pop culture brain — Between Palm Springs, Black Mirror, and now Made…

Between Palm Springs, Black Mirror, and now Made for Love, Cristin Milioti just can’t escape controlling men and their sci-fi relationship traps. It’s quite the niche she has carved out for herself, but it’s no surprise she keeps getting cast (or maybe picking) these roles. She’s very good at spanning the emotional roller coaster and reaching the catharsis of coming into her power.

Made for Love, now on HBO Max, is an 8-episode darkly comic series that explores divorce and doomed relationships through a very high tech, and yes Black Mirror-esque lens. Series creators Alissa Nutting (who wrote the original novel), Dean Bakopoulos, Patrick Somerville (The Leftovers), and Christina Lee deliver a propulsive plot-driven show that layers in big ideas about marriage, misogyny, and control. Milioti is once again superb in this familiar genre, Ray Romano brings the pathos, while Billy Magnussen turns in a slimy, off-beat villain that will worm his way into your brain.

Made for Love is funnier and weirder than I thought it would be, which was a more than welcome surprise. With such heavy themes, striking the right balance made this show a true gem — yet another in HBO Max’s ever expanding library.

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