Made for Love Season 1 Episode 3: I Want This Thing Out of My Head Recap

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In episode 3, we learn more about Hazel and Byron’s lives inside the Hub through an exclusive interview with Keegan James (Nyasha Hatendi) of Weeknight America, the only journalist ever allowed inside the Gogol complex. The story then returns to Twin Sands, picking up where episode 2 left off, with Byron (Billy Magnussen) and Hazel’s (Cristin Milioti) argument about their marriage. Eventually, Byron gives Hazel a few minutes “to herself” to think while he and Herb (Ray Romano) catch up. Herb treats Byron more like a potential investor than his son-in-law. Byron watches Hazel’s every move on Herb’s TV rather than allowing her privacy.

That sums up the relationships on this show- they appear to be about either materialism or obsession or both, with a dose of neglect thrown in to counterbalance the obsessions. The characters are unable to see below each others’ facades and remember that they are dealing with fellow human beings (or living creatures) who have feelings, needs and rights of their own. In their own way, each one sees the others as a means to an end, rather than a being worth connecting with simply for the sake of love, friendship or community.

Episode 3 confronts the facades and begins to deconstruct them.

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Made for Love Season 1 Episode 2: I Want a Divorce Recap

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In episode 2, Made for Love begins to explore Hazel’s relationship with her father while continuing to expose the frightening lack of boundaries in her marriage to Byron. Herb and Diane try to help Hazel get further away from Byron. Hazel has another run in with Lyle, whose motives remain unclear.

Recap

In the episode 2 cold open, Hazel (Cristin Milioti) is seated in her lounge chair by the pool for her morning reading session, a repeat of what we saw in episode 1. Except this time, Byron (Billy Magnussen) isn’t in the pool with Zelda and Hazel passes out after she takes a drink from her glass. As she loses consciousness, she knocks the glass over, the memory that flickered through her mind in episode 1 when she saw a shard of broken glass by her chair. The Mickey and Sylvia version of Lover Boy plays in the background.

Love is strange and a lot of people take it for a game.

Several people who are dressed in scrubs (including, I believe, Fiffany (Noma Dumezweni) in the black scrubs) swarm Hazel, strapping her to her lounge chair, blindfolding her, and prepping her for poolside surgery. Her biological information is displayed on a billboard sized monitor on the side of the house, while a machine implants the Made for Love chip into the side of her head. Byron sits on the chair next to hers with his back to her, watching the display on the monitor instead of his wife as her body and her privacy are violated. Zelda the dolphin keeps swimming.

I’m not sure if roofying your wife then performing experimental surgery on her BRAIN without her consent are grounds for divorce in California, but I can’t imagine they’re not. They inserted an experimental device into her BRAIN made from who knows what materials- the allergy and cancer causing potential alone are off the charts, before the app is even activated. The term “mind rape” applies in so many ways here.

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Made for Love Season 1 Episode 1: User One Recap

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Made for Love is a half hour dark comedy from HBO Max starring Cristin Milioti (Palm Springs), Billy Magnussen (Maniac) and Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond). Made for Love was created by Patrick Somerville (Maniac, The Leftovers), Alissa Nutting, Dean Bakopoulos and Christina Lee, based on Nutting’s novel of the same name. The series explores the life and crumbling marriage of a directionless millennial, Hazel Green (Milioti), and her controlling, tech billionaire husband, Byron Gogol (Magnussen).

Made for Love uses the same edgy, absurdist tone that Somerville utilized in Maniac to examine modern relationships- human to human, human to tech, human to dolphin, human to inanimate object, and so on. It’s a story about obsession, love, fear of loss and death, desperation, need, forgiveness and humanity. Sometimes there’s more humanity found in animals, tech and inanimate objects than there is in humans, but, as Kurt Vonnegut said in Slaughterhouse Five, so it goes. As is so often true, hope and optimism play a large role in success, for both good guys and villains. Even nihilists need to believe in something to succeed long-term. Whether someone is a good guy or a villain is wholly dependent on point of view. And finding the correct app.

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Movie Review: The Breaker Upperers

The Breaker Upperers Poster

The Breaker Upperers * 2018 * Not Rated- Probably PG-13 for Language, Nudity and Adult Situations * 82 Minutes 

😸😸😸😸🌑  Rated 4/5 Happy Lap Cats

Spoiler-Free Review:

As the poster above says, 6 different times, The Breaker Upperers is hilarious. It is, first and foremost, a wacky comedy that’s not afraid to go for the laugh in whatever situation it finds itself in, whether that’s with a newly pregnant woman becoming nauseated while sharing the news with a friend, or engaging in drunken karaoke on a party bus.

Actually, those situations are likely to end the same way, so maybe that wasn’t the example of opposites I was looking for.

The great thing about this film is that, while it’s a wacky, screwball, sort of romantic, sort of musical, sort of dark, comedy, it’s also real. It’s the kind of female-oriented film I’ve been looking for on Netflix, as I’ve watched their romantic comedies pile up over the last year, almost all so laden with stereotypes and misogyny that I can barely manage to finish one viewing. The two female characters at the center of this film are just people, living their lives, not heroes, not villains, not stereotypes, and not trying to be any of those things. So are the rest of the characters.

The Breaker Upperers was written, directed by and stars Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek, two multi-talented women from New Zealand, who have been friends for many years in real life. In the film, they play Mel and Jen, who have also been friends for many years. Mel and Jen own and operate their own business, the titular Breaker Upperers, who clients hire to do the dirty work of ending a relationship when they can’t or don’t want to do it themselves.

