Spoilers think we should see other people.
Okey, when I started watching this show I wasn’t sure about the appeal, or whether or not I’d identify with it. As it happens, the more I’ve start watching the more I love it. In this case we get a strange, ultimate case of big high tech offering the world in exchange for the ultimate commodity: your identity. But let’s start where it all starts. A man, a woman, a chip implant and a dolphin.
Made for Love (2021) was created by Alissa Nutting, Dean Bakopoulos, Patrick Sommerville and Christina Lee, based on the novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting. Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti) has been married to billionaire tech guru Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen) for ten years and locked inside a virtual facility known as the Hub. Every aspect of her life is turned into data. Her every movement is tracked and analyzed. When Byron announces a chip implant that will eternally sync her to him as the Gogol’s company next big device, Hazel ends up escaping into the real world and trying to regain her old life back. Unfortunately, it might be too late.
Hazel starts as a bit of a mystery to us. Cristin Milioti has perfected the fake smile where she can tell us both that she’s trying to appear happy while completely freaking up inside. She really makes this series. Byron Gogol is the tech guru that has surrounded himself with “yes” people, conceited, megalomaniac and without a soul or a personality. When Hazel decides to escape her life as Hazel Gogol is when we start getting to know who Hazel Green was and how was her life.
This is the part I found myself liking. Hazel didn’t have the typical upbringing. Her dad, Herbert (Ray Romano), has a relationship with a sex doll called Diane. He has not been much of a father, getting drunk and failing to come home, but Herbert actually seems to care for Hazel in his own weird way. Hazel herself has been pulling scams and hoping to escape her life, only to have run into Gogol’s crazy idea of how people should live. Incidentally, this series is finally allowing me to see both Cristin Milioti and Ray Romano finally shedding the last of their personas of the characters they played in their respective sitcoms ages ago.
I like the entire parody of big tech portrayed here… Or rather, I love how much I hate it. Gogol collects all data and then completely misreads what he thinks people want by telling them what they want. He has patronizing and draconian ideas about marriage and relationships. On the other hand, Hazel knows how fucked real life can be but after being locked down (yee I wonder how that feels) for so long inside a tech bubble getting told what to do and when to do it, she’s completely re-evaluating how her life should be.
Strongly recommended. Yes, it has adult themes and some fucked up situations but I love the anti-establishment sentiment being used against the big-brother-is-watching-us mentality. That is so relevant today with how privacy is exchanged for free digital services and personal data being a commodity to be traded in bulk. Lots of meta commentary and unabashed humour with occasional over the top violence. Very much worth a watch.
That will do for now.