Stop Sleeping on BDSM Comedy ‘Bonding’ and Get Turned On to This Netflix Gem

A comedy that is serious about sex but doesn't take sex seriously? Sounds like our wet dream!

First of all, in an era when showrunners practically salivate at the chance to make episodes of television the approximate length of a small indie comedy, you need to know that Netflix’s Bonding tops off at around 20 minutes an episode.

Bonding is also really, really fun.

Season 2 just premiered, but Season 1 is an easy binge if you need to catch up. The gist of the series is: estranged friends Tiff (Zoe Levin) and Pete (Brendan Scannell) tentatively reunite as she invites him into her world, where she is an in-demand dominatrix. Things do not go well for these two as they embark on a career of BDSM together, and Season 1 ended with them fleeing from a deranged, bleeding man as police sirens wail in the distance.

And while Bonding is a comedy, Rightor Doyle (who based much of the series on his own life) is also having a lot of fun being matter-of-fact about sexual kinks and the world of BDSM. None of the doms here are ever treated as one-dimensional characters, nor as punchlines. (Doyle and the series were criticized for a glibness of tone by many in the community when Season 1 premiered, and he and writers Olivia Troy and Nana Mensah folded a lot of those concerns into Season 2.) There’s a natter-of-factness to the series’ depiction that is refreshing, but everything takes a back seat to the runaway chemistry between Levin and Scannell. She’s all puffed up bravado and quirked eyebrow; he’s tense and chatty and a rolled eye. Together they’re dynamite, and individually they get to explore storylines not often seen in series about gay men and single, 20something women.

A smart series that takes sex seriously but isn’t serious about sex? If you’re reading The Gay Goods, Bonding should be right up your alley.

About Mark Durane More Articles
When he was a little boy, Mark's mother set the house on fire. (She was like that.) He'll never forget the look on his father's face as he gathered him up in his arms and raced through the burning building onto the pavement below. And he stood there, shivering in his pajamas, and watched the whole world go up in flames. And when it was all over, he said to himself, "Is that all there is to a fire?"
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