. As implanted. Such as in a microchip.

Hazel Green (Milioti) received this unwanted hardware upgrade from her husband Byron Gogol (Billy Magusen), who runs a world-wide tech company. (Feel free to play with the first vowel sound in “Gogol”) For 10 years, they live in a gold cage – or a gilded cube, called a virtual reality environment hub, out of the messy. Secluded. With dolphins playing in the world, endless weather and swimming pools.

And for 10 years, Byron has become more dedicated. Is very dedicated. “Your wife has reviewed her biometrically recorded orgasms to better optimize her” Dedicated. In the end, he decides that he loves her – and his technique – so deeply that he and he will become the “user one” of their new product, Made for Love, which turns couples into two-man neural networks Gives, their mind is digitally connected. No more secrets, no more wrong thoughts, no more private thoughts.

Who the hell wants that? You may ask, a question “Made for Love” arises but does not fully answer. For the purposes of the story, it is important that Byron wants this and not Hazel emphatically. This prompts him to blow the cube, watching a mad and violent escape with Byron from behind his eyes. (It turns out that he has only implanted his chip, not his: “I had to read your diary first to know if you could read me.”)

based on Novel of the same name By Alyssa Nutting, a writer and producer on the series, “Made for Love” is played as a scrollball action satire, which probably underlies its chilling premise – patriarchy and techno-utopianism – as two sides of the same chip. is. Will be in the form of an upright play. (Christina Lee of Murdent “search party” Slapstick; Other producers include Patrick Somerville of Netflix “Mad,” With whom it shares a skeevy-dystopian vibe.)

The metaphors never get beneath the surface here, such as Byron and Hazel’s double-finger wedding band, reminiscent of small handcuffs. And when Hazel seeks help from her widowed father, Herb (Ray Romano), she helps him form a committed partnership with a sex doll – Sauri, a “synthetic partner” – named Diane. They have a one-sided relationship, trying to make Byron Hazel a wife machine, but also strangely tender and respectful.

“Made for Love” is hardly subtle, and the story of its cautious technique is told repeatedly in “Black Mirror” and elsewhere. But it is playful and witty and almost motion-driven which erases many of its possibilities with hand waving. One of them is the question of why Hazel is presented as a wily, resourceful skeptic, Byron must have cut off his feet, throwing enough red flags for a huge slalom course from their first meeting. .

Casting helps to put on it. Milioti, with its charm and anime eyes, is almost a very perfect Roman-com-lead type. (that) Broken on tv “How I Met Your Mother” as the titular title, but that cleverly Plays against that type In stories that break expectations. His hazel is cunning, wild, and piercing over the lamb; In the flashback to her married life at the Hub, you can almost hear her scream behind her 10,000 watt smile.

Romano, meanwhile, may be one of the few actors to introduce you to a humanoid sex toy on the bed that he wears in his dead wife’s clothes, yet your audience thinks, “You know Hai, it sounds like a complicated guy with some rough patches. “

And the largest of the central roles, Magnesen, advances the trappings of Byron’s xylotry past. Unqualified on most human relationships, Byron incorporates all of his emotional capacity into hazel to get the all-time high score on his marriage by outwitting both Lagan and Sargam impulse. He is the epitome of both obsessive Wife cow And the patriarchal take cow, and he makes the connection between the two types to the plain.

He is also pathetic, as a billionaire can have powers similar to God. “I’m the only person who really loves you!” He begs Hazel. “in fairness!”

But it is Milioti who plays the first half of the season (I have seen four episodes of eight) his adrenaline. “Made for Love” is a loosely molded cortex that calls for a high tolerance for unconsciousness. This is the basis of Hazel’s journey from woman to action hero, determined not to be a character in someone else’s love story.

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