The Bond (2021) poster
8.5
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.5/10 from 1,194 users
# of Watchers: 5,399
Reviews: 27 users
Ranked #575
Popularity #2646
Watchers 1,194

Thirty years ago, Qiao Zu Wang and his wife welcomed their fifth child into the world. But what should have been a time of rejoicing soon turned into a period of overwhelming grief as Zu Wang’s wife slipped quietly from this world. Now left to raise his five children alone, Zu Wang’s true colors were revealed. Selfish and unfeeling, Zu Wang turned all of his focus inward, leaving his children to fend for themselves. Realizing his father would never be the man he ought to be, the eldest son, Yi Cheng, voluntarily stepped into the role of caretaker. Fully aware of the fact that they were now on their own, the younger Qiao siblings, Er Qiang, San Li, Si Mei, and Qi Qi, came alongside their big brother, willing to do whatever was necessary to keep their family together. Despite overwhelming odds, the Qiao siblings not only survived but thrived. Now, more than three decades later, the Qiao siblings are each living their own lives, doing their best to turn their personal dreams into reality. Even as they go their own way, the bonds they formed during childhood remain strong as they continue to support each other through the endless challenges of life. (Source: Viki) ~~ Adapted from the novel "Qiao Jia De Er Nue" (乔家的儿女) by Wei Xi (未夕). Edit Translation

  • English
  • 中文(简体)
  • Português (Brasil)
  • Português (Portugal)
  • Country: China
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 36
  • Aired: Aug 17, 2021 - Sep 8, 2021
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Tencent Video
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 8.5 (scored by 1,194 users)
  • Ranked: #575
  • Popularity: #2646
  • Content Rating: G - All Ages

Where to Watch The Bond

Viki
Free (sub)

Cast & Credits

Photos

The Bond (2021) photo
The Bond (2021) photo
The Bond (2021) photo
The Bond (2021) photo
The Bond (2021) photo
The Bond (2021) photo

Reviews

Completed
the_sapio_nerd
63 people found this review helpful
Nov 28, 2021
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

"Together we shared a bond not even death would violate."

This is a review from someone who's new into Cdramas, so my writings will solely be on the drama and nothing about any previous experience or comparison. It might divert a lil to a Kdrama taste bcs I am an avid fan but I shall try my best to stay on line.

"THE BOND (乔家的儿女)" is my 2nd Cdrama after "You Are My Glory", not that I got into Cdramas bcs of it, it was due to peer pressure, haha. So I decided to watch Cdramas once in 2 months since my plate is already full with plenty of pending Kdramas and movies. But I can't express my heartening feelings to announce that this drama has become one of the best things I have ever encountered; I must mention, it's now my most favourite 'slice of life' drama, next to Reply 1988.

Basically, "The Bond" is a story about 5 siblings and their growing relationship, not just of a particular span of time but over years; from their early childhood to their middle-aged selfs. There is no specific plot, rather portrayal of day-to-day happenings, thereby justifying the slice-of-life genre. What you prevalently get to experience throughout are: complex characters, individual growths, stupendous character developments and bewildering outgrowths in the relationships. What you get to witness along side? That's the simultaneous change happening to the rapidly developing China, it's effect on the society values, lifestyles, economy and culture; all these through the characters of the show. The timeline of the drama is 1977 to 2005 with multiple leaps.

I bet you've not seen such sibling relationship anywhere else, bcs it's never been made or represented like this. The portrayal of siblings' love & care and the urge to remain together as a family, even when you are constantly ageing, is very surreal in the drama. The extent of transparent reality and every check made to counterattack or even embrace it, felt so very actual, you might desire to acquire such a scenario in your grasp and paint your own life with it. Things happen in the ways, you least expect to and the consequences are also a combinations of various possibilities.

