“You made my heart cum,” Pete tells his best friend Tiff on a summery New York City night.
This exchange perfectly sets the tone for Bonding, a hysterical, touching, and kinky new series from creator-director Rightor Doyle about the trials and tribulations of a young gay man and his straight female best friend. For Bonding, Frameline has created its first ever Centerpiece Episodic, showcasing how television—and in particular, Doyle’s exceptional new project—has become a fresh and relevant addition to the festival conversation.
Pete (Brendan Scannell) is a shy, aspiring stand-up comedian—the only catch is that his nerves have never allowed him to perform in front of an audience. Struggling to pay the rent to his perpetually horny, anally obsessed heterosexual roommate, Pete agrees to work as a professional assistant to his best girl friend from high school, Tiff (Zoe Levin, Palo Alto). But he’s completely unaware that her line of work is disciplining men as a dominatrix at night while attending grad school during the day. Stepping way out of his comfort zone, Pete must face his own insecurities, realizing his performance anxiety extends well beyond the stage of his local comedy club; at the same time, his new working relationship with Tiff forces her to confront her own fears of opening up to others and letting go of control.
In seven episodes, Bonding comically explores the age-old relationship between gay boy and straight girl—with a BDSM twist—in what is sure to be one of the most talked about episodics of 2018. Be sure to look for winning supporting turns from Matt Wilkas (Gayby, Frameline36), D’Arcy Carden (Broad City), and Matthew Risch (Looking).
— JOE BOWMAN
- Premiere Status: North America