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‘Bonding’ TV review

4 mins read

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Chain yourself to your chair because Bonding is back and better than ever.

This season brings eight episodes, each around 20 minutes long, but it’s not all laughs and latex.

I thought season one was a binge-easy watch with the element of the unexpected and exciting that viewers love.

However, director and creator, Rightor Doyle offers a different perspective on the BDSM community this time around, delving into the deeper themes of gender, relationships, and consent.

The story returns ten months after where season one left off and the situation appears no less than hopeless, but when the two protagonists take on ‘Dom 101’, the viewer is introduced into the behind the scenes of BDSM.

While season one saw Tiff (Zoe Levin) and Pete (Brendan Scannell) become Mistress May and Master Carter, this season looks more closely at their immediate identities as a woman and a homosexual.

It’s surprising to find that romance isn’t easy for the dominating duo. Pete is facing old fears of acceptance and abandonment, while Tiff is in new territory, trying to forgive her past and begin her future. And she deals with it all while looking fierce in black.

There’s still the same promiscuous humour of season one but we also see the characters in the daylight, outside of the dungeon. The quirks that made them fresh and intoxicating in the first season turn into storylines that make them relatable, hateable, and loveable.

I think the actors need to be applauded for their vulnerability in a show that is pushing the boundaries of ‘normal’. There were emotional scenes I didn’t expect and not just centred around the protagonists.

The side plots developed the supporting characters on a personal level and viewers gain insight into the family dramas and feelings of guilt and shame that many carry around, but keep tucked away.

However, on a representation level the show can be really hit-or-miss. Much of the show has been taken from Rightor Doyle’s own experiences but it has faced some criticism from viewers.

In season one viewers have spotted inaccuracies in the way the BDSM community has been portrayed, from some of the fashion choices for protagonist, Tiff, to complaints around the subject of consent.

Two years in the making and season two seemingly transformed from dark comedy to comedy drama.

The danger in this, in my opinion, is that season two of Bonding tries too hard to be woke. In ensuring the narrative is moral, it risks losing the shock factor that made it stand out in the first place.

It’s difficult to find the funny when an ethical agenda is being so deliberately pushed in your face.

Overall, season two is definitely different from season one, but it’s still worth a watch. And here you are, having raced through the eight episodes.

Hated it? It’s fine, you only wasted just under three hours of lockdown.

Loved it and craving more? Let’s hope there’s a season three.

Featured image credit: todayinbermuda.com

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