April 15, 2021

CABLE | Cristin Milioti Escapes 'Made for Love'

Cristin Milioti Ray Romano Christina Lee Alissa Nutting | Made for Love HBO
Paramount Television Studios
Author Alissa Nutting adapts her own near-future dark relationship comedy sci-fi novel into a television series alongside fellow novelists Dean Bakopoulos, Patrick Somerville, and showrunner Christina Lee for an odd but endearing semi-satire focused on personal catharsis. Starring an energetic Cristin Milioti as a sort of trophy wife to a maniacal tech CEO and controlling husband (an unhinged Billy Magnussen), Made for Love is filled with interesting ideas about contemporary society at the intersection of intimacy and intelligence.

Milioti and Magnussen star as Hazel and Byron an idyllic couple on the surface living in a gated techno-filled but sterile closed community (called the "Hub") where every life detail is either automatic or pre-calibrated. When a suffocated Hazel figures out Byron's true intentions behind his all-encompassing evil company "Gogol", she finds a way out and escapes her husband's diabolically watchful eyes.

Comedian turned series actor Ray Romano offers another fine supporting performance as the former sitcom actor continues to cement his string of interesting offbeat character roles as Milioti's widowed father who's in a relationship with a sex doll. This touch also broadly gets across the show's central themes about human relationships and how modern life or conveniences have affected their intimate nature by codifying emotions into pieces of technology.

Milioti shines through Hazel's madcap misadventures in a not atypical role for her where she once again plays a sympathetic everywoman damaged by destructive life circumstances partially of her doing. Made for Love is a fine vessel for her brand of darkly-tinged comic energy. It's an entertaining melding of both a warning against trusting corporations with managing your human feelings and an amusing rumination on how not to maintain relationships.

Made for Love's first eight-episode season is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in Canada.


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