HBO Max’s new dark comedy series “Made for Love,” which hit the streamer April 1, is a futuristic take on the perils of technology. But the production company looked to the past when it came to the show’s locations, choosing to set the vast majority of the story at a midcentury modern home originally built in 1957.
Located at 3337 Oakdell Rd. in Studio City’s secluded Fryman Canyon neighborhood, the streamlined property serves as the home base for the two characters at the center of the series, billionaire biotech mogul Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen), founder of the homonymously-named Gogol Tech, and his aimless, long-suffering wife, Hazel (Cristin Milioti).
In actuality, the couple’s residence is not a house at all, but a virtual space situated inside of The Hub, Gogol Tech’s “futuristic” campus, a “mythic building shrouded in secrecy” which Byron and Hazel have not set foot outside of in a decade. I’ll let Byron himself explain. The Hub is “a superstructure made up of virtual reality cubes, all in different sizes, each with its own individual virtual biosphere.” One of those cubes, the Home Cube, contains the Gogols’ midcentury pad. Though undeniably idyllic with lush grounds, immaculate interiors and a large pool where the couple’s pet dolphin, Zelda, lives, not all is what it seems inside the seeming perfection of The Hub.
Hazel is, in essence, a prisoner amongst the home’s floor-to-ceiling glass walls, made to adhere to a strict daily schedule of naps, meals and even intimacy. After Byron inserts a chip into her brain, allowing him to live inside her head and read her every thought, she escapes from the compound and attempts to circumvent discovery despite her husband knowing her every move.
Filming of “Made for Love” got underway in October 2019, several months before Covid-19 hit. In an odd case of life imitating art, the production was put on hold mid-shoot as lockdown measures were put in place and people the world over became trapped within their homes. The pandemic wound up informing many of the production team’s choices when filming resumed in October 2020. As series creator Alissa Nutting, who also wrote the 2017 novel on which “Made for Love” is based, told Variety, “Byron’s whole thing is that a simulation can be just as good, or that if you have a simulated experience, you have no need for the real thing. And that came to mean something different, I think, for all of us, post-lockdown.”
The residence at the center of the story serves as the perfect dichotomy of Hazel’s dream home/prison.