Netflix series Bonding is a comedy-drama mini-series that is well worth your time, offering two engaging but lost characters.
When you see a Netflix series titled Bonding nailed in your ‘new releases’ thumbnails, you will most likely associate the name with a close-knit, family-feel drama, probably set in the suburbs somewhere. But delightfully, Bonding Season 1 one is about two best friends from high school, meeting years later in New York. Peter (Brendan Scannell) is a failed stand-up comedian that has never made it to the stage, and Tiff (Zoe Levin) is moonlighting as a Dominatrix.
The Netflix comedy-drama envisions a scenario where Tiff hires Peter as an assistant, who bamboozles his way through scenes, singing happy birthday to himself so he can finally pee on one of her clients. Bonding is a comedy laced with relatable themes that I found surprisingly engaging.
The point of Bonding is clear; it’s not meant to be taken seriously, but both characters mean something more than just the confines of the plot devices, which usually involve whips, chains and the plastic, shiny leather you’d expect to see in a Rihanna music video. Both characters are adjusting to the adult world, both restricted by their introverted, socially anxious ways.
Tiff sees the emotional limits of men due to masculinity, is a cynic in her psychology classes, and wishes she did not have to lead a double life. Of course, you’d expect the money to be good with the services she is offering.
Peter has severe social issues, stage fright, and is scared of experiencing a gay relationship. His objection to becoming Tiff’s assistant is clear, and the agitation you can feel from him translates on screen.
Both make likeable, watchable characters, as Bonding creates a small world that they want to discover, in a mini seven-episode season, at 15 minutes per chapter. I was honestly surprised at the number of times the series made me smirk at an extreme-looking scenario or a surprisingly serious moment from one of the characters. Of course, there are several scenes here that involve being tied up with safe words, but for the most part, there’s a story that sits outside of sex.
Moving forward, Bonding has strong characters and a well-written story to justify a second mini-series; it took me a few hours to watch Season 1, and it was well worth my time. With April 2019 ending with little to shout about on Netflix, and Game of Thrones and Avengers arriving on our screens, Bonding will give you a brief respite from all the mainstream excitement.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.