"Seed," the Canadian-produced unorthodox family comedy, premiered on Citytv on Feb. 4, but it's not too late to begin watching.
Starring Adam Korson ("Two Broke Girls"), "Seed" celebrates a new type of modern family: one that's formed at the, er, hands of a sperm donor -- and in this case, a sperm donor whose children attempt to include him in their existing familial set-ups. Sentimental? Absolutely. But unlike "The New Normal," viewers aren't hit over the head with a life lesson at the end of every episode. From the get-go, "Seed" treats its audience like adults; like they're in on the joke.
So far, fans have watched as Harry (Korson), a man-child bartender, is confronted by his biological son, Billy (William Ainscough), whose moms enlisted Harry's "services" ten years earlier. Shortly afterwards, Harry meets 15-year-old Anastasia (Abby Ross), whose parents also "used" Harry to start their family. In the meantime, Harry gets to know Rose (Carrie-Lynn Neales), who -- spoiler alert -- is now pregnant with (you guessed it) Harry's third child.
Sound complicated? Well, it kind of is, but not to the show's detriment.
But despite the ins and outs of a seemingly enormous cast of characters, you quickly warm up not only to the story lines (we're betting now that Harry and Rose end up raising the baby together), but to each person. Instead of introducing subplots that complicate the overarching "this sperm donor is part of our family now" narrative, the focus remains on Harry the evolution of his relationships.
You see Harry skip out on an anonymous sex date with Rose (which is why she turns to artificial insemination) to pick up Anastasia from a potentially dangerous party. You see him show up for Billy's show-and-tell presentation despite suffering from a concussion at the hands of Rose's bad driving. You see him becoming a better person.
But don't worry; the humour's still there, too. While you arguably have to see things like Harry's concussion symptoms erupt in the midst of Billy's presentation to truly appreciate it, things like the dynamic between Anastasia's parents (played by Matt Baram and Laura de Carteret) showcase quick-witted insults that force you to pay attention, while the kids play straight men to Harry's more physical brand of comedy.
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Yes, the series is in its early stages, and its foundations are still being set, but if the show is allowed to pan out, we'll likely see a Canadian "Modern Family" equivalent.
Which is why "Seeds" is so important -- it's a universal sitcom. In no way do characters play off being Canadian, and in no way do we see any Canadian stereotypes. Americans and Canadians have multi-faceted family models, Americans and Canadians know characters like Harry, and Americans and Canadians enjoy sharp writing. "Seed" isn't a "Canadian comedy," it's a comedy. And if that's recognized above where it's filmed and written, it should earn its rightful cross-border recognition.