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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Goodbye Kyle XY

Kyle XY was a hit for ABCFamily until it was benched. Now all those of us who watched it are just left without answers, even if a producer filled in what may have been. The program while not a traditional soap had many elements that one has like continuing stories about relationships between family, friends and love interests.

When Kyle XY started in 2006, the program aired not only on ABCFamily, but was also rebroadcast later in the week on ABC. That gave it a lot of eyes. It was a teen drama with a science fiction bent, so people who may not like one or the other genre still could like it.

What was unique about Kyle and made the show science fiction was instead of being born, he was raised in an incubation chamber until he was a teen. This concept was based on how Einstein had been in the womb longer than normal, and what if that made him smarter. Lacking a belly button wasn't Kyle only different trait. He could run faster, learn more quickly and even heal. Kyle's main weaknesses were based upon his lack of social graces as he didn't learn how to read people while living in a pod.

Kyle was adopted by the Trager family. Nicole Trager, was a psychologist who became his mother, Stephen, her husband was worried at first, but warmed to Kyle, he was a scientist/professor, Josh, her son, who was a geek who eventually found his way (even getting a girlfriend of his own), and Lori a popular girl who had a thing for Declan. In time, Declan became Kyle confidante, helped him deal with girls and his problems with Zyzzx (the company that spawned Kyle).

Early on no one, (not even Kyle) understood his origin. Eventually Kyle was reunited with his biological father, Adam Baylin, who had been in a womb longer than normal. He was able to do more things than Kyle could do, and his protector Tom Foss looked after Kyle. Tom Foss was ambiguous at first, so we had no idea that he should be trusted. We only knew Zyzzx was evil and wanted Kyle. Eventually the company was destroyed, but that freed Jessi, who was like Kyle, as she too had grown up in a pod. Unlike Kyle, she didn't inherit his sweetness. In the first few moments of her life on the outside, she killed a man.

The show ended with Kyle torn between two women, Jessi and Amanda his sweet piano playing neighbor, who had no idea about their origins. Those relationships weren't resolved as Jessi made him feel sparks and Amanda made him feel butterflies. Lori was dating a guy, who was part of the Latnok organization, (a group that became part of the show later on in the series). Josh found Andi, who battled cancer and won. Declan was still Kyle's best friend, but he was alone.

Due to the time slot, Kyle XY's last half season, became the end of the show. Following the most popular show on ABCFamily "The Secret Life of the American Teenager", which was not stylistic similar beyond young characters and continuing plot lines, and having it air against other science fiction fare signaled its end. Perhaps if the show had returned in the summer, it would have fared much better.

Even with the open ending on screen ending, (a Kyle you share my mother moment), to be exact, along with no hints on what really happened with Jessi's mother.

Kyle XY was a fun hybrid show for those of us who like our stories soapy with a dash of science fiction to boot. It is possible to combine the genres successfully even if daytime has never been able to do this consistently.

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