Nicole Trager -
Stephen Trager -
Lori Trager -
Josh Trager -
Amanda Bloom -
Tom Foss -
OTHER KYLE XY SEASONS
OTHER ENHANCED PEOPLE SHOWS
Now and Again
OTHER TROUBLED TEENS SHOWS
Kyle is a young boy who wakes up in the forest with no memory but a whole load of amazing abilities. He needs to find out not only who he is, but why he was in the forest with a dead body and how to relate to other young people. In the process, he will have a major impact on the family that has taken him in.
KYLE XY is a series aimed directly at an adolescent audience. It is about all the problems of young people growing up. It is about first love, questions of identity, sex, questions of honesty, responsibility and consequences. It is about the process of becoming an adult. It is completely tailored for its core audience to be able to identify with the characters. If you want a loyal audience, make the show about them. It worked for Buffy The Vampire Slayer after all.
KYLE XY is not Buffy, but it is entertaining enough, has enough mystery surrounding its central character and has enough of a likeable cast to get by on. There is a sugary element to it that is never far away, it is hard to believe that everyone can be this nice and the voiceover from Kyle is annoying in the extreme. Even an adolescent audience doesn't need to have every emotion explained to them.
At only ten episodes long, this series doesn't outstay its welcome, but it will need to work harder in any future seasons.Top
A young an awakes in the forest with no memory - of anything. He is able, nonetheless, to catch a striking rattlesnake and to find his way into the city where he is pretty soon arrested due to his total lack of clothes. He is taken into the care of a social psychologist and her normal (which is to say fractious) family. Whilst he tries to grasp the realities of life in an american suburb, he also shows remarkable abilities and gains the trust of the family members who decide to let him stay, at least a little longer.
OK, KYLE XY is nothing new, just a lot of old ideas repackaged for a new teenage audience. The whole learning about being human has been done many times before and better (personal favourite being the John Carpenter film STARMAN), but it is slick and entertaining and there is enough mystery built into the plot to make us curious. Who is Kyle? What is Kyle? What has he to do with the amnesiac girl washed up on the beach on the news report? Who is the man in the red pickup truck that's been shadowing him?
The show is also a little bit schmaltzy, but considering the amount of sugar that could be ladled onto such a story it is more reserved than we might have expected. The cast and characters are all personable enough to spend and hour with. The show is also fairly unbelievable in the amount that Kyle manages to fit into his first couple of days. That he could get by at a party for more than thirty seconds without getting beaten up is really not likely.
There is promise in KYLE XY, but it remains to be seen whether it will develop enough to realise it and the voiceover is really annoying.Top
Sleepless In Seattle
Kyle doesn't sleep, but the rest of the family need their sleep so they spend the entire episode trying to get Kyle to go to sleep. That's it - honestly there's no more.
The second episode of KYLE XY has a bit less happening in it (which is a lot more believable) and concentrates on the one story - that of Kyle's lack of need for sleep. There's a certain amount of humour and the charm is still working for the show, but it's going to need more than that to keep any sort of interest going for anyone above the mid-teens age bracket.Top
The Lies That Bind
When Kyle does Josh's test for him and Lori forgets to look after him, Kyle is placed in the position of having to lie, something that he can't bear. He can also fix complex electronics, jump down from a roof with no problem and may have something to do with a dead body found in the woods near to where Kyle came from.
The truth is a tricky concept, but Kyle learns about it in fairly standard fashion, the rest of the family learning with him. No surprises along the way there, but the slowly leaking facts about Kyle's past (facts, not explanations) are far more interesting that the adolescent morality lesson.Top
Kyle has to learn to swim, but he also has to learn about love and sex. The big party seems the perfect place. Josh and Lori are going to learn a few lessons themselves along the way.