From my last line, I also want to mention how most of the characters here are extremely flawed and their transformation that felt out of sudden is another aspect of realism. Some of us might better ourselves gradually but some others also change in a short span of time. This drama provides you the scope to just experience the reality, instead of judging what's good & bad, or right & wrong, because this is how things and people are, in real. It's the situation that makes us decide our paths or choose our destiny but nevertheless, we are responsible for our own actions. It's obvious for us, as viewers, to get annoyed, frustrated, irritared and angry on some characters or sequences of events during the course of watching, but it's a proof how the drama have been able to accurately deliver the mood and the underlying messages.

The overal development throughout the 36 episode is very nice and each episode is full of substances that evokes all kinda emotions. My first impression from its 1st episode was not so great, I simply thought that the portrayals here might be emotional yet underwhelming. But to my surprise, I was hit with so many raw emotions elicited by almost all of the characters, I had no way to run away and I just held onto the drama very closely. I thought and expected the entire 36 episodes will be all about what the synopsis over here says but when the scenario changed outta nowhere, I was again in doubt but then I came to realize that this is a coming of age story.

Obviously, I had to fall for the most major character, Qiao Yi Cheng, the eldest brother. His character was the best I swear and I want to give emphasis on him in my review. You'll see almost no development in him but that's how he had been all along since childhood. His mother's sudden demise made him the person he didn't expect to become. The way he took care of his 3 younger siblings and managed the entire family for a long time, is totally commendable. Even after marriage and moving out, he was there to back his family as if his life depends on it. He had to raise kids from such a lil age that he couldn't cry or care for his own but his dedication really made me cry at times. Not normalising purely selfless care bcs he had to go through many obstacles too while dealing with things both within and outside of his family plus doing the best in his profession despite. He was the thread to which the entire family was connected and relied to hang onto in case of difficulties. Whenever something was up the other siblings as well as their father looked for him first and he never failed to be there with them. All these things accumulates so much emotions in your heart, you won't be able to help but cry at times. The only time I was angry with him was his decision to marry the girl........ Well.

2nd brother Er Qiang is my 2nd most favourite. Loved how he was always honest with himself and was courageous enough to fight the world for the ones he truly love and care for. He was slow-witted to take a gasp of the situation, yet clever enough to figure out what to do. First daughter, San Li was also the best female character in the drama who was well-behaved and always true to her decisions. 2nd daughter Simei, well hahahaha, she made me take paracetamol twice in row. Yes, I was that frustrated bcs of her behaviours. Not that she was bad but she didn't have the sense of right & wrong and always made choices that went wary for her ruining her life to extents. She was so stubborn that she barely learnt from her own mistakes. The youngest son, Qiqi was a fool but got a character development. I am a bit disappointed that he got very less screentime though he's one of the main characters. Qiao Zu Wang, the father of the family will be one of your least fav character for sure. He and his behaviours made me angry throughout nevertheless, he was a great source of light comedy in the drama.

Among the minor characters, Yiding (Sanli's husband) is my most favourite. They're the best couple in the show and their love for each other is truly heart touching. Qi Wei Min (Eldest cousin of Qiao's) is someone who cared for everyone a lot and secretly wished for everyone's well-being, in fact he favoured Simei and Qiqi the most. The aunt Wei Shu Fang was a good-hearted lady. Ma Su Qin (Erqiang's master) is one of the strongest characters. The Qiao's neighbor, Aunt Wu was one heck of a funny lady.

The final set of couples.... Well... I won't but as I have already mentioned, Sanli & Yiding shared the best relationship among all. What I can tell you is that this drama is not romance oriented even though there are a lot of couple. Of course there is love and growths in relationships but the romance is very subtle which is very apt. Things used to be like this back then in Asian countries and somehow still happens; I mean the period of dating is very less, they just meet and if there is mutual liking, they decide to marry each other in a short span of time. The divorce rates in old china was also high. You'll see these things clearly in this drama.

