10.18.2010

Looking for a teenage sci-fi drama? Check out Kyle XY

Those of you that have been following for awhile and read my monthly goals know that for the past few months I've been working through a TV series called Kyle XY and if you follow me on Twitter, then you know I just finished the series the other night.

Since I've mentioned it a bit, I figured I'd give a review of it. (*note* there are some brief spoilers)

http://thetvbay.info/media/images/KyleXY.jpgFor those of unfamiliar with the show, it's a teenage sci-fi drama that aired on ABC Family for 3 seasons from 2006-2009 before it was abruptly canceled, leaving huge cliffhangers at the end of the 3rd season (the producers, writers, etc had planned on possibly making the 4th season the last, assuming they'd be renewed for at least a 4th season, but the plug was pulled early). From 2006-2008 it was the highest rated show ABC Family ever had until it lost its reign to The Secret Life of the American Teen.

While I haven't seen many of the early Smallville episodes, I imagine Kyle XY to be similar, as he's a teen with extraordinary abilities he doesn't fully understand trying to be "normal" and fit in with his peers despite his destiny being so much more. It has the sci-fi and suspense aspect to the show as you try to figure out who's behind what and what's going to happen, but with a mix of teenage drama thrown in (but not over the top Soapy like many teenage dramas today). I gotta admit, I enjoyed the series, however I am disappointed in the way it was abruptly canceled, considering the huge cliffhangers that were in the last episode. There is a DVD feature you can find on YouTube called Kyle XY: Future Revealed, where the cast and crew talk briefly about what they had planned for the series, but still...

The series, which takes place around Seattle, starts out with a teenage boy waking up naked and roaming the forest. Wandering into the city and not one for speaking, he is picked up by police and taken to a juvenile detention center for holding until they can figure out what to do with him. He is also paired with a therapist named Nicole Trager who tries to work with him in order to figure out who he is and where he came from. Not knowing his name and him unable to speak, he is given the name Kyle.

http://images.buddytv.com/articles/Image/kylexy.jpgWhile observant, Kyle doesn't seem to know how to communicate at first, which gets him in a pickle when some bullies at the detention center start to pick on him (he starts to learn by imitation, so when he gets pushed, he pushes back, only he has abnormal strength). Believing the detention center may not be the best place for Kyle, Nicole pushes a motion to allow the state to let Kyle stay with her and her family which includes her husband Stephen, teenage daughter Lori and young teenage son Josh. At first the family is hesitant to have one of Nicole's patients living with them, especially when he seems a bit strange at first (he has no belly button and prefers to sleep in a bath tub), but they quickly take a liking to Kyle as he starts to fit in with the family and helps the kids out with their own teenage problems.

Much of the first season focuses on Kyle learning how to act "normal" and struggling with trying to remember anything before waking up in the woods - the only thing he can seem to remember is the face of a man whom they learn was found murdered in the woods around the time Kyle was found. It turns out, Kyle is super smart - like a super genius. Also poking around is a mysterious man named Tom Foss who seems to have quite an interest in Kyle.

In season 2, we learn right away Kyle's history - turns out, he's a pod person. A scientist group known as Zzyzx used DNA from a local genius named Adam Baylin and created Kyle as a genetics experiment, "growing" him in a gestational pod for 16 years as they believed that the longer a child stayed in the womb, the smarter their brain would develop - a theory they believed to explain why Einstein was so smart as he was in his mother's womb for a longer time period than most babies. As Kyle meets Adam Baylin, with the help of Tom Foss, he begins training and honing his abilities, as Adam teaches him that he can manipulate objects with his mind, how to use and control energy and be strong by knowing how to calculate the density, inertia, etc of things.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_eHkTwd4aRic/SWtZHZhgEcI/AAAAAAAAIwc/Qio9Ve6Gvys/s320/Jessi.jpg
We are also introduced to Jessi who is basically a female version of Kyle who escaped from her pod in Zzyzx at the end of the 1st season and like Kyle was in the beginning, is lost, naked and confused in the woods. The main difference between her and Kyle though is that while Kyle was taken in by a loving family like the Tragers, Jessi was picked up people at MadaCorp who had ties to Zzyzx and end up using her to try to get to Kyle.

The last half of the 2nd season and throughout the 3rd, includes a group named Latnok who was ultimately behind Zzyzx and which Adam Baylin was once involved in but left as he didn't agree with the ethics behind what they were doing. Latnok sees Kyle as a success and want him to join them in their scientific studies and research (which at the end of the series, Kyle learns their master plan which he tries to shut down), however they view Jessi as damaged goods and want nothing to do with her, despite her willingness to be accepted by anyone.

