Made For Love is the type of show that fits into the streaming wars demand for content, no matter how quirky or niche the product.
|Created By||Alissa Nutting, Dean Bakopoulos, Patrick Somerville, Christina Lee|
|Genre(s)||Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi, Young Adult, Family|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
For over ten years, Hazel has not been seen and hasn’t left a tech campus known as “The Hub,” where she lived with her husband, Byron. However, upon the reveal Byron implanted her with a chip to know her every move, that was it. She learned to deal with the isolation, believed she could come to love the man who helped her escape poverty and a terrible home life but then he took it too far.
But what can you do when a possessive man, with access to your brain and nearly every technological device, and its data, wants you back? That is the struggle of Hazel in Made For Love.
When it comes to most characters, the kind of humor employed makes nearly everyone so dry that they come off stiff and boring. However, then comes in Bangles, who livens things up in episode 4. She gives Milioti the scene partner she needs, and it really pushes you to feel Patti Harrison should have played a more prominent role and had the screen time reserved for Herb. For truly, Harrison, how you feel about Bangles, might be what makes or breaks this show for you.
You Might Be Able To Appreciate How Ridiculous It Is
Made For Love has the personality of an NBC comedy. It isn’t necessarily made for everyone, but those who get it, they’d likely have full-out arguments defending it. It is so weird that it can come off specific, and with its humor, there is an effort to be different. Be it with Byron, the eccentric tech billionaire, Hazel’s dry sarcasm, or Judiff. A character who is a part-time nun, full-time investigator, who has taken down churches for miles and now is helping Hazel deal with Byron.
Those characters, and more, present the level of strange needed to make those who get into shows like this intrigued, while it may alienate all others.
The Show Lacks A Definable and Consistent Hook
Made For Love isn’t necessarily the easiest show to pitch. A woman is on the run from her tech billionaire husband, who is obsessed with her, and when he feared her pulling from him, he put a chip in her brain to track her every move and feeling. It sounds more like a short or weird indie movie than a series you’re expected to watch for nearly 4 hours.
And while, yes, it can be funny at times, the humor is lacking because characters barely evolve beyond descriptions. Be it deadbeat dad Herb, this or that redneck character, bumbling assistant, and so on. Thus, Made For Love rarely feels like a go-to show that would make you subscribe to HBO Max and more so an addition to bulk up its library. Leaving it ultimately the kind of show primarily watched due to boredom or a previous love of one of the actors.
The problem with Herb is it pushes Ray Romano to be as dry as a doctor too jaded by death to even give patients an ounce of bedside manner. So as much as he is the key to Hazel’s story, and they try to make him someone to raise an eyebrow at due to his relationship with a sex doll, he becomes a liability. He forces Milioti to work twice as hard as an actor, for both Herb the character and Romano the actor just don’t give her much to work with.
This is why Bangles gets praised so highly for Herb/Romano put the bar so low, Bangles introduction is like getting the surgery you needed vs. being given an ineffective pain killer.
On The Fence
While Milioti Tries To Carry The Show, She Often Struggles
Even as someone sarcastic, who lies and can come off as an ass, there is no denying Milioti’s star power. However, her star power isn’t that of someone who can carry a show alone. She is someone who needs the right co-star, someone to play off of, to truly shine. Otherwise, after a certain point, that charisma, that draw, it begins to fade.
It’s like a car. Without the right supporting characters, which Milioti doesn’t have for most of the show, be it due to performances or writing, eventually, she just sputters. Now, thankfully, Harrison helps about halfway through, but it isn’t until, towards the end, when characters are fleshed out and seemingly made to be more than oddities to laugh at that things get good for Milioti. However, by that point, you may feel it is too little too late.
Case in point, Byron. For most of the season, while you might be entertained by how far he will go to get back Hazel, you grow tired of his efforts and even his madness after a while. Like most things in this show, it loses its luster quickly, and it isn’t until his truth is revealed in the last episode that he bounces back. But to force people to show that level of dedication in an era where options are plenty? It seems foolish.
Rating: Mixed (Stick Around)
Made For Love feels like it is made for a specific audience, and when it comes to all others? They are forsaken. For with a very specific type of humor, characters who have a very particular kind of appeal, and Made For Love waiting until the end to really make these characters more than people to laugh at? That’s why this is being labeled mixed. As a whole, Made For Love can be tolerable, but as you binge or even watch in pieces, it really makes you question your loyalty to the show or even the actor who may have inspired you to start watching this.