When the premiere of Seed, a comedy about artificial insemination, begins, it opens on a plate of eggs. Those eggs are being eaten by a clueless bachelor who pays more attention to his game console than his girlfriend. As she is leaving (for good) she tells Harry to grow up and throws open his sliding door (because all clueless bachelors live in warehouse style lofts with sliding industrial doors) and finds a kid waiting on the other side.
“Hi!” he says enthusiastically.
The kid is cute. Adorable, really. But that doesn’t stop Harry from slamming the door in his face. “We’re not buying whatever it is you’re selling,” he says and then he closes the door to give his attention back to the girl.
But this kid is determined. He knocks on Harry’s door. “Dad?” he asks when Harry opens the door again.
Harry shuts him down again, closes the door and makes another effort to get the girl to stay. Calling her Brenda, instead of her actual name, Linda, doesn’t help his cause. When Harry isn’t able to convince Linda to stay, she opens the door to and the kid runs in.
“You’re Harry DaCosta, right?”
“Yeah. I mean, maybe.”
“It’s me! Billy! You’re my dad. You got my mom pregnant.”
“Cacun?” Harry asks, nervously.
“You gave my mom your frozen sperm?”
After Harry makes a bad joke about his sperm, the gears in his head start to turn and he begins to put all the pieces together. Billy rushes over and gives him a hug. “I’m glad I found you, Dad,” he says.
Harry takes Billy to Pour House where he works as a bartender. After all, it’s not as if he has a list of babysitters on speed dial. When they arrive his boss, Irene—a sassy, sexy brunette—threatens to terminate him if he is late again.
“Come on, you’re not really going to fire me,” Harry says.
“Of course not,” she responds, “That was a death threat.”
Irene asks about Billy and when she hears the story, she advises Harry to take him home. Harry tries to butter Billy up with a smoothie (aka “a rich man’s slurpee) but Billy won’t give up his phone number or address. Harry threatens to call the police, but Billy outsmarts Harry by informing him that if he did, he’ll tell the police that Harry kidnapped him.
“I like this kid,” Irene says.
Me too! Billy is precocious and stubborn, but also funny and sweet. You can already tell that he is going to be the heart and soul of the show.
Billy keeps calling Harry “Dad.” But Harry explains that he is not his father, he is merely the sperm donor, which is different. This is actually the smartest thing that Harry has said on this episode so far. Billy knows all about different, he has two moms, neither of which he is willing to call. So, Harry comes up with the bright idea to take Billy back to the cryobank so that the administrative assistant can tell him where Billy lives.
On the bus en route to the medical complex, Billy holds Harry’s hand while looking up at him adoringly. This draws the attention of Rose, a sweetly neurotic single woman who, although obviously attracted to Harry, has sworn off guys.
“You’re a chick magnet,” Harry tells Billy.
“Not to girls in the fourth grade,” Billy replies.
Harry gives Rose a pre-numbered napkin that she sticks gum into and stuffs in her pocket on her way to a cryobank.
Meanwhile, Harry finds Billy’s last name and address written on the back of his backpack and takes him home. And this is where the annoying stereotypes begin. Zoey, his free-spirited, feminine (note the lace shirt) mother embraces him while scolding him for running off and missing school.
Billy insists, “I don’t need school. I have Google.” Which actually, isn’t the worst argument I’ve ever heard.
Then, in an attempt to either stereotype lesbians as manly or bachelors in their 30s as ignorant jerks, Harry tells Zoey that he is surprised that she was a lesbian. “I was expecting someone more like—”
And cue the “butch” half of this femme/butch couple. Michelle runs into the room the room in a zip up hoodie and a backwards cap over her braided hair.
“—there ya go!” Harry says.
This is problematic for a couple of reasons, but in the interest of time, I’ll move on for now.
After a few more slightly insulting remarks from Harry about families with two moms, they all decide that it’s best to leave the child rearing to Michelle and Zoey. Billy doesn’t take that well, though. When Harry says goodbye to Billy, Billy tells Harry that he hates him and runs off in tears.
Later, at Pour House, Harry is surprisingly upset at Billy’s reaction. But before he can really think about what it means to find out that you have a kid out in the world, another one of his offspring shows up.
Anastasia, a rebellious 15-year-old (you can tell by the purple streaks in her blonde hair) sidles up to the bar and asks for a beer. When that doesn’t work, she blurts out the real reason she is there. “This is kinda crazy, but I think you’re my father.”