While Kyle is the main focus of the series, Jessi becomes quite the major character as well as she and Kyle have that special bond since they are basically the same, however it goes to show the difference it makes when 2 people who are exactly alike are raised in completely different environments - the Tragers have been nothing but a loving, accepting family to Kyle whom he would do anything for and to protect, whereas Jessi had been lied to about her past, used and manipulated time and again and basically got thrown out like trash, left to feel like she's completely worthless and that no one will ever love or accept her, which leads to her destructive and competitive nature - when she's upset, she'll make your life hell and she'll do whatever it takes to beat whomever and become the best at something just to get the attention and approval she desperately seeks. She's overjoyed at the idea that her "mother" (the woman who's DNA she was created from) is alive and that she'll get to live with her, but when that is abruptly taken away from her, once again she's devasted and left feeling more alone and worthless than anything. Eventually the Tragers take her in as well, which causes some problems as she's had a few bad run-ins previously with daughter Lori and Kyle's eventual girlfriend (the girl next door Amanda) gets jealous as she knows Jessi has a crush on Kyle and doesn't trust her.

There's also a bit of teenage drama thrown in because hello - this is ABC Family.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/93/KyleXYTragerFamily.jpgDuring the first season (which takes place near the end of summer), Lori has made a pact with her slutty best friend Hilary to lose her virginity before school starts, and eventually she does, but learns that Hilary set her up with a guy Lori liked that she knew would "seal the deal". Feeling used, they have girl drama for a bit and Lori's parents eventually find out and they struggle with the fact that their teenage daughter is no longer a virgin. Lori also has boy drama throughout the series, as for much of the 1st 2 seasons she is on again, off again with Declan who also becomes Kyle's friend and confidant and then near the end of season 2, she gains an interest in a young college student who happens to be her dad's TA.

Younger brother Josh also grows up before us, as early in the series his main struggles are hiding porn from his parents and playing video games instead of doing homework. In the 2nd series he starts trying to talk to girls and get dates, eventually becoming involved with fellow gamer girl Andy, however Andy has a dark scary secret of her own which Josh struggles with for a good bit of the 2nd season. At the end of the series, we learn Andy and her family are moving across country.

http://images.tvrage.com/shows/11/10629.jpgAlso, there's sweet girl next door Amanda who is a piano prodigy in which her music is what draws Kyle's attention to her in the first place. For Kyle it was love at first sight, however when the series first starts, Amanda is dating a jock a named Charlie, however it is discovered that Charlie is constantly cheating on her. Eventually Amanda learns of this and they break up, and her and Kyle eventually start dating, which is cute at first, but once Jessi is in their lives, Amanda gets a bit annoying as she feels threatened by Jessi, as it's quite obvious Jessi is interested in Kyle and the 2 of them are pretty close with their bond (which Kyle refuses to tell Amanda the details of as her knowing to much about his past/"secret" could potentially put her in danger).

The cast is pretty decent with some familiar faces you may recognize:
  • Marguerite MacIntyre who plays Nicole Trager has had a reoccuring role on The Shield and is currently in the Vampire Diaries. 
  • You'll recognize Bruce Thomas (who plays Stephen Trager), as the UPS Man in the Legally Blonde movies. 
  • Tom Foss is played by Canadian actor Nicholas Lea who is best know as Alex Krycek from The X-Files. 
  • Amanda's initial boyfriend, Charlie, is played by Cory Monteith who is best known as Finn on Glee. 
  • Kirsten Prout, who plays Amanda, was mostly recently in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse as a vampire named Lucy. 
  • Jaime Alexander, who plays Jessi, will be starring as Sif, Thor's Asgardian love interest, in the upcoming summer blockbuster. 
  • Magda Apanowicz, who plays Andy, is currently starring as Lacy in the hit SyFy Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica. 
  • J. Eddie Peck, who plays Adam Baylin, is a well known former Soap star. 
  • Ally Sheedy, best known for being part of the 80s "Brat Pack," has a minor role of playing Sarah - the woman who's DNA was used to create Jessi.
  • Hal Ozsan, who plays Latnok member Michael Cassidy in the later half of the series has been on Dawson's Creek, Californication and is currently on the CW's 90210 reboot.
  • Chelan Simmons, who plays Hilary, is regularly guest starring on various TV shows and has been featured in films such as Final Destination 3, Good Luck Chuck (playing main character Chuck's ex Carol) and recently in Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

1 comment:

  1. Never heard of this show, I'll have to check it out.

    ReplyDelete

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