'Made for Love' joins series probing the darker side of our high-tech future

“Gemaak vir Liefde” is die jongste reeks wat handel oor 10 minute in die toekoms, fokus op die grillerige potensiaal van tegnologie as 'n manier van beheer. Met Cristin Milioti in die middel, this darkly comic HBO Max series uses that backdrop to offer an intriguing look at an abusive relationship, grounding its sci-fi flourishes in echoes from the here and now.

The show begins with a bang, as Milioti’s Hazel Green escapes from the space-age compound she occupies with Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen), the visionary billionaire founder of a tech company called (what else?) Gogol. Byron, dit blyk, has made Hazel the guinea pig for the company’s latest product, an innovation called Made for Love, which uses implanted microchips to producecommingled identities. Pure union,” with the unsettling loss of autonomy that implies.
Hazel’s flight takes her to her quirky dad (Ray Romano), who is in his own version of a twisted relationship with an artificial companion. The focus is on Hazel and her efforts to carve out independence, made harder by the fact that Byronthanks to his creationis able to track her moves.
    After roles in “Hoe ek jou ma ontmoet het” en “Palm Springs,” Milioti has seemed poised to break out in a big way, and this vehicle is well suited to capitalize on her wide-eyed stares, given the absurdity of Hazel’s situation. The tone, incidentally, comes pretty close to HBO Max’s “Die vlugkelner,another series with a female lead thrust into serialized peril, and thus far one of the streaming service’s most complete productions.
      As for how Hazel and Byron met, that gradually comes out via a series of flashbacks (by now an overused device), charting the origins of the relationship and pangs of discomfort that began to emerge even before getting around to his unique rich-guy quirks, like grabbing a morning swim with his pet dolphin.
        Adapted from Alissa Nutting’s book, the show at times feels as if it’s working a little too hard at being outlandish, from the dollops of violence to the eccentricities of Romano’s character and the not-actually-a-woman in his life.
        Steeds, the half-hour episodes move at a brisk clip, and there’s enough material to plumbboth about how Hazel got into this mess and how she might get outto fuel this opening salvo.
          “Gemaak vir Liefde” also taps into timely concerns about the tradeoffs associated with technologyan underlying fear applied to the quest for romance in the recent seriesThe One en “Sielsgenote”as well as how such innovations can unscrupulously be used to invade privacy.
            Toegegee, the particular concept and setup might not be designed to last for very long before running out of steam; steeds, if it’s not quite love at first sight, thanks primarily to Milioti, there’s plenty here to like.
            “Gemaak vir Liefde” premieres April 1 op HBO Max, watter, soos CNN, is a unit of WarnerMedia.

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