Made for Love Shows Breaking Up With a Possessive Tech Billionaire Is Hard to Do

Illustration for article titled Made for Love Shows Breaking Up With a Possessive Tech Billionaire Is Hard to Do
Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO Max

Especially when he plants a chip in your head, without your knowledge or consent, which allows him to track you (and seemingly a lot more) after you try to escape your loveless, 10-year marriage and go on the run.

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If you watch this trailer for HBO Max’s upcoming TV series Made for Love, it’s clearly going for a dark comedy vibe, which is good, because this is an exceedingly dark premise. It basically sets a classic stalker-suspense story in a dystopian surveillance state made exclusively for one person. This makes Hazel (Palm Springs’ wonderful Cristin Milioti) powerless and vulnerable on several levels to her asshole husband Byron (Aladdin’s Billy Magnussen) as he tries to reclaim her.

That’s a premise that would work for a straight-up sci-fi horror-suspense movie like the recent The Invisible Man. Except The Invisible Man didn’t have this... soundtrack?

Yes, that is Ray Romano, star of sitcom and screen, giving a moving spoken-word rendition of Beyoncé’s “Crazy (in Love).” It is, honestly, amazing, and it somehow makes me believe Made for Love might actually be able to take the story’s inherent horror seriously while still remaining a (very) dark comedy. That’s a very fine line, and I couldn’t explain to you why a Romano/Queen Bey mash-up fills me with hope, but it’s there.

Anyway, here’s the official synopsis: “The comedy series is a darkly absurd and cynically poignant story of love and divorce. It follows Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti), a thirty-something woman on the run after 10 years in a suffocating marriage to Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen), a controlling tech billionaire. Soon she discovers that her husband has implanted a monitoring device—the Made for Love chip—in her brain, allowing him to track her, watch her, and know her “emotional data” as she tries to regain her independence. Through the chip, Byron’s able to watch Hazel’s every move as she flees to her desert hometown to take refuge with her aging widower father Herbert (Ray Romano) and his synthetic partner, Diane.”

The show arrives on HBO Max this April. And even without Romano’s solo, I would have planned on checking out at least the first episode solely because Miloti was so damned good in Palm Springs.

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Rob Bricken was the Editor of io9 from 2016-18, the creator of the poorly named but fan-favorite news site Topless Robot, and now writes nerd stuff for many places, because it's all he's good at.

DISCUSSION

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Glad Miloti is getting more work after being done dirty by HIMYM.

That said “Byron Gogol” is a step just below “Leon Tusk” in terms of fictional tech billionaire names.