July 15, 2014

THE SKED Series Premiere Review: “Seed”


SEED:  Monday 9:30PM on CW – If Nothing Else Is On…

Remember last year’s Vince Vaughn (purported) comedy Delivery Man?  CW’s summer sitcom SEED isn’t a rip-off of the movie, exactly, since it premiered in Canada before the Vaughn movie opened (although whether it’s a rip-off of Starbuck, the 2011 Canadian movie that preceded Delivery Man, is another question), but it basically tells the same story.  Seed, though, is considerably breezier and less lugubrious than Delivery Man ended up becoming by its final reel.

The set-up is virtually the same, albeit on a smaller scale.  Harry Dacosta (Adam Korson) is a scruffy ne’er do well bartender and moderately successful ladies’ man who is sought out by a pair of teens from different families after they learn that he donated the sperm that fathered them.  (Who knows what happens in future episodes–Seed has aired for 2 seasons in Canada–but for now, Harry doesn’t seem to have fathered the multitudes of children featured in the two movies.)  His newly acquired children come with colorful parents of their own, lesbians Michelle (Amanda Brugel) and Zoey (Stephanie Anne Mills) for Billy (Williams Ainscough), and child therapist Janet (Laura de Carteret) and tightly-wound lawyer Jonathan (Matt Baram) for Anastasia (Abby Ross), but against his and their better judgment, Harry finds himself getting involved with their lives.  For good measure, in the course of the initial episode, written by series creator Joseph Raso and directed by James Genn, Harry meets Rose (Carrie-Lynn Neales), who after briefly considering having sex with him (she thinks he’s a doctor who went to Princeton) winds up through various contrivances being impregnated by his still-in-circulation sperm.  Harry isn’t romantically involved with any of the above women, so he also has Irene (Vanessa Matsui) as his boss at the bar, who speaks to him in the incessant language of insults that–at least in American sitcoms–is an indication of true, if often delayed, love.

There’s nothing terribly original about Seed, but it moves at a good pace, and the characters are likable.  (Baram gets a lot of comic mileage out of constantly looking as though he’s either going to cry or punch someone, if not both.)  Unlike Delivery Man, it’s not heavy-handed about the message of Harry becoming a better human being through his contact with his children, and although everyone in the show is something of an idiot, there aren’t any villains.  Of course, whether every episode will require some formulaic gimmick to get Harry involved once again with his newly extended family remains to be seen.

Aside from the occasional reality series, CW has been entirely in the drama business since it began, but it’s had remarkable success (by its standards) with the half-hour, comic-oriented game show Whose Line Is It Anyway, and the network is using the summer to try interspersing episodes of that series with low-risk comedies:  the web transfer Backpackers and this Canadian item.  Seed is by far the better of the two, and it’ll be interesting to see if there’s an audience at the network for a weekly dose of humor.  Seed probably wouldn’t get much attention in the regular season, when the broadcast networks are throwing new, high-profile sitcoms at viewers on a nightly basis, but compared to the comedy available at this time of year, it doesn’t look half-bad.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."