Sperm donation. On the surface it sounds like a real no-brainer. After all, some guys jerk off several times a day, so why not make a quick buck while getting off? Throw in the added bonus of giving wannabe parents a shot at familial bliss, and you’re looking at maximum gain for minimal (depending on your technique) effort.
But what happens when your splooge-in-a-cup comes back to bite you in the ass? That’s the unsettling premise behind Seed, now entering its second season on City TV. The show revolves around hapless bartender Harry (played by Canadian actor Adam Korson), whose freewheeling bachelor life has just taken a hit with the arrival of two kids claiming to be his progeny. There’s oddball nine-year-old Billy, whose lesbian moms purchased some of Harry’s spunk nine years ago to make their family a reality, and teenaged drama queen Anastasia, whose posh parents are mortified at their daughter’s involvement in her donor-father’s life.
Life is further complicated by the arrival of Rose, a single gal whose budding pregnancy (also courtesy of Harry’s donated seed) is fraught with nerves over whether or not she has what it takes to be a mom. The influx of all these newcomers into Harry’s life is overwhelming, but the habitual loner finds himself warming up to this unlikely but endearing extended family.
“I think it was something lacking in his world,” Korson says. “Here’s a guy who, on the surface, looks like this bachelor womanizer having a good time, but subconsciously he wants to belong to a family.”
Korson is perfectly cast as Harry, scruffily good-looking with the ability to play cocky without coming across as an asshole. His chemistry with the rest of the cast, particularly the kids playing his offspring, feels genuine in its balance between intimate and awkward. The Toronto-born actor retreats into typical Canadian modesty, though, crediting series writer Joseph Raso’s sharp and funny scripts for Seed’s surprising success.
“I was laughing out loud when I first read the script,” Korson says. “It was intelligent and witty and had such heart. There are so many levels to his writing.”
Seed is filmed in Halifax, and the irony of working here at home after having to head stateside to land a job is not lost on Korson. He’d relocated to Los Angeles in 2009 as it became clear that Canadian film production wasn’t recovering from the exodus brought on by the SARS epidemic a few years prior. The transition was a rough one.
“I was living in my car for a certain amount of time,” he says. “But in a strange way, it felt like home to me. And the blue skies every day really make you forget about winter.”
Korson kept up his chops, whether he was auditioning for parts or not. “Some actors start working after they get the audition, but you have to wake up every day and write something or read something or pick up a script.
“We have this idea that we’re artists and we develop our craft, and once we have our craft, the job is going to come. Well, that’s not the case. That’s why they call it show business. It’s a business, and you have to learn how to run your own business.”
Like any other business, it can be brutal. With so many TV shows dying at the pilot stage, or halfway through a season, it’s a testimony to Seed’s cast and writing that it’s been picked up for a second season. It’s also landed a slot on The CW, an American network that broadcasts shows like Vampire Diaries and Arrow. This almost feels more impressive, given the same-sex element of Seed’s storylines.
“I love that we have a lesbian couple,” Korson says. “It’s so cool that we can show there are different types of family out there. My uncle and his partner have a son, and it’s all just normal. I think that’s great.”