“Kyle XY” — Season 1

By Jae-Ha Kim
May 22, 2007

Equal parts Roswell and The O.C., Kyle XY starts off as a sci-fi mystery, veers off into a teenage soap opera and ends its 10-episode first season with a compelling cliffhanger.

The series, which debuted in 2006 on the ABC Family channel, begins with a teenager wandering in the woods just outside of Seattle. When the authorities find him, he is naked, unable to communicate, and devoid of a belly button.          He is taken to a juvenile detention center where a psychologist bonds with him and takes him home to live with her wary husband and children. (Never mind that most women wouldn’t bring possibly dangerous young men home with them.)

As played by Matt Dallas, Kyle (as she names him) is a gentle soul who wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s also an idiot savant when it comes to learning. Within a few hours, he memorizes the encyclopedia and learns how to speak perfect English. He’s just as quick to learn athletic skills.

He’s not as fast when it comes time to pick up on social nuances, and he has no concept of private time. As the fish-out-of-water character, Kyle is charming in his naiveté.

Though Dallas is a tad too hunky to pass for a 16-year-old boy, he gives the character a warm heart.

Where the series fails is in its attempt to be everything to everyone. There’s a subplot with a mysterious man who may know more about Kyle than he should that falls flat. There are also teen angst storylines involving the family’s daughter that would’ve fit in better in an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 than here.

While uneven, Kyle XY shows promise with a cliffhanger ending that will be realized in the second season.


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