The Vessel – Gay Web Series – Review

the vessel

Christian Watts

Christian is a soon-to-be design student at Goldsmiths, London. Originally from (near) Liverpool, he can usually be found with a camera or sketchbook. Works at art galleries pretending he knows what he's talking about. Follow on twitter @cjfwatts

“We invite you to take a look through the eyes of The Vessel”

When I first found out that The Vessel  was shot in a semi Peep Show style, where the whole show is presented through a first person perspective, I was sceptical. I was half expecting an awkward combination of eye contact with the characters and unusual camera angles. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The Vessel handles this, in my opinion risky, camera style particularly well.

The Vessel is a 10 episode long miniseries focusing on a gay couple who decide to have a baby via surrogate. The series features the trials and tribulations that go along with this, both between the couple and the surrogate mother herself. With a limited cast, the show really focuses on the developing relationship between the three.

The show takes a different route than a lot of gay dramas that concentrate on the rollercoaster relationships that seem to happen with gay couples. This solid, yet bitchy and bickering couple is a nice change. Something  I found refreshing, oddly enough, was the lack of masculinity in the show. It’s camp, and at times just a bit silly, which is pretty nice when all you want is a chilled out show.

What impressed me the most about this show is how much it managed to cram into such a short space of time whilst still managing to make it accessible.  This was particularly evident in an episode in which we encounter Kim’s (the surrogate) parents. Without giving too much away, the parents present their opposing and different views surrounding the surrogacy. This keeps the show current. I’m not entirely up to date on the whole gay adoption front, however I can imagine the opposition people are facing. What I found particularly sweet was that they presented both views.  The more conservative mother argues with the more liberal father. This was refreshing to see, and posed the question of a more conservative older generation being a stereotype for the argument against gay adoption.

The show isn’t perfect, with the predictable tribulations that are expected featuring heavily. Exes, awkward parents and contact with people who just don’t really understand the process of gay adoption. However, it is a fresh glance at a quite underdone subject (if we ignore The New Normal for a moment). It takes a nice stance on the issue and even presents contrasting opinions, shockingly democratic.  Take a look at episode 1 below and The Vessel‘s website. Overall, it’s cute and fun and the ending did get me kind of emotional, but that might have just been me. I got emotional over The Ellen Show the other week for God’s sake.

Next week I will be reviewing The Outs, possibly one of my favourite shows that I’ve watched, which has received some of the best reviews that I’ve seen for a gay web series.