Entangled in a web of lies, deceit and duty, Netflix’s ‘The Surrogacy’ follows the story of Yeni, a woman who decides to become a surrogate for an affluent Mexican business family in a feat to save her father’s life. Guided by filial duty and bound by contract, Yeni finds herself warped in murky waters when she gives birth to a baby with a physical disability. As Yeni tries to protect the child and ensure its safety, she soon finds out the danger that comes when she goes against people in power.
Created by Araceli Guajardo, the show features compelling performances by Leticia Calderón and Shani Lozano. Originally titled ‘Madre de Alquiler, ’ the drama encompasses the wretched realities of social inequality. With the piety of motherhood on the line, the Mexican soap opera series follows a number of twists and turns. So, if you also enjoyed the commentary on power structures and privilege, here is a list of similar shows. You can watch several of these shows, like ‘The Surrogacy’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
8. Mother (2018)
Like the motherly love that propels Yeni to save the child she’s given birth to, ‘Mother’ also follows a similar story. The show revolves around Hye-na, a young girl who pretends everything is alright and doesn’t tell anyone about her difficulties. She soon realizes she has nowhere to turn because of her abusive mother and distraught conditions. However, when a substitute teacher Soo-jin learns about Hye-na’s plight, she steps up to the task and decides to become the surrogate mother for the young girl. Much like ‘The Surrogacy,’ ‘The Mother’ also showcases that love and devotion for a child are not based on biological connection but simply love and affection.
7. Shameless (2011-2021)
Following the story of a dysfunctional family wrought with alcoholism, addiction, loss and sabotage, ‘Shameless’ revolves around Frank Gallagher, an addict who leaves his six children to fend for themselves. Taking the central role and raising her five younger siblings is the eldest daughter Fiona. The series encounters a number of bewildering themes as the family navigates a number of uncomfortable and troubled situations. Like Yeni, Fiona’s character also showcases a tenacious resolve. She raises her siblings in the face of poverty and hunger and holds the same determination as Yeni to protect her loved ones, making creators Paul Abbott and John Wells’ show equally appealing to watch next.
6. Better Things (2016-2022)
Created by Pamela Adlon, Louis C.K and starring Pamela Adlon, Mikey Madison, Hannah Riley, and Olivia Edward, this dramedy follows the gripping realities of motherhood and the struggles women face every day in their roles as sisters, mothers, daughters and friends. The show revolves around Sam Fox, a single mother who is also a working actor and meanders through a number of struggles as she raises her three daughters. Exploring the vicissitude of motherhood and divorce, ‘Better Things’ highlights the presence of happiness even in the midst of devastating realities. Much like Yeni’s resolve to provide the best for the child she gave birth to, ‘Better Things’ also follows the distinct poignancy of motherhood and love, making this the right show to watch next.
5. Marriage Contract (2016)
This drama follows the story of Hye-soo, a single mother and her daughter Eun-sung. Following the death of her husband, Hye-soo is soon hounded by the loan sharks who had given money to her late husband. As she tries to fend for her daughter by working to the bone, she soon realizes that despite her best efforts, she may not be able to spend enough time with her daughter. Just like Yeni, who decides to enter an economic contract in order to support her family, Hye-soo also does the same in a feat to protect her daughter. With Lee Seo-jin and Uee as titular leads, ‘Marriage Contract’ also dives into the abysmal and harsh realities of power and money, making this the right show to watch next.
4. Little Fires Everywhere (2020)
Yet another story that weighs in on the struggles of different socioeconomic backgrounds and the ferocity of motherhood, ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ follows the story of the Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter whose secrets upend their life. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Lexi Underwood, and Joshua Jackson, the Hulu series created by Liz Tigelaar also dives into the dangers of secrets, surrogacy and parenthood. With the viciousness of economic status and race, ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ also focuses on the divisive currency of socio-economic backgrounds.
3. Maid (2021)
Featuring the struggles and impediments of a young mother, ‘The Maid’ follows the story of Alex, a young woman who manages to escape her abusive husband. However, with little to rely on, the young mother works as a maid and tries her best to provide food and shelter for her daughter. The show is created by Molly Smith Metzler and stars Margaret Qualley, Nick Robinson, Rylea Nevaeh Whittet, and Andie MacDowell. Like Yeni, who refuses to yield to her circumstances, ‘Maid’ also features the story of a woman who does not relent to abuse, poverty and the uncomfortable realities of economic and emotional drain.
2. The Nest (2020)
With Sophie Rundle, Katie Leung, Martin Compston, and Christine Bottomley, ‘The Nest’ also explores the consequences of an economic transaction. Following a moral critique, this BBC series features a wealthy couple, Dan and Emily, who entrust an 18-year-old girl to become a surrogate and carry their baby. Similar to ‘The Surrogacy,’ ‘The Nest’ also involves a thriller that showcases the harrowing realities of money, power and status. So, if you enjoyed watching Yeni’s struggle against the power imbalance in ‘The Surrogacy,’ then you’ll find creator Nicole Taylor’s work equally fascinating.
1. The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-)
Based on Margaret Atwood’s magnum opus, ‘The Handmaid Tale’ is set in a dystopian society in the future. The show follows the story of June Osborne, a woman who struggles to live in the exploitative society of Gilead. Demarcating the extent to which fertility and female agency can placate, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is yet another powerful story that explores similar axioms.
Created by Bruce Miller, the show features Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Ann Dowd, O-T Fagbenle, Alexis Bledel and Sydney Sweeney. Just like ‘The Surrogacy,’ this sci-fi drama also explores the unimaginable side of female agency. So, if you enjoyed watching Yeni’s struggles to ensure the safety of the child in ‘The Surrogacy,’ then you’ll find ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ equally inquisitive for delving into the violent exploitation of surrogacy, fertility and the female body.
Read More: Where is Netflix’s The Surrogacy Filmed?