A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Seed cultivates laughs by making light of what happens when sperm donors are confronted by kids they didn't know they had. Many jokes are made at the expense of the insemination process (a guy talks about handing over his "stuff," a boy talks about not being a "bastard" anymore, etc.) and other sexual topics, including allusions to oral favors and teen sexuality. Character stereotypes are prominent in this show, from an underachieving bachelor to lesbian and wealthy professional couples, both of whom conceived through artificial insemination. Viewers will also hear some strong language, from "dammit" and "d--k" to "f--k," which is edited. On the other hand, the show does make a strong effort to send some positive messages about nontraditional family ties in particular, and an unlikely role model shows some real promise when he steps up to the plate for kids he never intended to have.
What's the story?
Harry (Adam Korson) is a carefree bachelor with few life goals and no concern for meaningful relationships, but that all changes when he's confronted by 9-year-old Billy (William Ainscough), who claims to be Harry's biological son. Suddenly Harry's long-forgotten foray as a sperm donor gets a little more complicated, particularly when a teen named Anastasia (Abby Ross) pops in to make the same genetic claim. Much to the chagrin of Billy's two moms and Anastasia's straight-laced parents -- not to mention Harry himself -- he's drawn into the lives of two kids he never knew he had. And when his casual acquaintance Rose (Carrie-Lynn Neales) breaks the news that she's pregnant by that same donation as well, life as this single guy knew it ceases to exist.
Is it any good?
SEED attaches a punch line to many of the legal and emotional issues surrounding artificial insemination and nontraditional family life. Harry faces some life-changing questions when his unknown offspring suddenly burst into his life, and consequently he has to make decisions that alter his own course. He wrestles with responsibility and his new status as a role model, as the kids' established parents struggle to accept Harry's new position in their lives. Predictably it's all very light-hearted and meant to entertain, but it also touches on some topics that can be relevant to teens, especially when it comes to the greater picture of facing the unintended consequences of sexual activity.
As for teens' readiness for Seed's content, this is a textbook case in knowing yours. The show's nonchalance about sexuality and conception could send the wrong messages to some teens, and Harry's no angel, despite the strides he makes in being more responsible as the show evolves. Ultimately it will make you laugh, even if it does so at the expense of sensitive and serious issues.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how society views sex. Do shows like Seed glorify sexuality in any way? Do you think there's a connection between how it's portrayed in the media and teens' views on the topic?
Teens: Is all scientific advancement a positive change? How do some changes force us to adapt in moral and/or legal matters?
Why are role models important? Who in your teens' lives are positive models for them? What factors make them so?
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