The dynamic of the characters and their shaping throughout the story has been very well drawn by the writer. The director seems to have a lot of experience that's been incorporated into the execution of the drama. The actors are very very good though I barely know them I loved. The seemingly simple characters might create an impression that the roles don't need much acting skills but my dear friend, even such simple characters with complex dynamics are not easy to play. Not just the final set of adult actors, but also the 2 different sets of child actors did a phenomenal job in playing their respective characters; the emotions they evoked through their expressions will legit make you cry. Also, the actor playing Qiao Zu wang, the father, is another character who did well in acting. His ways of talking throughout the drama via different stages of life, felt like a journey tho he's not a likable character.

What else I also loved is their realistic setups that actually showcased the life and lifestyle from mid to late 20th century that included exploding population, housing problems, poverty, healthcare as well education systems, technology, etc. Various relationships and the way they developed and their way of survival couldn't be more real. I was actually mad with how quick they were deciding to get married but that's how it happened back then and those were also the issues in married life back then.

I always think that being realistic and being real are 2 different thing and The Bond has proved that for me. It was not a drama with a steady plot accompanied by realistic screenplay, rather a drama which was very real that it almost feels like your own life, no matter your circumstances. They kept things simple and natural so that the audience could read and interprete the scenarios, even for the subtle and subverted expressions.

The OSTs are all my favourite. Even while writing this review I am listening to them TT. Ever since starting the drama, I turn the album on as soon as I wake up and they're often on loop. There are total 4 songs among which one has 2 versions with 2 different singers. I loved the way these OSTs are utilised at apt times as required to showcase various emotions.

# Life Should Always Be Bright (生活總該迎著光亮)" by Zhou Shen is soft heart touching song that explains the price of bonds between people and how it essentially helps us grow as persons.

# "Flash (燈筒: Deng Tong)" by Jin Zhiwen is one's urge to escape from all the sufferings. It's very soulful and melancholic.

# "Wild Bird (野鸟) composed by Wang Zihe is an energizing and motivating song and has 2 versions sung by 2 different singers: one by Wang Zihe herself and another by Jin Runji; in different ways actually.

# Space (留白) by Juno Su is like understanding the essence of life, love and living through a softcore melodious track and the vocals are just wowww.

Apart from the havoc caused by Simei what disappointed me is how they rushed the ending a bit. There's no plot or whatsoever they were trying to wrap up but since it's a slice of life drama, one or two more episodes wouldn't have harmed, rather made us happy. It felt like extra scenes were cut off from the last 2 episodes in order to make it a 36 episode drama but anyways It's just me who desperately wished for more. Notably, the last 6 episodes (31-36) becomes heavy and emotional from all terms and there are several peak moments in there which made me cry.

'The Bond' that was created since birth, strived to be stronger on their mother's demise, and was further nourished over years of love, care and affection upon the foundation established by the big brother and to finally find happiness at the end of the life. The Bond is indeed a story about the Qiao family that managed to survive the odds of their life, stayed as one and even thrived till the end, everything together.

Overally, this drama is for everyone and definitely a must watch slice of life. And I'm sure you'll remember this for a long lomg time. Again at the end, I just wanna express my utter happiness for deciding to watch the drama, that too at a perfect time and I am grateful to everyone who have made this possible. Thank you so much!

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Completed
autumn carrot
37 people found this review helpful
Sep 12, 2021
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0

Well I'm just glad to be watching a show in which REDACTED doesn't die by the end!

I really loved watching this show. In fact, I couldn't stop watching it! It's possibly (probably) one of the best shows of the year. With a raw storyline, amazingly complex characters, and competent production, this show is a good option for a mature and gut-wrenching experience.
Throughout the watching experience of this show, I noticed a lot of viewers were upset by characters not being easily categorized as good or bad, or judging characters too harshly, or just being upset that the romances were not cute. So just upfront, let me tell you. This is not your next Love is Sweet or Begin Again, or even Go Ahead (though that show is pretty close, content-wise). This show is raw. It's like an open wound. It goes for realism and it exposes the characters' faults on purpose. Actions have consequences in this show and everyone is a bit more complicated than meets the eye. I could write pages on character studies alone but this is a show review, so I'll stop!

