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Family Bonds


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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

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Amazon.com: 12 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not as bad as you'd think May 12 2006
By K. O. Gibson - Published on Amazon.com
'Family Bonds' and 'Dog: The Bounty Hunter' were both similar-themed shows vying for viewer attention at the time, which may explain why a lot of people are more familiar with the basic cable 'Dog' vs. HBO's 'Family Bonds'. This is a DVD I've had for months and had little interest in but I have since watched all 10 episodes just this week. I was glad to be surprised.

The episodes center around the Evangelista family, with the apprehending of bail jumpers taking up a minimal amount of actual screen-time. Instead you see the interaction of the Evangelista family: blowhard (softie) patriarch Tom, his stylized but voluptuous, down-to-earth wife Flo and their children. Nephew Chris, a Jersey bear of a guy, lives on their couch in light of his divorce while Flo's two sisters work in the bail bond offices. Of the two sisters, Dawn is the one who stands out with her frosted hair and Jersey tawk, along with a husband who is not doing such a hot job running their branch of the business.

Episodes generally cross-cut between the pursuit of bail cases in the company van, Tom and family at the office and various family circumstances outside of work. While this doesn't sound riveting (and it isn't) its watchability is raised by the non-intrusive, documentary style of HBOs reality programming/specials where the cameras capture nuance and real-life communication that is refreshing and easy to relate to. Watch this after your primetime line-up and admire the family's unvarnished honesty and real-life comedy. The Evangelista kids aren't sitcom brats and are admirably mature, compared to socialites with their own shows who can't even spell. This isn't classic TV but it is an interesting 300 minutes with a family you don't see often on television and is definitely worth a rent--- unless you're a true fan and want the set for keeps. I wish this family well, big-mouths and all.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I love these people!!! Dec 5 2005
By lbrlartist - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I cannot wait to get this dvd set. Like everything else HBO produces, it is thought-provoking, insightful and entertaining.

In the case of the Evangelistas, my friends and I adore these people. First and formost, they are a family who love each other. I wish I was their neighbor!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely LOVE it!!! Dec 29 2005
By HMUG - Published on Amazon.com
I cannot get enough of the Evangelista family!!!! They certainly put the fun in dysfunctional. I now own the DVD, which I plan to watch many times over.

HBO once again has veered off the paved path of typical TV with Family Bonds. I'm a HUGE fan of HBO original programming, and this show ranks right up there with all of the greats - Sopranos, S&TC, Oz, America Undercover, etc. I watched Family Bonds when it originally aired, and after the season ended I was ***dying*** for more. I hope HBO will somehow revisit the Evangelista's in the near future.

(I found the 1st episode to be the less entertaining, but most likely due to the introduction of the family and business. The episodes that follow are priceless!)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Give it a Chance Nov. 30 2006
By K. McMurtry - Published on Amazon.com
I myself enjoy the show very much - my husband is a police officer so we realize that a large portion of the show is glamorized, much the same as any other reality show - but come on. If you're going to completely shaft the readers of these reviews with terms like "stuipdness" and "complane", do you honestly think you are qualified to dump on the members in the show? They're real people with feelings - not actors. To everyone else, if you're looking for some authentic, passionate people who joke and laugh and live just like everyone else, take a look at Family Bonds. It's addicting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It's Like TNT-Dynamite! March 30 2007
By Sandos - Published on Amazon.com
I LOVE THIS SHOW AND WISH THEY WOULD COME BACK FOR ANOTHER SEASON! I WONDER WHAT THEY ARE UP TO NOW. DID CHRIS EVER FIND TRUE LOVE? HOW IS DANA'S BABY DOING? IS SAL STILL WITH THE FAMILY BUSINESS? HOW IS FRANKIE THE KID DOING? HBO, PLEASE BRING BACK THE EVANGELISTA FAMILY!


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