Made for Love Season 1 Episode 8: Let’s Meet Recap

Made for Love S1Ep8 Hazel & Herb Watch TV

Hazel and Byron meet in a remote diner to discuss their relationship. They show each other how much they’ve changed since they’ve been separated and what they want for the future. Judiff and Herb attempt to listen in from the parking lot, with mixed results.

Recap

Hazel takes a bus to meet Byron at a diner in an undisclosed location in the desert where the press won’t be able to find them.

Hazel takes a bus to meet Byron at a diner in an undisclosed location in the desert where the press won’t be able to find them. As voice over, we hear the phone conversation where they negotiate the terms of the meeting. Hazel refuses to go to the Hub and wants to meet in public, but Byron wants to avoid being recognized, so they settle on the Sunrise Diner, which Hazel suggests.

Byron is already seated in a booth waiting for her when she arrives with the divorce papers held out in front of her like a shield. He said on the phone that he’d give her a divorce if that’s what she really wants, but in exchange he wants to have a face to face, candid conversation.

I doubt that he’s ever fully opened himself up to her in a conversation.

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Made for Love Season 1 Episode 7: I Want to Feel Normal Recap

Made for Love S1Ep7 Judiff & Herb

In episode 7, Hazel starts a job at the bowling alley, but Byron is still on her mind. Herb asks Hazel to give him and Diane some privacy for their anniversary, but remembering the way Byron forced isolation on her in the Hub, Hazel pushes Herb to take Diane out to dinner. Feeling forgotten, Byron searches for a way to get Hazel to notice him again.

Recap

Hazel’s new job as a maintenance worker gives her joy as she imagines how grossed out Byron must be by what he sees as she dusts and scrubs her way through Shangri-Lanes. She stops to speak directly to him to rub in how disgusting the urinals in the men’s room are. She’s caught by her coworker Jay, who can’t figure out who she’s talking to, since she appears to be alone. He brought her some extra cleaning fluid, just in case she needs it and apologizes for their boss, Jerry, assigning the worst jobs to her.

Jay might be interested in her, but Hazel doesn’t notice. She’s too preoccupied by the idea of what Byron is seeing. Instead of looking at Jay, she looks straight into the mirror and tells Byron that she’s happy to do the gross jobs, “all day, everyday.” As Jay leaves, confused about what just happened, princessy harp trills play in the background. Cinderella has figured out where she can put in the required hours of physical suffering and oppression so that her mental and emotional suffering will finally be taken seriously.

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Made for Love Season 1 Episode 6: I Want You to Give a F*** About Me Recap

Made for Love S1Ep6 Hazel & Herb Discuss Fun

In episode 6, the word of the day is authenticity, as Byron tries to figure what will satisfy his craving for connection with Hazel. Hazel tries to bring meaning and purpose back into her life after ten years stuck in the Hub serving as Byron’s muse. Herb hires an old flame who is also a professional investigator to help free Hazel from Byron’s surveillance. After her encounter with Hazel, Fiffany reassesses her priorities.

Recap

We begin with Byron and Hazel on beach date, as seen through Byron’s eyes. Hazel wakes up from a nap and tells Byron how great the real sun feels. He offers her a donut hole, which she eats with perfect calm and grace, the way that Hazel only acts when she’s putting on her perfect hostess act.

While she eats, Byron tells her that he’s changed. Now he just wants to connect with her, not control her. The real her. Hazel gives him a side eye and tells him that donut holes aren’t enough to make her forgive him for ten years of imprisonment in a luxury prison. Then she blips out of existence.

The “real” Hazel that Byron is trying to connect with is a simulation. So is the “real” sun they were enjoying. Byron can’t even keep his simulated Hazel happy when he controls all of the parameters of the encounter.

Fake Tardis dates just aren’t doing it anymore, even for Fake Hazel, Byron’s version of Diane.

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Made for Love Season 1 Episode 5: I Want a Lawyer Recap

Made For Love S1Ep5 House Party-The Morning After

In episode 5, Byron continues his attempts to burrow deeper into Hazel’s head, while Hazel meets with the lawyer Bangles recommended. We learn more about Fiffany’s work and background as she plots behind Byron’s back to save Zelda and the chip technology from his plan to merge with Hazel.

Recap

It’s the morning after episode 4 and when Herb wakes up, Diane isn’t in bed with him. He goes looking for her, since it’s not like her to get up without telling him. He finds her passed out in the living room with Hazel and Bangles, who invited her to join their party once Herb was asleep. No doubt she was happy to take advantage of a rare opportunity to party with the girls, away from her man’s judgmental eyes.

Sure enough, as soon as he finds them, he wakes all 3 women up and tells them they’re all too old to party like they’re in high school, then smells Diane’s breath to see if she’s been drinking and judges her for letting Bangles kiss her.

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Made for Love Season 1 Episode 4: I Want a New Life Recap

Made for Love S1Ep4 Bennett, Byron & Beer Foam Gone Wrong

Byron and Hazel try out the girl/boy friend experience in episode 4, as each has a hang out with a same sex friend. Well, actually, Hazel spends the day getting drunk with her childhood bestie, Bangles, so Byron decides to mimic the experience in order to understand her better. Bennett bravely steps in as his best friend substitute. The episode also flashes back to the first time Byron and Hazel met, followed by their first date, followed by Byron’s proposal of marriage, all in the same evening. Byron mimics the way he thinks a human being would act in those scenarios, as well. 

I continue to believe that Byron is either a robot or he was raised at the bottom of the ocean. Possibly he is a complete amnesiac or a hallucination who was accidentally brought to life. More on that later. He doesn’t even know what a donut hole is, for heaven’s sake, and he’s supposed to be an American! I bet even Diane knows what a donut hole is.

Recap

The episode opens on a flashback to ten years ago, on the Desert Rock Community College campus, where Hazel is a student and scam artist. Byron, billed as “The Man Who Knows the Future”, is scheduled to give a lecture later that day. Hazel is selling $20 raffle tickets to win an unreleased Gogol phone 5 at the lecture, which is a super cool phone because it holds a charge for 48 hours and will survive a trip underwater. Everyone wants the G-phone 5, so her tickets sell fast.

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

Made for Love S1Ep3 Hazel with Club

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

Made for Love S1Ep1 Family in Truck

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

made-for-love-key-art-finals_desert-look_vertical23

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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