Pop culture’s obsession with gays having babies (i.e. The New Normal, Gayby) has finally moved across the pond to Britain. In the British webseries The Vessel, one gay couple asks their friend to be a surrogate for their child. Over 10 episodes, the series follows their attempts to get pregnant.
Due to the speed at which they filmed the series (6 days!), there are some unique aspects to the episode that differs from other webseries. Each episode is one uncut scene told from the “vessel’s” point-of-view. Also, each episode is mostly improvised, making the actors look skittish (or “quirky”). The gay couple (played by Giovanni Bienne and Philip Whiteman) comes off as especially frantic, but they manage to play off each other very well.
Because the camera is the surrogate’s eye, it actually makes it more difficult to sympathize with her character. Especially because the second episode works as a PSA for rules about surrogacy in England (you’d be surprised how much it differs from American policies). But in the third episode, she begins to show some hesitations regarding her decision and we get a little alone time with the character. These developments finally give us a sense of her character, and the episode is what actually sold me on the series.
With so many webseries floating around the Internet, it can be hard to decide which ones to watch (if you haven’t checked out Hunting Season you should definitely do so immediately). But The Vessel, despite its clinical-sounding title, is a topical series that is amusing and endearing.
New episodes are posted on Sunday evenings at 8pm.