HBO Max’s Made for Love Really Wants Your Likes and Retweets | Television / Streaming

“Made for Love” starts with a great concept. It examines toxic masculinity and how technology has divided us as much as it has united us through the story of Hazel (Milioti) and Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen), the latter an Elon Musk-esque tech wizard. whose company builds gadgets and machines that the world uses to improve their lives. He spends almost all of his time trying to expand the reach and capabilities of the business he named after himself, Gogol (subtle). He even lives in the Gogol Hub, the tech campus that’s essentially an expansive virtual reality simulation. Want to go to Paris? Snap your fingers and the world around you will make you feel like you are sitting near the Eiffel Tower. There is never a reason to leave. This is why Hazel has basically not been allowed to do it for a decade, since her first date with the possessive Byron.

“Made for Love” opens with Hazel escaping from the Hub, then returns to detail what ultimately pushed her to flee this technological prison: the project long promised by Byron who implants a chip in the brains of two partners so that they can feel and think the same things at the same time. As he tells people, “Every thought, every feeling, shared,” never wondering what kind of sociopath would ever want that kind of invasion of the privacy of his alleged loved one. Byron is the kind of toxic guy who believes that whenever his partner doesn’t think about him or do something for him, he somehow fails. He even has a device that Hazel can review her orgasms on to make sure they’re perfect. Everything has been technologically refined to remove humanity. And then Byron went to make Hazel the test subject for Made for Love, implanting a chip in her brain without her knowing it. Hazel needs to escape Byron, but the aspirant to Bezos can see her every action and even feel her emotions. What happens when “Made for Love” becomes “Made for Stalking”?

Hazel’s journey takes her home to a small town called Twin Sands, and returns to the life of her father Herbert (Ray Romano), who has become an outcast of the city because he enjoys showing off his new “synthetic partner”. , a real doll. This is where it feels like “Made for Love” is about to start questioning what partnership means. His two main men have very unusual partnership concepts, Byron wanting to be in control of everything and Herbert not really caring that his partner literally has no mind. But the team behind “Made for Love” has a frustrating habit of dropping those ideas into their narrative and not doing much with them. Part of the problem could be that the first four episodes – totaling less than two hours since it’s, thankfully, a half-hour show – are needed to fill so many narrative gaps that thematic exploration remains. for the second half of the season. Or the writing just might not be up to the challenge of digging under the lofty concept.

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