HBO Max just canceled one of its best shows. And that's not just my informed opinion. Critics loved Made for Love as much as I did, as the series earned a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes (its second season didn't garner that many reviews, so the score is solely for its first season).
The series, which focused on Hazel (Cristin Milioti) whose billionaire tech exec husband Byron (Billy Magnussen) had implanted a chip in her head and was manipulating her through what he saw through her vision, lasted two seasons on HBO Max. While we still count HBO Max as one of the best streaming services, we're not happy to see this news.
The news broke via Variety, which quoted an HBO Max representative statement that said "We are tremendously grateful for the truly spectacular journey of these past two seasons, courtesy of Alissa Nutting, Christina Lee, Cristin [Milioti], Billy [Magnussen], Ray [Romano] and the entire Made for Love cast and creative team."
Made for Love, which just aired its season 2 finale on May 19, delivered a surprise twist or two that had us awaiting a potential season 3 to see how it would work out. Sadly, that season will (apparently) not come to be.
This comes on the heels of HBO Max canceling Raised by Wolves, itself offed before a third season could be made. And more recently, HBO canceled The Time Traveler’s Wife after just a single season.
So, before we go further beware Made for Love season 2 spoilers below!
Analysis: What happened?
When Made for Love was renewed for season 2, its success among critics was touted by Suzanna Makkos, EVP, Original Comedy and Adult Animation, HBO Max, who was quoted as saying "We are thrilled to be reuniting with this dream team of talented producers, incredible cast, and CGI dolphins to tell the next chapter of this exciting story."
So, what changed? Well, HBO Max never raved about Made for Love's ratings, so maybe the internal viewership numbers weren't high enough. The other big part of the situation is that the recent Warner Bros. Discovery merger probably meant everyone's budgets (and return on investment) were being more-closely examined by the powers that be.
Raised by Wolves cast member Abubakar Salim alluded to this being the case for his show, with a series of tweets where he said "“It’s not surprising, especially after the news of the mergers and what is happening at Warner, that a lot of shows are not having their stories finished."
Made for Love season 2 ended in the most phenomenal of ways. Hazel Gogol (Cristin Millioti) was finally freed from Byron Gogol's controls, and actually running the company. Byron's sentience, meanwhile, was trapped inside ... his own body, while a clone AI ran the body. Her father Herbert (Ray Romano) seemingly passed away due to the cancer he was fighting, but his body and consciousness were being saved for possible use at Gogol Industries.
We really would have loved to see how Hazel would run Gogol, how Byron would have tried to escape and what the heck they'd do with Herbert's consciousness. Alas.
We'll always have the Hub.
Next: Our big TV recommendation of the moment is one show you need to binge-watch that has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. Also, the most underrated Apple TV show just got a second season and how HBO canceled The Time Traveler’s Wife after just a single season.