Turns out that Billy and Anastasia connected when she posted Harry’s donor number online and before Harry knows it, he is meeting another couple that used his sperm to conceive. Anastasia has just found out that her dad is not her biological father and she is pissed. Also, because her parents won’t let her spend the night at her boyfriend Brandon’s house party. Dr. Colborne, a child psychologist and Mr. Colborne a lawyer are also reluctant to let Harry into their lives and assure Harry that they can take things from here. Harry has no problem butting out, but not before he gives the Colborne’s some advice on how to parent their teenage daughter.
Meanwhile, Rose visits the sperm bank and she is shocked to discover that it will cost her $3,500.00 to be inseminated. She asks the nurse if there are any cheaper procedures and the nurse jokingly recommends getting drunk at a bar and picking up a stranger. Rose laughs at the thought, but later, reconsiders. She fishes out Harry’s phone number and invites him out for anonymous sex. Harry is down, of course. They make plans to meet at the Hilton. The room reservation will be under the name “Ms. Fallopian.”
That night, Harry looks up from wiping down the bar to find Zoey and Michelle walking in the door. He is immediately concerned for Billy, and then just as quickly dismisses those concerns. After all, he isn’t the “father type.” Zoe and Michelle inform him that Billy has gotten in a fight with Sam, the bully that Harry had encouraged him to stand up to (who also happens to turn out to be a girl) and now they would like for Harry to talk to Billy and help him through his newfound assertiveness.
“My hero is Gandhi,” Zoey reminds Harry. “So I’m following my spirit here and I’m putting my trust in you.
“And my hero is Chuck Norris,” Michelle adds. “So, you know, don’t get comfortable.” She puts on her best menacing butch face.
Harry agrees, but before they can work out the details he gets a call from Anastasia. She is at Brandon’s party and invites him to stop by. One of Anastasia’s classmates mentions that it is lipstick party right before accidentally knocking Anastasia’s phone into the toilet. Harry has no idea what a lipstick party is, so he asks Michelle and Zoey.
“I barely know what lipstick is,” Michelle claims. Because, just in case the baseball cap and aggression didn’t clue you in, she’s the butch one.
Harry has no choice but to Google it, and because he is so disturbed by what he finds, he asks Zoey and Michelle for a ride.
Cut to Michelle and Zoey, Dr. and Mr. Colborne, and Harry all in the car on their way to Brandon’s house. Mr. Colborne is feeling threatened by Harry’s presence and wishes out loud that he and his wife could handle this situation alone. However, Dr. Colborne points out that they have to respect Anastasia’s choice to reach out to Harry instead of the two people how have taken care of her “since she drew her first breath.” But, she’s not bitter.
As Harry rushes into the party to save the day, the two couples bond over their desire to keep Harry out of their lives. Nor do they want to be in each other’s lives. They are not family even if their children share some DNA. Mr. Colborne points out that Harry may come in handy if, heaven forbid, Anastasia needs a transplants.
“Yeah,” Michelle adds, “And if he doesn’t donate willingly, I can carve out the bits that our kids need.”
Harry finds Anastasia who is crying in a bedroom. She found Brandon kissing Robin Matheson and is heartbroken. Harry consoles her and escorts her down the stairs where they run into an apologetic Brandon. Harry calls Brandon’s actions vile and punches him. A boy, rushes to Brandon’s side.
“Are you okay, Brandie?” he asks.
“He punched me, Robin. I wouldn’t let him call our love disgusting.”
“Robin’s a boy?” Harry asks. “Ah! What is wrong with gender specific names?!?”
“Brandon’s gay” Anastasia explains. “He told me tonight.”
Harry takes Anastasia to the car where she hugs her Dad, happy to see him. Harry asks Michelle and Zoey if they would be willing to talk to a recently out-of the-closet homosexual boy who may have just been gay bashed.
A few minutes later, Harry rushes to the hotel room to meet Rose. She isn’t happy that he is two hours late or that he lied about going to Princeton and being a doctor. She thanks him for reaffirming why she wants nothing to do with men, and storms out of the room.
Rose returns to the medical complex to be inseminated. As the doctor is performing the procedure, Rose reviews the file of the donor she chose.
“Wait a second…” she murmurs. She puts down the file to reveal the picture of the donor to be a younger clean-shaven Harry.
All in all, the first episode of Seed was a bit funny, though I’m nervous about the way they seem to be characterizing queer female relationships. Am I being too sensitive?
Did anyone else catch the premiere of Seed on Monday night? What did you think?