Sex and swimming. Closely allied subjects they are not, except that the pool is a place to see the opposite sex in tight bikinis or baggy shorts. It's teenage angst lite and we've seen it all before, but it's done with enough style and charm that it gets by without smothering us in syrup.Top
This Is Not A Test
It's Kyle's first day at school. He has to take some tests, but doesn't have the knowledge. He certainly doesn't have the understanding to deal with other kids. Lori and Josh have problems of their own, but you just know they're gonna work them all out. There is the small matter of the killer who is still dogging Kyle's steps though.
High school is not a place to learn, but rather a place to torture other kids. That seems to be the general impression of every programme ever made that features a high school. There's nothing here that we haven't seen before in a million John Hughes films, but it's still slick and entertaining and speaks directly to its target audience.Top
Blame It On The Rain
It's Lori's birthday, but she's not in the happiest frame of mind. Her boyfriend appears suspiciously and Amanda comes over. The rain keeps everyone cooped up and that means that everyone learns something, either about themselves or about each other. For Kyle it's a face he recognises and a number he doesn't.
Bored kids don't make for the best entertainment, but there is enough going on here with the story of Kyle's slowly returning memory to cover over that. The face is a university professor (all those in favour of cloning say 'aye') and the number is that on the keycard found by the dead body in the woods. This proves to be a lot more interesting than kids relating or parents coping with their daughter's loss of virginity.Top
Kyle Got Game
Kyle's ability with a basketball gets him on the team, much to the differing views of the girls' boyfriends. It's time for the big game and Kyle is the secret weapon. Josh bets a lot of cash on the outcome, but some things are worth more than money. Oh and the professor that Kyle remembered is definitely the dead body from the woods, but the police think they know who did it. Kyle now knows differently.
OK, this is about as believable as a jellied eel ice lolly (yuk, why did I think of that?). That Kyle is good at basketball is a given, but both Lori and Amanda's boyfriends happening to be on the team? One step away from the final and Kyle gets on the team just because he can hit the basket? Reality? Not so much.
We're going to have to watch the next episode, however, because Kyle now knows who killed the professor and knows exactly where he works. This could get interesting.Top
When Lori's boyfriend sets off to check out the university where the dead professor worked, Kyle decides to go along and try to find out anything he can. What he finds is a photo of a graduate student who looks just like him, but who went missing 20 years previously. He also learns of a secret facility at a location nearby. His visit there is interrupted by the security guard who has been shadowing him, a man who now claims to be protecting him.
Wow, how much of the backstory do you want revealed in a single episode? Kyle is clearly some kind of cloning deal done by a secret organisation, probably military, who are not shy about killing off their failed experiments. Kyle is one of those experiments and the professor might not be the friend that Kyle expected. Anyhow, all of this has put his life, and that of the Trager family in danger.Top
Kyle learns that he has the ability to hear through doors and long distances and use lipreading as well to figure out what people are saying. This gives him insights into the lives of others, not least that Amanda's boyfriend is cheating on her, but there are more serious matters afoot as the couple introduced in the last few seconds blow everything out of the water.
This is the penultimate episode of the first series, so it's all about setting up for the big finale and there is a bit of a sense of letdown about that, but it happens in the best series. That said, some of the stuff that we learn about the more intimate naturs of people's lives, like security guy Foss and Amanda's boyfriend bring the relationship stuff a bit more to the fore. That cliffhanger though, if you've been watching it to this point then the last episode can't come fast enough.Top
The DNA test confirms that the couple who appeared at the hospital are Kyle's parents. Following a kidnapping and an attempt on his life, Kyle realises that he has to leave the Tragers and go with this new family, if only to find out who they are and why they're lying about being his parents.
So, a few of the questions get answered, but only those that have already been answered. Foss is a good guy (possibly). Kyle is the result of an experiment. The Professor wanted to kill him and the company still does. The only new information is that Kyle has a sister and that is sure to become important in the second season.
This final episode is mainly a 'what does everyone feel about Kyle leaving' episode. For young people, friends leaving is a big deal and they can clearly relate to this. Older folks might have more problems with it.Top
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