One of the top rated shows on ABC Family, "Kyle XY" opens with a young man (Matt Dallas) waking up in the middle of a forest outside of Seattle. Picked up by the authorities, he can't speak any English and seems completely unable to communicate with the outside world. There's also the odd little fact that he's without any sort of bellybutton.
Nicole Trager (Marguerite MacIntyre), a social worker, is called in to the detention center to try and figure out the case. Sensing that the boy - who she later names Kyle - is different and not going to fare well in the tough facility - she takes him home, much to the dismay of her daughter Lori (April Matson) and son Josh (Jean-Luc Bilodeau). Not surprisingly, after an episode, the two kids are more accepting of their very unusual new friend - who they quickly learn is incredibly brilliant, displaying far more brain activity than the normal human. Days after Kyle arrived in the household, Kyle still hasn't slept.
The series focuses on the lives of the family and the kind of "fish out of water" moments of discovery that Kyle has. Meanwhile, there's also the mystery of just who is Kyle, and who is the man (Nicholas Lea, formerly of "X-Files" fame) that's following close behind him? The series is a mixture of Kyle's "fish out of water" moments of discovery, his attempts to try and figure out who he is and moments of teen drama/comedy that focus on the brother and sister characters. Despite being well-acted, the last element is really the least interesting, as despite fine performances, it feels like we've seen it all before many times - and better - elsewhere. The first 10 episodes (season 1) seem to set up the story of Kyle, and the mystery of Kyle will hopefully be looked into in greater depth in the second season.
The performances in the first season are pretty good, although star Matt Dallas does especially fine portrayal of a character who starts as a blank slate and gradually develops who he is over the course of the season. Bruce Thomas and Marguerite MacIntyre also put in fine efforts as Kyle's newfound parents, who start with uncertainty and eventually see Kyle as one of their own children.
Overall, "Kyle XY"'s first season does see the show trying to set things up and find its footing. Still, despite some issues, the show's central mystery catches the interest and looks to be a bigger part of the second season, which starts June 11.
1. 1- 1 101 26 Jun 06 Pilot
2. 1- 2 102 3 Jul 06 Sleepless in Seattle
3. 1- 3 103 10 Jul 06 The Lies That Bind
4. 1- 4 104 17 Jul 06 Diving In
5. 1- 5 105 24 Jul 06 This Is Not a Test
6. 1- 6 106 31 Jul 06 Blame It on the Rain
7. 1- 7 107 7 Aug 06 Kyle Got Game
8. 1- 8 108 14 Aug 06 Memory Serves
9. 1- 9 109 21 Aug 06 Overheard
10. 1-10 110 28 Aug 06 Endgame
VIDEO: "Kyle XY" is presented by Buena Vista Home Entertainment in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The presentations are generally excellent, as the series almost always appeared sharp and detailed, with fine details in the images often visible. Some slight artifacting was spotted in a few scenes, but no edge enhancement or other faults were seen. Colors looked natural at all times, with fine saturation and no smearing.
SOUND: Not a whole lot is required of the show's Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation. Surrounds occasionally offer sound effects and ambience, but the majority of the audio comes from the front speakers. Audio quality remained first rate, with crisp dialogue, effects and score.
EXTRAS: Actor Matt Dallas, co-creator Eric Bress, exec producer Matt Himelfarb and producer Julie Plec offer a commentary for the pilot, while Dallas, Plec and actress April Matson provide a commentary for "Diving In". The commentary tracks are enjoyable, as the two tracks manage to have some fun chatting about stories from the set, while also offering some good details about changes, casting, shooting on location, the details behind small details, tidbits about how scenes were accomplished and noteworthy moments in the performances.
The last disc offers an alternate pilot episode, an extended finale and the "Kyle: Declassified" 17-minute promotional featurette. The best aspect of "Kyle: Declassified" is the end of it, as the final moments of the featurette give a basic idea of what occurs in season 2.
Final Thoughts: Overall, "Kyle XY"'s first season does see the show trying to set things up and find its footing. Still, despite some issues, the show's central mystery catches the interest and looks to be a bigger part of the second season, which starts June 11. The DVD presentation offers very good video quality, fine audio and a nice set of supplemental features. Recommended for fans, while those who haven't seen the series should try it as a rental first.