[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Made for Love, “Let’s Meet.”]
One of the best aspects of Made for love it was the way it defied the limitations of the genre, embracing comedy, drama, science fiction, and even moments of horror in its first season. “We’ve been working on this in the strangest year possible, sometimes we think, ‘Is this really happening or is this just in our minds?'” Showrunner Christina Lee he told Collider in a recent phone interview. “So having him out there and hearing that people are liking him is a dream.”
In the season finale of the HBO sci-fi drama Max (which is also a bit scary at times), Hazel (Cristin Milioti) can finally confront her husband Byron (Billy magnussen) about how he treated her, but his attempt to truly escape his control is thwarted when he learns of his father Herb’s illness (Ray Romano) Terminal cancer. Hazel ends up deciding to drug Herb, taking him (and his beloved “synthetic partner” Diane) to Byron’s “Hub” without his knowledge so that he can be saved.
There are some great ideas about what it means to love someone there, which Lee and executive producer Alissa Nutting explore below. They also investigate the hidden meaning of the logo that you may not have noticed until now, confirming that they very much want the green light for a second season that would continue Hazel, Byron and Herb’s story (even though Romano’s contract was only for one season. ). ), and reveal how long they expect the show to continue beyond that.
Collider: To begin with, when did this feel like the correct end point for the season?
CHRISTINA LEE: You know, this was always the ending Alyssa and I envisioned. The reason is that there are two central relationships in this story, Hazel and Byron, and also Hazel and Herbert. And in Hazel’s journey of trying to break free and gain her freedom and disconnect from Byron, the by-product was reconnecting with her estranged father and ultimately it’s a love story with her father and she chooses her father over her. Liberty. We felt like that was a resolution for her – it would be a great season 1 finale, but leave the questions open if we were lucky enough to get a season 2.
Were you actively planning season 1, not just a full story in its own right, but a great start to the series as well?
LEE: Yes. I mean, we love working on this show, both creatively and with our cast and crew, who we’ve all fallen in love with over the past year. So we certainly had hope for season 2 when we wrote that ending.
You are not being shy about it.
LEE: Of course. We want it.
What kind of planning do you have for the show in general? Not just season 2, but potentially more seasons?
ALISSA NUTTING: We have many plans in place that we hope to be able to execute.
LEE: Yes. And also, Alissa, you said this before, we will always talk about technology and we will always want more stories about relationships. And so we feel that this is the kind of program that can continue, because there will never be a lack of history there, in those two respects. We certainly have our specific plans for Season 2, but we can’t share them until we know we’ll have one.
That being said, in all in a perfect world, how many seasons will the show run?
LEE: Again, we love this so much, we want to do it until they kick us out.
NUTTING: Christina and I will be old and gray …
LEE: As we work together and with this cast and crew, we will find a way to keep it going.
Do you see him basically continuing with these characters, or do you see him taking more of an anthology approach in the future?
LEE: One thing that I feel comfortable saying now, if we had a season 2, is that we have more stories to tell with these characters.
Something that was in the original announcement of the deadline Ray Romano’s casting is that he only had a one-year contract. Would a second season include his character?
LEE: You know, we can’t talk about it yet, but that was part of the reason we chose the ending that we did. Ray was a dream casting for us as the role of Herbert. And so we can’t kill Ray. Nobody wants to, so we certainly have plans that we can’t reveal yet.
In terms of the ending, theoretically both Byron’s decision to try to put Hazel in the Hub and the decision to put Herb in the Hub are decisions rooted in love. If you agree with that to some extent, what do you think the message is?
NUTTING: I think one of the issues the show is really talking about is this kind of tug of war, within the love of independence versus dependency, and sacrifice versus self-care. And that’s an ongoing conversation that really fits with privacy and secrecy. How much of yourself do you save, block, or keep independent or hidden, compared to how much you are giving away or sharing, or pledging for another?
LEE: And I think it talks about how we wanted to get closer to love, and that there are two sides of a coin and they are so close. Byron wanted to control Hazel and was doing everything from observing her every movement and recording it within the center. And he was treating her in the sense of his dog. And that feels very controlling and horrible. And while you look at Herbert, with his real doll, and you could say that, why does he want to be with someone who is literally lifeless and does not speak, what does that say about him? But, that was a decision he made because he was dying and he didn’t want to put that burden on another human. So both people are doing similar things, but the intention is very different. And I think that refers to the love story between Hazel and Herbert and Hazel and Byron and, why the decision to bring Herbert back to the center is so different.
When we spoke before the premiere, I asked “Should we support Hazel and Byron as a couple?” There was no firm answer to that question at the time, and now I’m still not sure if there is an answer to that question. But do you see what happens at the end of the final as a victory for Byron?
LEE: I think it’s complicated. I think you could, but it also answers the question of what does that mean now that she’s there. Will it be that easy? Like we gave him a victory that was taken away from him so quickly, it’s like they’re playing chess, and I think their relationship, it’s hard to say definitively, that everything is wrong or everything is fine. And I think that was intentional for us to write, because in any relationship it’s very complicated, and we wanted to make sure that people understood how they could have stayed there for 10 years, and that you also had their perspective.
NUTTING: And as marriage therapists often say, no one wins unless you both win, that every time there is a winner, it is a loss, because you are not on the same team for someone to lose. So I think this sentiment speaks to the wider arc of their history, which will hopefully continue in the sense that they both have these victories in battles. But I think each of them is still trying to win the war.
One thing that seems to indicate that perhaps Hazel has more power in the relationship now than before is that in the last scene she dressed as she did in the real world. It’s not as polished as it was with Byron.
NUTTING: Right. And she walks in and the first thing she says to her is, “There is a panel in the sky, you need to fix that”, this way she would never have spoken to him, in the time before she was in the Hub.
LEE: Yes. It is really surprising in that last scene to see Hazel in the Hub space, but without pretending. Not acting like Hub A Hazel, being the same as you’d expect him to be, if he hadn’t walked through those Herbert doors.
In closing, I wanted to ask about the show’s logo, specifically the fact that there seem to be handcuffs, essentially, between the two O’s. And I was curious if that was something that was a deliberate touch.
LEE: Yes, and also their wedding rings are two fingers, and they also imitate this. They are handcuffs, they are glasses, a kind of observation, they are the O’s in Google … We were playing with all those things.
This is the first show that really made me think of love as a literal prison, which is definitely an interesting way to think about it on some level.
NUTTING: I think she is imprisoned by him, with being watched at all times, but in a way he is imprisoned by her because of his love and obsession for her that he can’t stop looking at her. And I think that’s an interesting thing.
Made for love is now airing on HBO Max.
KEEP READING: ‘Made for Love’: Cristin Milioti, Ray Romano and Billy Magnussen on why the show is so different from ‘Black Mirror’
Justin Lin, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and John Cena also talk about bringing Lin back and a possible ‘Jurassic World’ crossover in this interview.
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