It’s weirdly easy to miss the fact that HBO Max’s Made for Love is absolutely a science fiction series. Yes, it’s based on a novel (by co-showrunner Alissa Nutting) that gets shelved in the general fiction section of the bookstore, and the show isn’t really marketed like SF … but it’s about a woman whose tech-billionaire husband does a lot of creepy tech things, including implanting a chip in her head that gives him access to everything she sees and does. It’s a near-future horror story about love and control! It’s hilarious and infuriating! And it’s back for a second season later this month.
Ten years ago, Hazel (Cristin Milioti) impulsively married Byron (Billy Magnussen). At the start of the series, she’s finally escaped the Hub, his techno-castle in the desert. Desperate, she goes in search of her father, Herbert (a surprising Ray Romano), who lives with his love, a doll named Diane. Her escape is complicated by Byron’s tech powers, the chip in her head, and a whole bunch of other factors (I can’t possibly explain the dolphin without getting hopelessly distracted).
There is no way to talk about season two without spoiling the end of season one somewhat. In order to save Herbert from cancer, Hazel reluctantly moves back in with Byron—and so does Herbert, though he doesn’t know it. (Technology!) From the look of this trailer, things are going to get drastically more complicated, not least by the prying eyes of the FBI. All HBO Max says is, “In the second season, in order to save her father’s life, Hazel returns to the Hub, Byron’s high-tech palace. But once inside, she and Byron both become ensnared by Gogol’s newest revolutionary (and dangerous) technology.”
Milioti is a gem in this series; if you have seen it, you need to read Natalie Zutter’s essay about her oeuvre. If you haven’t, start now: Made for Love returns for its second season on April 28th.