Most people think that The Secret Life of the American Teenager was the first ABC Family series to not be that family-friendly, and feature a lot of talk about teenagers and sex. That isn’t entirely true. Two years earlier prior to that series, in 2006, Kyle XY was covering similar territory, only this series had a great disguise of being rooted in science-fiction. That led to a cult following and huge ratings for the series. But after almost a year and a half of being off the air, the third season of Kyle XY had its premiere. Many thought the show should have ended after the second season, but ABC Family was greedy for more, and the network went and destroyed this show once they created other shows to take its place. Still, fans of this show want closure and this release hopes to give them that at least…or not.
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 childrens’ 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.
During season two, a female, named Jessi XX (Jaimie Alexander), with the same age and powers as Kyle comes to life. She is just as mysterious as Kyle, but the science-fiction elements of this series really takes a back seat this season to all the everyday, albeit fictional, teenage drama. Innocent pianist Amanda Bloom (Kirsten Prout) finally dumps Kyle after she becomes threatened by all the attention he is getting from Jessi. Of course, Jessi eventually gets welcomed into the Trager family after her surrogate mother disappears. Nicole doesn’t like even the idea of incest in her family, so she forces herself between the Jessi and Kyle. Meanwhile aspiring songwriter Lori (April Matson) rebounds from her separation from Declan (Chris Olivero), and turns her attention to college nerd Mark (Josh Zuckerman). Mark’s secret extracurricular activity complicates the relationship, as does the fact that Trager dad Stephen (Bruce Thomas) forbids it. However, Lori’s younger brother Josh (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) can have an openly sexual relationship with his cancer-surviving, computer gamer girlfriend, Andy (Magda Apanowicz). But the real conflict this season goes back to the secret science society that Mark belongs to called “Latnok”. The face of Latnok is Michael Cassidy (Hal Ozsan), a suave Englishman who repeatedly reaches out to Kyle hoping he’ll join them in their research work.
The first season of Kyle XY balanced out two different types of storylines. There was the the mysterious, sci-fi side of the series, and then there was the typical teenager love soap opera stuff. The second season started the trend of focusing more on the teenage love stuff as it had more time to fill for a full 20+ episodes. There were only 10 episodes in this third season, so there is no time for filler. However, the balance is gone, and it has turned into a full-fledged teenage soap opera with some sci-fi stuff floating in the background. This leads to a lot of bad acting, bad dialogue, and predictable storylines. The writers even ended this season with a cliffhanger, because they thought there would be another season to close things out. (Fortunately, they at least attempt to answer unanswered questions in the bonus features on this DVD set.)
Kyle XY is a perfect example of a series that has worn out its welcome. What once was a promising unique new series for the ABC Family has now become like any other teenage drama on that network, among others. At least this third and final season is short and to the point. You can’t completely blame the actors for what this show has turned into. They can’t help the bad writing and poor marketing that they were given. Still they definitely aren’t enough to save this show. Only hardcore fans of the show will want to watch the third and final season of Kyle XY. Even some of them will want to skip ahead to the bonus features to get real closure, unless you like all of the teenage melodrama stuff.
Episode 1 – It Happened One Night
The season picks up in the aftermath of prom. Jessi helps Kyle try to locate the abducted Amanda. Josh and Andy deliberate their decision to remain chaste. Lori and Declan deal with their break-up. And Michael Cassidy introduces himself as Jessi’s neighbor.
Episode 2 – Psychic Friend
Fallout from disclosures and discoveries has feuds break out between Kyle and Amanda, Lori and Hillary (Chelan Simmons), and Josh and Andy. Worried by a street fair psychic’s warning of impending danger, Kyle asks Jessi to look after Amanda.
Episode 3 – Electric Kiss
Jessi’s presence raises concerns for the Trager family and for Amanda, who suspects a Jessi/Kyle romance may be blossoming. With the effects of Amanda’s abduction lingering and a critical piano recital approaching, Kyle hopes he can disintegrate an implanted Latnok device without electrocuting her.
Episode 4 – In the Company of Men
Kyle, Josh, and Declan enjoy a wild night of male bonding at the one local bar that doesn’t card minors. Lori and Jessi wind up getting coffee with Cassidy, unaware of his doings.
Episode 5 – Life Support
Kyle, Josh, and Nicole get into a car accident, requiring Kyle to help a young pregnant woman (guest Jessica Harmon) give birth alongside a highway. Nicole meanwhile is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Kyle looks to obtain the one substance that could save his adoptive mother’s life, but it will come at a price.
Episode 6 – Welcome to Latnok
When the kids secretly learn about Nicole’s staggering hospital bill, they come up with ways to raise money. At Latnok, Kyle rushes to perfect a levitation experiment for a cash prize. Josh and Andy rent out Jessi’s unsupervised apartment by the hour.
Episode 7 – Chemistry 101
Assigned to create a theme for a Latnok party, Kyle and Jessi invent physiological compatibility necklaces. Andy tries to get Josh a new girlfriend to take her place. Kyle investigates Cassidy to see if his suspicions are warranted.
Episode 8 – The Telltale Heart
Kyle helps a sickly Jessi retrieve a suppressed memory to help them figure out what happened to her mother. Lori and Hillary reconcile enough to join forces against Declan. Josh considers ways to get Andy to stay.
Episode 9 – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Dark, hidden secrets are revealed at Cassidy’s dinner with the Tragers, leading to a dramatic aftermath. Josh tries to give Andy the perfect final night together.
Episode 10 – Bringing Down the House
With help from Amanda, Kyle and Jessi follow through on their elaborate plan to discover and thwart Cassidy’s big evil mission for Latnok. The series ends with an Empire Strikes Back-style bombshell cliffhanger.
The video is given in widescreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The transfer is great with colors generally looking bright and vivid details everywhere. No major or minor problems at all here, and on par with previous seasons of the show.
The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. There are subtitles available in English, French, and Spanish as well.
Audio Commentaries –
There are two full-length audio commentaries for two separate episodes from this season. David Himelfarb (executive producer) and Eric Tuchman (executive producer) comment on the “Life Support” episode. David Himelfarb (executive producer) and Julie Plec (co-executive producer) comment on the “Bringing Down The House” episode. Both provide good insight into the show and its expected future, but not really that entertaining.
“Kyle XY: Future Revealed” Featurette –
This runs 12 minutes and the producers, writers, and cast members discuss the build-up to the series-ending cliffhanger as well as where the series would have gone had the series not been cancelled. You can hear most of the same stuff in the above audio commentaries, but hardcore fans of the show will want to watch this to get some sort of closure. They talk about resolving Kyle’s ongoing love triangle and further explore Cassidy and Kyle’s genetic family. Everyone is pretty bitter about being cancelled, and they can’t hide that fact.
Deleted Scenes –
There are 12 scenes that didn’t make the final cut of the season, and they total 12 minutes. There is an option to hear commentary by Executive Producers, David Himelfarb and Eric Tuchman, about why these scenes were cut. Mostly because of time reasons.
For hardcore fans of the show, they will want to buy this DVD set for one reason. That being the featurette that explains what would have happened if the show wasn’t cancelled. The third is definitely lackluster compared to the first two. But again, if you like teen dramas, you will probably enjoy this season. Sci-fi fans will want to stay far away from this season and stick with the first one.
ABC Studios Home Entertainment presents Kyle XY: Season 3. Created by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. Starring Matt Dallas, Marguerite MacIntyre, Bruce Thomas, April Matson, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Chris Olivero, Kirsten Prout, and Jaimie Alexander. Running time: 436 minutes. Rated: NOT RATED. Released on DVD: December 22, 2009. Available at Amazon.com