Kyle XY: Season One – DVD Review


Available at Amazon.com

Creators:
Eric Bress
J. Mackye Gruber

Cast:

Matt Dallas ………. Kyle
Kirsten Prout ………. Amanda Bloom
Marguerite MacIntyre ………. Nicole Trager
Bruce Thomas ………. Stephen Trager
April Matson ………. Lori Trager
Jean-Luc Bilodeau ………. Josh Trager
Chris Olivero ………. Declan McDunaugh
Nicholas Lea ………. Tom Foss

The Show

Family shows are a strange genre of television. Shows that are supposed to be “family-friendly” are not actually “family-friendly” for the whole family. Some shows aren’t considered that at all, but end up being just that. You would think that ABC Family would show nothing but “family-friendly” shows. However, ABC Family is a tricky spot. It wants to attract the older Disney Channel demographic to the young teen demographic, but not get too risque to turn families away. ABC Family’s latest original program, Kyle XY, once again tries to pull off this balancing act.

Kyle XY stars Matt Dallas as Kyle, a sixteen-year-old teenager who wakes up in a forest on the edge of Seattle totally naked and without any memories of an earlier life. Kyle is like a newborn baby in his lack of knowledge of human social life: he doesn’t know the simplest things, like how to eat or drink, and cannot communicate with others. When Kyle walks naked into a nearby town, he is picked up by the police. As they cannot find his records, he is taken to a children’s’ home where it is discovered he doesn’t have a belly button. Nicole Trager (Marguerite MacIntyre), a therapist, is interested in Kyle. She realizes Kyle doesn’t belong at the home and brings him to her home while the police look for his family. The show follows Kyle and the Trager family as Kyle develops socially and searches for answers to his past.

The acting on this show is pretty decent. It’s not horrible or anything, but it’s not the greatest either. Matt Dallas does a fantastic job in portraying Kyle, even though he looks MUCH older than 16 (he’s really 25). The producers of the show were smart, though, to cast Matt Dallas the lead character. He definitely brings in female viewers on looks alone, especially teenage girls. But he also has an engaging personality and actually pulls off the role extremely well as I mentioned before. That always helps. The rest of the actors around Matt Dallas all get passing grades. They manage to keep pace with Kyle.

One of the main strong points of this show is the plot. The plot for this show is very unique. It has science-fiction elements to it that attracts both teenagers and young adults. The show centers on the question “what or who is Kyle?” Is he a clone? Is he a alien? Is he just a very weird human being? That main question will be answered in time, but meanwhile they must fill up some time. Unfortunately, this leads to some pretty slow moments in the early part of the season. The first half of the season is about Kyle and his extraordinary abilities. That’s all well and good, but the show becomes really formulaic in the beginning. Thankfully, the show gets better as the first season comes to a close as we try to unravel the mysteries of Kyle more.

While the plot of the show is the biggest positive, the execution of the plot is also the show’s biggest negative. The main problem is that Kyle XY tries to be everything to everyone. It doesn’t know what kind of show it wants to be. It wants to be a science-fiction mystery show one moment, and then the next it wants to be a teen soap opera. Sometimes it feels like it shouldn’t be on ABC Family at all, as it doesn’t seem to be too “family-friendly”. It is rated TV-14 for a reason. No one under 14 should really watch this show. There are definitely lot worse shows to watch with the family, but there are some subjects that must be talked about beforehand if you decide to watch this show with the family. The sex lives of teenagers are a main sub-plot on the show. It is here where the show fails.

Kyle XY is just as confused as Kyle is in the pilot episode. When the focus is on the science-fiction mystery part of the plot, the show succeeds. When the show ventures off into teenage soap opera that is only appropriate for older teenagers, the show fails. Luckily, as the first season ends the focus shifts more to the mystery than the soap opera. Hopefully this focus will remain in the second season as it can be a very solid show then. Despite what you hear, though, Kyle XY is not nearly as “family-friendly” as it’s made out to be.

