By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sperm-donor sitcom mixes crass laughs, heartwarming moments.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show makes light of (and is crass in its dealings with) complicated legal and emotional issues associated with reproduction by artificial insemination, but it also tries hard to send some worthy messages about what defines and connects a family. All of the characters have to adjust their expectations because of their new circumstances, but they come to appreciate each other in surprising ways that inspire positive changes in each.
Positive Role Models
Despite his reservations about being a father figure, Harry willingly learns as he goes and winds up making some positive differences in each of the lives he touches. His process is unorthodox and irritates many of the more responsible adults, but ultimately it's a good influence on the kids. All of the other adults have some stereotypical qualities (a lesbian couple includes a tough-talking tomboy and a laid-back free spirit, for instance) that are played for laughs.
Violence & Scariness
Rarely there's some violent content in a scene, as when a woman hits a man with her car and he suffers a head wound that bleeds profusely.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Physical encounters are limited to kissing (both opposite-sex and same-sex), but the concept of sperm donation opens the door for lots of jokes and crassness about sex and reproduction. The show opens with an animated sequence showing sperm trying to force their way into an egg, Harry often refers to the donation process in terms of selling his "stuff," and Billy rejoices in the fact that he's not a "bastard" anymore. Innuendo is popular for laughs, as in comments like, "You blew me off, and not in the good way," and "My womb only accepts incoming." Teen sex is discussed in light terms; in one case, Anastasia says that she's considering sleeping with her boyfriend to keep his attention. Allusions to oral sex, and frequent mention of one-night stands.
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"Dammit" and "d--k" (as an insult). "F--k" is edited.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink beer and wine onscreen, especially in scenes that take place at the bar where Harry works. A teen party shows underage characters with mixed drinks in their hands.
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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.
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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?
- Premiere date: August 7, 2014
- Cast: Adam Korson, Abby Ross, William Ainscough
- Network: CW
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- TV rating: NR
- Last updated: October 14, 2022
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