Ray Romano reciting the lyrics to Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” is a delightful idea, one that the team behind Made For Love knew would be appealing. The first teaser of HBO Max’s sci-fi dramedy featured Romano’s take on the song and instantly became an internet favorite. Why wouldn’t it? His soothing, husky voice was meant to narrate lines like “’Cause I know I don’t understand/Just how your love can do what no one else can.” In a video interview with The A.V. Club, Romano said that he hadn’t heard the song before, so he could put his own spin on it more easily. Naturally, fans were excited to see the scene in which his character, Herbert Green, makes use of the song, possibly to lovingly recite it to his synthetic partner Diane. But no such scene exists.
Romano performed his version of “Crazy In Love” just to use as a voiceover in the teaser trailer. It was an idea that originated from the marketing team to lean into the darkly absurd and cynically poignant story of love and divorce in Made For Love, according to Pia Chaozon Barlow, SVP Original Marketing, HBO Max. “When thoughtfully considering the best first beat in this marketing campaign, we wanted to lean into this absurdity and leave our potential audience with piqued interest but more questions than answers,” she told The A.V. Club.
“We needed a disruptive moment that felt different than the typical trailer. The idea for the ‘Rayonce’ teaser was born out of the desire to lean into the notoriety and popularity of a smash hit and recognizable song lyrics, which the Beyoncé song did beautifully, while also leveraging the iconic voice of Ray Romano. Ray’s willingness to record a spoken-word version of “Crazy in Love” provided an unexpected twist and allowed us to kick the door open on this marketing campaign in a surprising way,” Barlow adds.
The concept of recording scenes or putting together footage in the trailer to garner anticipation is certainly not a new one. Movie trailers do it all the time, like the one for 2017’s Spiderman: Homecoming, which had a shot of Peter Parker’s Spiderman and Tony Stark’s Iron Man gallivanting in their superhero avatar across New York City. That scene wasn’t in the film but it piqued enough interest to see the two heroes collaborate again after Avengers: Civil War.
TV shows don’t tend to use this tactic as often, but it’s still happened before. The season two trailer for The Walking Dead used old footage to show Shane Walsh running from a horde of zombies. We also saw Rick Grimes and Shane firing at them, with the former saying “to hell with the noise,” but it’s not in any episode. Some lines or scenes also work in the trailer as a standout moment but don’t make it to the final cut, like Jessica Jones smashing the camera after a fight sequence in a teaser for The Defenders, but the actual scene in the episode ends just before the teaser starts.
The Made For Love team smartly combined the universal fondness for Beyoncé and Ray Romano, and chose the perfect song to go with the show’s teaser. The eight-episode first season, which dropped its season finale on April 15, shows how Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti) tries to escape the clutches of her tech billionaire husband Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen) after he implants a tracking chip in her brain and returns to live with her estranged father, Romano’s Herbert. The series is based on Alissa Nutting’s book of the same name. We won’t get to see an extended cut of Romano’s spoken-word rendition of Beyoncé in the show, but, hey, we’ll always cherish the teaser.