The Complete Second Season
US Rating: TV14: DLSV
Film Length: 994 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: French & Spanish
Review Date: January 2, 2009
The Show - out of
ABC Family is proving itself to be a tenacious network with a lineup of shows that center on family in interesting and often non-traditional ways. With shows like The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Greek and the addictive (but exaggerated reality of) Lincoln Heights, it has found surprising originality and success amongst a sea of channels with amorphous dramatic television tendencies. Kyle XY is the best of the ABC Family channel shows, rich with strong family ties and bonds and messages of goodness and kindness all encased in the terrific story of a young boy with emerging abilities, a mysterious past drawn from science-fiction ideas and plotlines that continue to reveal answers and pose new challenges and questions.
The series began with Kyle waking up naked in the middle of the forest. He stumbled into town and was picked up by the police, eventually making his way into the custody of a psychologist, Nicole Trager, and her family. Kyle was far from ordinary. Without a belly button, no memory of who he is or where he came from, he explores the wonders of all things as he experiences them for the first time. The mystery of who Kyle was is explored throughout the superb first season and season two picks up as season one closed, with the Trager’s having let Kyle go with who they believed were his long lost parents. But these were not his parents and Kyle was actually reunited with the professor, Adam Baylin who helped create Kyle. Kyle;s leaving created a vacuum in the lives of his friends and adopted family, once that lingers. But when Baylin is killed by the corporation that created Kyle, he chooses to return to the love and happy life with the Trager’s, however, his life is even more complicated than before and far from safe.
Season two is a strong sophomore effort. It needed to continue the mysteries after having revealed several substantial answers at the end of season one. It manages to keep up the mystery and thrills up with the introduction of a new created subject, named Jessi XX, the destruction of the Zzyx facility and the introduction of new characters pursuing Kyle and something that he holds. The character of Kyle himself, struggling with the lies he must maintain to protect his new family, engages in pursuits of love, learning and the endeavor of experiencing life with his newborn fascination and by sharing that fascination with those around him.
The cast of characters all seem very comfortable in their roles. Kyle is played by Matt Dallas. His even temperament and soft approach to the character and endearing qualities make his perfect in this role. He is able to handle the darker dramatic scenes with sensitivity and the more standard family and school bound issues with an appeal right for his characters age, helping give the series broader appeal. The Trager family is quite normal with the over-protective mother, Nicole (Marguerite MacIntyre), the chisel-jawed father, Stephen (Bruce Thomas), Lori (April Matson), the sexually promiscuous teenage girl fighting boy troubles, and Josh (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) the overly life-aware, X-Box addicted boy. Each character is well played by the actors remaining relatable and real among the more fantastic ideas presented by the unfolding plotline.
Playing Jessi XX, the programmed nemesis to our hero is Jaimie Alexander. She takes the character from the stumbling around the woods, mute and disoriented beginnings, to a seemingly normal teen with killer instincts that begins her own path of discover with a capable talent. She handles the character and all her modes with balance. Nicholas Lea (The X-Files) returns as Tom Foss, a serious taskmaster working hard to protect Kyle from outward foes and inward struggles.
Great production values, solid direction and a very strong score and use of music throughout all work to enhance the qualities of great writing and good acting in this show. The mystery of the show deepens and the exploration of life and the uncovering of wisdom for each character continues in stride in a welcome second season that builds upon the superb concept and execution of the 10 episode first season with 23 episodes that will draw you in and keep you hooked.
1: The Prophecy
2: The Homecoming
3: The List is Life
4: Balancing Act
5: Come to your Senses
6: Does Kyle Dream of Electric Fish?
7: Free to be You and Me
8: What’s the Frequency, Kyle?
9: The Ghost in the Machine
10: House of Cards
11: Hands on a Hybrid
13: Leap of Faith
14: To C.I.R With Love
15: The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
16: Great Expectations
18: Between the Rack and a Hard Place
19: The First Cut is the Deepest
20: Primary Colors
21: Grey Matters
23: I’ve Had the Time of My Life
Kyle XY is filmed in HD and presented in 1:78.1 ratio and enhanced for 16:9 televisions. As with season one, the 23 episodes of season two over six discs looks excellent. Again, the colors are vibrant; the image is clean and free of any artifacts or debris and flesh tones are natural and are presented very well here. While the black levels were a slight weakness in the last season, that issue is gone this time around. This fine family show comes in an excellent looking set.
This six disc DVD set is presented with a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. As with most Television shows, the sound is more focused across the front channels, but the sound is clean, especially the center channel where the narration by Kyle’s character, which helps tell the story and layer the series with an almost poetic sense of wisdom, is focused. Surround sound is improved in this second season, with the music helping envelope the audience more. Again, Michael Suby’s excellent score, filled with a solid sense of marvel and poignancy sounds especially good and gives the show a signature mood.
Alternate Ending - (4:40) – View the shows alternate season finale ending with optional commentary by supervising producer Julie Plec
Deleted Scenes – 13 deleted scenes with available commentary by producer Julie Plec can be found on the sixth disc while additional deleted scenes can be found on the other discs, again with optional commentary by Julie Plec.
Livin’ with the X’s - (11:56) – A look behind the scenes, following actors Matt Dallas (Kyle) and Jaimie Alexander (Jessi) through their day, from the early start, hair and make-up and the shooting of the show.
Audio Commentaries - Enjoyable commentaries for several episodes, including ‘Ghost in the Machine” and the season finale which is provided by producer Julie Plec and writers Chris Hollier and Rudy Gaborno.
The Science of Kyle XY - (7:02) – A look at the science of the show; how the increased length of gestation that Einstein experienced may have contributed to his genius was a factor in the creative concept. The writers lean on science pulled out of scientific papers for inspiration, avoiding more fictional elements where possible to keep the show as grounded in possibility as they can.
Facing the Future - (7:28) – Conversations with Matt Dallas and producers about the direction of the show in its second season.
Kyle XY continues in strength, deepening the plot and the exploration of these characters lives. While the show centers on the character of Kyle, the Trager family and Kyle’s friends are fleshed out, providing great sub-plots that ground this show as a solid family drama. Mixing family stories, science-fiction and coming of age stories, Kyle XY is great entertainment and comes highly recommended!