You should watch this show if you like:
1. Mature stories. No black and white morality to be found here or cutesy characters whose bad decisions only lead to quirky shenanigans. Nope. You make a bad mistake here, you go DOWN!
2. Good acting
3. Later 20th-century history
4. Family dramas
5. Generational stories

Summary: The show follows the Qiao children as they struggle to survive in their father's home after their mother dies in childbirth. Yi Cheng, the eldest, makes a silent vow to never lose his dignity no matter what he faces in life. He struggles to raise his neglected siblings, keep them fed and in school while also following his own ambitions of raising himself out of his bad situation through education, all while maintaining his pride. As the story progresses and their lives get complicated by mistakes and tragedies, the siblings stay close together like the threads of a knitted sweater!

Plot: The plot is simple. It's life. It starts in 1977 and ends in 2005 and the show is committed to historical accuracy but other than that it shows the characters, their love life, their triumphs and failures with little judgment. You will hate some decisions and you'll love others. It's chaotic and illogical, the way that real life is. In real life, sometimes people make bad decisions and they commit to them longer than it makes sense to do so. It's the same in this show. I personally found everything in the story tolerable and nothing made me so angry as to make me want to stop watching. Everything flowed naturally. Nothing was dragged out and nothing was wrapped too fast. The pace was great and it helped to keep the viewer interested. Each episode is packed with one event after another to the point that missing one episode might lead to missing entire arcs!

Acting: Perfect. All across the board, everyone was amazing. Special shout out to Liu Jun who played their father. His character was a jerk but he played him so well that I was just so impressed by this veteran actor. Also, the young actors playing the Qiao kids in their childhood, especially the young actor for YiCheng, were amazing. Guo Zi Ming made me tear up more than any other character in the show. Kudos!

Music: I actually loved the music for this show. Especially the song called Wild Bird which I have been listening to on repeat since I watched the first episode. I can sing along now!

Production: It was near perfect. Gorgeous cinematography, meticulous location setting, attention to details, historically accurate objects but also experiences, symbolic lighting (happy homes colored with warm colors and unhappy ones with cold ones), (almost) perfect continuity. Most importantly, I think the production wasn't as expensive as it seemed and that it was just very well-budgeted.

Rewatch: I wouldn't say no. It was a very endearing watch and I particularly enjoyed certain parts that I would love to watch again.

Negatives: Characters make bad decisions a lot but I thought they made sense in context. While bad decisions, they still made sense for the characters. It's a bit hard to keep track of the passage of time. It's probably easier for Chinese people to figure them out because the show touches on important historical events but even so, there were certain points where time moved in loops (as it so often does in cdramas!) and it was a bit confusing but it didn't harm the show. It was just surprising to learn how much time had passed, once we did get a date. Some scenes were censored and there is some propaganda in the show. The censored parts do not redact from the quality but they do raise questions of "what if"s. The propaganda is light and harmless for the most part. One or two subplots lead nowhere in particular but given how packed the show is, it's fine. Qiqi gets WAY less screen time than everyone else. Not sure if it was a good thing or not because what we got from him was so sad and upsetting that I wish we hadn't had that either!

Overall: Highly recommended. I don't usually enjoy modern cdramas. This show stands out with its near-perfect everything.

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Recent Discussions

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Ships in The Bond by vivi_1485 21 0
Cassey
Oct 6, 2021

Details

  • Drama: The Bond
  • Country: China
  • Episodes: 36
  • Aired: Aug 17, 2021 - Sep 8, 2021
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Tencent Video
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Content Rating: G - All Ages

Statistics

  • Score: 8.5 (scored by 1,194 users)
  • Ranked: #575
  • Popularity: #2646
  • Watchers: 5,399

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