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Deadly Class Season 1 Episode 1: Reagan Youth Recap

Deadly Class - Pilot

My spoiler-free review of Deadly Class episode 1 is HERE.

Deadly Class is a fast-paced, dark romp through a high school for future assassins, set in the late 80s, when Ronald Reagan was president, the AIDS crisis was in full swing, the Cold War seemed like it would go on forever, and greed was good. Despite the nihilistic pop culture response of loud music and bright colors, which is, let’s face it, the pop culture response to everything, it was a dark time.

But it was a dark time filled with an amazing sense of irony and style, which led to a run of fantastic comedy-horror films that I encourage you all to check out. Personal favorites include Little Shop of Horrors, Teen Wolf with a very young Michael J Fox, and the Witches of Eastwick.

The film that’s most pertinent to our discussion today is the 1987 vampire film The Lost Boys, which starred Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric and Jami Gertz. It also starred a killer soundtrack and sense of fashion.

Deadly Class is channeling The Lost Boys, but the angsty teen vampires are now angsty teenage human (so far) assassins, and they’ve been collected by Peter Pan Headmaster Lin, played by a kindly and wise, but menacing, Benedict Wong, to perfect their arts. The point of view character and lostest of the lost kids is Marcus Lopez, played by Benjamin Wadsworth.

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Movie Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri * 2017 * Rated R  * 1 Hour 55 Minutes

😸😸😸🌑🌑 Rated 3/5 Happy lap cats

MAJOR SPOILERS

Let me start out by saying this won’t be a traditional review and it will contain spoilers. This film is difficult for me to write about, and I almost skipped it. But I set a goal to watch and write about as many of the 2018 Academy Award Best Picture Nominees as possible, so here we are.

This film is the epitome of what’s wrong with Hollywood, the system of film criticism, and the awards organizations in this century. It’s a prestige film by every measure, awards bait that’s worked. It was written and directed by Tony-nominated playwright Martin McDonagh. It stars three respected actors, Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell in roles that call on them to give their all. It tackles some of the hot button topics of the day in a unique, original way. It’s a dark dramedy with a script filled with witty banter and poignant moments, as you’d expect from an acclaimed playwright. That’s why I looked past my anger enough to give it a 3/5 rating. I’ll probably debate with myself over that rating forever, and think it should’ve been a 2/5.

But it left me so angry that I had nightmares overnight, and I never have nightmares. The film should really be titled Two Racist Cops in the Good Old Boy Midwest, because that’s what it’s actually about. Sure, we see a lot of Frances McDormand’s Mildred, but she doesn’t get the redemption arc or the character growth that Sam Rockwell’s racist cop does. She’s a rage monster running around town ruining everyone else’s lives with her inappropriate anger.

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Movie Review: Ingrid Goes West

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Ingrid Goes West * 2017 * Rated R * 1 Hour 38 Minutes

At one point in Ingrid Goes West, Dan Pinto, played by O’Shea Jackson Jr., describes the life cycle of superhero crime fighting to Aubrey Plaza’s Ingrid Thorburn: Batman arrests people, takes them to Arkham Asylum, they possibly get out a few months later, and the cycle continues. It’s not that different from the cycle of internet fame and stalking, as the movie shows us.

We meet Ingrid as she’s sitting in a car outside of a wedding, watching the bride’s instagram feed in real time and crying. After a few minutes of this, Ingrid gets out of the car and storms toward the reception tent. She pulls out a can of mace and sprays it in the bride’s eyes, yelling that it’s payback for not inviting her to the wedding.

The groom tackles Ingrid as she tries to escape, and we see her next in a mental ward. We find out that she wasn’t even friends with the bride or groom, instead the bride had commented on her instagram feed once, and that was enough to trigger Ingrid to stalk her and consider them friends.

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Santa Clarita Diet Renewed for Season 2: Yum!

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Netflix confirmed today that Santa Clarita Diet, its upper middle class, suburban, zombie sitcom starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, will be back for a second season in 2018.

Announcement teaser trailer using some of Sheila’s snacks 😜  to spell out the number 2 under the cut.

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Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet: Trailers and Promotional Posters

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So, I haven’t been paying much attention to the upcoming Netflix show Santa Clarita Diet. Based on the title and what little I knew, it seemed like it was going to be something like another Desperate Housewives, which, not interested. This evening, instead of pushing the button for the next episode of The OA, I accidentally hit a button for the Santa Clarita Diet. It’s definitely not Desperate Housewives.

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No Tomorrow Season 1 Review and Analysis/ Season 2 Speculation

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No Tomorrow Season 1 is Now Available on Netflix

I really love this show that manages to be both optimistic and a dark comedy at the same time. It’s filled with unique, quirky characters who still feel like real people in real situations. I’ve actually known multiple people in green card marriages, some of whom fell in love, some of whom didn’t. We’ve all known, or been, people stuck in dead-end jobs, unfulfilling marriages, or having midlife crises. I’ve known several people who changed careers and decided on something nontraditional, like Evie’s dad and Timothy, or had an unusual second job, like Deirdre. They had to work hard and face their own and everyone else’s doubts in order to succeed. No Tomorrow infuses these common scenarios with new energy as Xavier sweeps through and wraps everyone up in his enthusiasm, encouraging solutions as creative and life affirming as he is. It doesn’t work out equally well for everyone, every time, including for Xavier, but that’s part of life and risk taking.

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