Synopsis by Hal Erickson
HBO's first Prime Time reality-documentary series, the 10-part Family Bonds concentrated on the Evangelista family of Long Island. Headed by tough but tender Tom Evangelista, the family was in charge of a thriving "bounty hunter" service, specializing in tracking down bail jumpers, defaulting debtors, errant spouses and other such scofflaws. Though the Evangelistas were capable of dispensing violence, often as not they preferred more humanitarian methods to hunt down their targets, and on a few occasions soft-hearted Tom would extend the necessary funds to get the fugitive off the hook with the law. In true TV-series fashion, each of the family members was cast in a "role", drawn from life. Tom Evangelista was "The Boss", Flo Evangelista was "The Wife", Chris Evangelista was "The Nephew", Dana Evangelista was "The Daughter" (actually, the Married Daughter--and by series' end, the New Mother), and Sal Evangelista was "The Kid." Seen as "The In-Laws" were Dawn Carfora, Jimmy Carfora and Kim Persinger, while trusted family friend Dan Boswith was billed as "No Relation" (though he was as close to the Evangelistas as any relative). Through it all, the family laughed, cried, quarreled, negotiated, celebrated and in general acted like most everybody in the audience--except with a lot more profanity and tattoos. Famed documentarian Steven Cantor was both producer and director of Family Bonds, which began its HBO run on September 19, 2004.
bounty-hunter, family-business, bail-bondsman, behind-the-scenes, tracking [following], criminal