Bonding

2019-04-30 14:24
 
Zoe Levin and Brendan Scannell in a scene from 'Bo

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

A New York City grad student moonlighting as a dominatrix enlists her gay BFF from high school to be her assistant.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

While I will get into all the nitty-gritty details, my initial review (and you cannot change my mind) is that this show is delightful.

It starts out with Pete, a young, gay, adorable ginger guy who goes to a dungeon to meet up with his estranged high school best friend, Tiff, who also goes by Mistress May. She’s a dominatrix, and she needs an assistant. She ropes (pardon the pun) Pete in immediately and they start servicing her clients, the first of which is a giant man in a leather mask that would scare the crap out of anyone.

Tiff is a grad student by day studying to become a psychiatrist, but she’s got a whole load of problems of her own that she hasn’t dealt with yet either, but that’s what being in your 20s is about isn’t it? Navigating through the terrible things that have happened to you so far and trying to find a way to deal with them. Some of us go to therapy; some of us need a little something extra. Something with a bit of whips and chains kind of action.

Pete is a waitron and wannabe stand up comedian, but he’s terrified out of his mind to get on stage. He also shares an apartment with a very strange man and his girlfriend and seems genuinely unhappy and unable to do almost anything in his life because of fear.

And this is why the BDSM theme is so fantastic. If you are into the scene or have experienced it, you know that there’s a certain power in being submissive to someone, but also strength in finding your dominance in the right situation. And this is what happens with these characters. Through their work (and it is work because sex work is still work), they find themselves in hilarious situations which force them to tap into their inner dom or submissive and discover who they are.

This short-form series is fantastic. The only problem is that there’s not enough of it. You can binge watch the entire season in under three hours. But that doesn’t hinder the show at all. It actually makes it even more fantastic. The episodes are max 16 minutes long, and that’s just the perfect bite-sized amount you need.

It’s like a tasty dessert - you want to have all of it, but it’s best in small bites and feels even more satisfying after you’ve enjoyed all of it, but don’t feel overwhelmed by it.

It also obviously brings great light to sex work and the BDSM scene which has mostly been marred by the Fifty Shades of Grey series and some other unfavourable portrayals even though BDSM can be a wonderful and freeing experience for both the dominant and submissive person.

There’s a beautiful scene in the second episode where one of the clients says he told his friends how funny Pete was and Pete replies with: "You tell people about this?" and the client looks confused and says: "Well, yeah, I’m not hurting anybody." Which is true and a lot of what many people don’t understand about the scene – it’s all consensual.

But even with the explicit language and gratuitous scenes (there’s no nudity, but you see certain situations like peeing on people and fingers being put up butts), the show is sweet in its way and is hilarious. It’s the funniest thing I have seen in a long time.

There has been some backlash from the BDSM community about the portrayal in the show, according to IndieWire, but overall it seems to be getting a pretty positive reaction elsewhere.

Watch it this weekend. Watch it tonight. Make your friends watch it. It’s funny and sex-positive and should definitely be on your watchlist.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:

WATCH IT NOW ON NETFLIX

Read more on:    brendan scannell  |  zoe levin  |  micah stock  |  bonding  |  tv review  |  tv

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