Family Bonds (DVD)
Family Bonds gives viewers a window into the dangerous and unexplored world of bounty hunting- through the eyes of the most outrageous, fun-loving and wild (yet somehow functional) real-life family on TV. Each half-hour episode follows members of the NYC/Long Island-based Evangelista clan - boss Tom, wife Flo, daughter Dana, nephew Chris, sons Sal and Frankie, Flo's sisters Dawn and Kim, and Dawn's husband Jimmy - as they balance the unusual, on-call demands of their business, All City Bail Bonds, with a more-or-less usual suburban family lifestyle, complete with motorcycles, tattoos, beauty-parlor visits, birthday parties, family quarrels, sex and romance. Family Bonds depicts the day-to-day drama, humor and craziness of life as an Evangelista, following the family as they confront the dangers of bounty hunting and the challenges of everyday life.
Family Bonds is an endearingly raw peek into the lives of the Evangelistas, a large Long Island family who happen to work together as bail bondsmen. The 10 episodes compiled here follow family patriarch Tom Evangelista, his wife Flo, and their children, friends, and co-workers as they track down unsavory characters in New York City while dealing with a host of issues at home, from their youngest son's attempt to master riding a bike to the birth of their first grandchild. And it's the balance between these two worlds, which invariably overlap in intriguing ways (Flo is called in to handle a female fugitive; Tom must deal with his eldest son Sal's desire for a gun when he joins the business) that makes Family Bonds such a watchable program--the Evangelistas, for all their rough edges, manage to remain a caring and even sweet family in the face of their unpleasant line of work. Their commitment to one another offers a refreshing alternative to the more cartoonish approach to bail bondsmen offered by the series Dog the Bounty Hunter. The DVD includes commentary by director Steve Cantor, producer Matthew Galkin, and editor Pax Wasserman, as well as a "sit down" with the Evangelistas at a family barbecue. --Paul Gaita