Made for Love mystery: Was content cut from the HBO Max series?

Made for Love Season 1, Episode 1 - Photograph by John P. Johnson / HBO Max
Made for Love Season 1, Episode 1 - Photograph by John P. Johnson / HBO Max /

Made for Love is a new dark comedy series that recently wrapped its first-season run on HBO Max. Based on the book of the same name by Alissa Nutting, the series stars Cristin Milioti, Billy Magnusson and Ray Romano. While the series has yet to be renewed, it received almost unanimous critical acclaim for its eight-episode first season.

I covered the show extensively here at Show Snob and really enjoyed it, but I did notice some strange inconsistencies while watching. One of the biggest oddities in the show was its many tertiary characters who would come in for one or two scenes and then never be seen or heard from again, despite it being a little weird.

Then last night, I was watching a project starring Raymond Lee and I thought he was talented (and yes, handsome!) so I took to IMDb to look him up. Best-known for his work in the short-lived HBO series Here and Now, I noticed Lee had been cast in Made for Love for a four-episode recurring arc, but I couldn’t recall him appearing at all.

It’s been a few weeks now since I watched, so maybe I forgot but I feel like he’s a face I would remember (again, found him attractive/talented when I saw him for the first time in a different show). I did some digging and found a Deadline exclusive announcing that Lee had joined the cast in as a character named Jeff, “an environmental activist and Twin Sands local who went to high school with Hazel.”

Well, I definitely feel like I would have remembered that. The only “friend” of Hazel’s we meet from her past is Bangles. According to IMDb, Lee was supposed to be in four episodes throughout the season. I know IMDb isn’t always 100% accurate, but for the most part, it gets things correct.

So I have to wonder if Lee’s role was cut? Or maybe it was never filmed? And he’s not the only one where there appears to be something strange going on.

Remember that bartender Liver that Hazel has an instant attraction to because he’s a brewer and she loves beer? Liver, played by Augusto Aguilera,  is presented as a potential new love interest for Hazel, especially since they have a sexual encounter outside of his house where she coaxes him into masturbating for her. WE NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN! And he’s credited for all eight episodes! Actually, even the Wikipedia page lists him as a main cast member.

Made for Love
Made for Love Season 1, Episode 2 – Photograph by John P. Johnson / HBO Max /

Made for Love: The show was originally reported as having 10 episodes

Well, then I also noticed that the articles that announce Aguilera and Lee’s casting both mentions that the show was originally slated for 10 episodes. So, I’m wondering if they cut enough content to whittle it doesn’t to eight episodes or if they just scrapped those installments altogether. It would also potentially explain why Hazel leaves her co-worker Jay (Sarunas J. Jackson) mid-conversation in Episode 7 to help her dad and Diane, and then never sees or talks to him again.

Another example of a one-scene wonder character is Fiffany’s husband. There’s a whole subplot where she plans to sell the chip to her ex-husband Ignacio, played by Mel Rodriguez. Again, he’s only in one scene and that subplot is just kind of dropped.

So, in short, it does look like there were serious cuts made to Made for Love Season 1. But I guess I’m curious why, how much was cut and why there aren’t any mentions of it like…. anywhere? Normally we’d get at least a little add-on in an article about how the original episode count was cut down to eight.

But in this case, it actually seems like content was cut, rather than just not being filmed at all because otherwise there would surely not be so many inconsistencies.

Next. Made for Love: 5 burning questions for Season 2. dark