Episodes:

Disc One:

Episode 1 – Pilot
A mysterious teenager with no belly button and no memory of his life up until that point, wakes up in a forest outside Seattle, Washington, naked and covered in a slimy pink substance.

Episode 2 – Sleepless in Seattle
Kyle encounters the concept of time and wonders why those around him focus on it. Kyle ponders as to why people sleep.

Episode 3 – The Lies That Bind
Police discover a skeleton in the woods near the spot where Kyle originally appeared.

Episode 4 – Diving In
Kyle has his first dream, in which he is underwater in a pool with Amanda swimming towards him. Elsewhere, Tom Foss has hard time quitting his job.

Disc Two:

Episode 5 – This is Not a Test
Nicole is planning to enjoy a quiet afternoon in the house alone with Stephen, but suddenly, she hears an upstairs window break. Tom Foss, the mystery man, has broken in and planted bugs throughout the Trager house. Meanwhile, Kyle gets enrolled in Beachwood High School.

Episode 6 – Blame It on the Rain
When the rain comes in everyone is cooped up inside and secrets start to come out. After a rough night of nightmares, Kyle is troubled about his lack of knowledge and begins to wonder if he will ever find out who he really is.

Episode 7 – Kyle Got Game
Troubled by Kyle’s vivid nightmares, Nicole continues searching for the man in Kyle’s dreams and the possible link this man may have to the body found in the woods.

Episode 8 – Memory Serves
Kyle is becoming desperate for information about his past and everyone in the Trager family is taking notice.

Disc Three:

Episode 9 – Overheard
After Tom Foss’ warning in the forest, Kyle decides to give up his search for his past, but with coaxing by Nicole and a new-found extraordinary talent of super hearing and the ability to read lips, he decides to go back to his search.

Episode 10 – Endgame
A couple, David and Julie Peterson, who claim to be Kyle’s biological parents, show up at the hospital to take Kyle home with them.

The Video:

The video is given in widescreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 that is enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Transfer is good with minimal distortion. The quality is actually above average for other shows released on DVD these days.

The Audio:

The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound or Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. There are subtitles available in English and Spanish. Again, it’s pretty standard quality for a TV show. The dialogue comes out crisp and clear. No problems at all.

The Extras:

Audio Commentaries
There is an audio commentary on the “Pilot” episode with Matt Dallas (Actor), Eric Bress (Co-Creator), David Himelfarb (Executive Producer), and Julie Pelc (Producer/Writer). There is a second audio commentary on the “Diving In” episode with Matt Dallas (Actor), April Matson (Actor), and Julie Pelc (Producer/Writer). They are both pretty decent. Not the funniest commentaries, but pretty informative.

“Kyle XY Declassified” Featurette
This is a 20 minute featurette that is pretty interesting. Basically, it’s the “behind-the-scenes” featurette with a twist. It’s half a summary of the entire first season. The other half is comments from the cast and crew on the show that acts as a preview for the second season of the show.

Alternate Premiere
This the pilot for the show that was shot WAY before the actual pilot was produced. The cast looks years younger and the teenage boy’s voice hasn’t changed yet. Also, the narrator for this pilot doesn’t sound as good as the one used for the actual pilot. There are other differences as well, but comparing the two pilots they made a smart choice in choosing the one they chose. Still if you want to see a weird version of the first episode, here you go.

Extended Season Finale
It’s not extended by much, but it is extended. Only a few minutes were added here, but you really want notice the difference. All the scenes that were cut were cut for a reason. They don’t add anything to the episode. But just like the alternate premiere, though, it is here if you want to see it.

THE INSIDE PULSE

This show may be better suited on FOX or even ABC instead of ABC Family. It definitely would gain a larger audience, especially if it focuses on the mystery of the show and loses the teenage drama stuff that has to been done to death and done better at that. It’s worth a rental to check this show out, but I wouldn’t suggest a purchase until then. It’s very likely that some will be addicted to the show and buy it eventually, though.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Kyle XY: Season One
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

7
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

4
REPLAY VALUE

6
OVERALL
6
(NOT AN AVERAGE)