The Netflix Original, Bonding Season 2 has dropped and everyone should be watching it! Bonding tells the story of a successful dominatrix, Tiff who recruits her High School, gay, BFF Pete (whom she hasn’t spoke to in years) to be her Bodyguard/Assistant. Tiff, aka Mistress May, introduces Pete to the world of BDSM and changes his world forever. This series is fun, laugh-out-loud funny, and I was shocked by how delightful it turned out to be.
The Different Approach Works In Season Two
Bonding Season 1 ends with a pretty huge cliffhanger: Tiff (Zoe Levin) and Pete (Brendan Scannell) are running from a known Dom attackers home after stabbing him in self-defense. The End. WHAT?!? However, Season 2 doesn’t miss a beat. Picking up, roughly, where we left off we meet Mistress Mira who fills us in on what went down since we last saw our favorite duo. The biggest thing being Tiff and Pete being banned from every Dungeon in NYC after the tickling duo and the stabbing. However, Mistress Mira (Nana Mensah) allows them into hers on the condition that they start from the beginning and relearn the basics.
What’s great about this, to me, is that in Season 1 the bondage side of the show was very light and as I’ve learned dangerous. However, it seems they made this choice for the beginning of the series in my opinion, more palatable to those who are turned off by the subject matter making it digestible to those who know nothing about BDSM but find it interesting. Season 1 really focused on the two leads and their personal stories with a dash BDSM thrown in here and there.
There has been quite a bit of backlash from the BDSM community about season 1 and its inaccurate and dangerous portrayal of the Dom/Dommes community. I even had a friend reach out to me about our video review for Season 2. When so much of the world looks at Sex Work with a huge stigma (like it’s as a dirty secret) canceling/blocking social media accounts, forcing people into Only Fans, there is a demand and desire for real stories about kink, sex worker, and queer communities that don’t sensationalize their lives.
DOES BONDING SEASON 2 ANSWER THE CRITICISM?
“Honestly a lot of what they’re saying is not wrong,” Doyle tells Variety of that criticism.Rightor Doyle – Variety Interview
It seems Netflix, and writer/director Rightor Doyle (who worked as a Dom Assistant and whose life the series is based on) takes the critique seriously.
“What I was looking to do was to say that there is real study and practice that goes into this job,” he continues.” We can have a flip nature to a lot of the show — we can make jokes about a lot of the characters — but ultimately I wanted to talk about the seriousness of what it is to have a community of people who take their craft very seriously.”
For season 2, in order to bring you a more accurate portrayal of the world, Doyle brought in Olivia Troy, a BDSM professional, writer, producer, intimacy coordinator, and the founder of Reps On Set, a production consultancy dedicated to the responsible representation of underrepresented stories. And since Tiff and Pete have to prove themselves, and follow the basics, as a viewer you’re learning right along with them. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of personal drama, secrets, and emotional revelations throughout the series that still draws you in and invested in Tiff and Pete to succeed the whole way through.
Do these changes magically change the stigma on sex work? No. But hopefully, they’re a positive step in the right direction.
So, what do you think of Bonding?