Kyle XY was the first successful original show on ABC family. Featuring cute boys, which played right into their key demographic of teenage girls. Kyle woke up having no memory, like some big adorable baby. Not wanting the show to be some cutesy fucked up version of the Brady Bunch, the producers actually gave the show a complicated storyline, which made it much better, but also led to it's downfall. The series starts when Kyle wakes up naked in the woods outside of Seattle. He has no memory and doesn't know how to do anything. He's quickly put into a group home, as a John Doe, where he gains the attention and admiration of the local psychologist, Nicole Trager (Marguerite MacIntyre). Trager knows that Kyle will never survive in that environment and decides to foster him. Once at the Trager house, Kyle doesn't need to just learn the basics of survival, but also the social norms associated with being part of a family. The series starts out with Kyle as a clean slate, having to learn everything from eating to using the bathroom, and to me this was the worst part of the show. It did however give the stations key demographic exactly what it demanded and lead to these episodes being the networks highest rated to date. Wanting to show off Kyle's abilities and not wanting him to be some loveable moron, the writers shifted the focus to Kyle's extraordinary abilities and how he uses them to try and find out who he is and where he came from. That's the point where the show started to get interesting to me and of course the point where the ratings started to decline. Show some trendy teenage girls, a bunch of cute boys being adorable and you've got high ratings, but show those same boys as part of a global conspiracy, that makes you think, and those girls want nothing to do with it. Half way through the first season, Kyle XY went from a lame family show to a terrific science fiction drama. Matt Dallas stars as Kyle and he has a lot going for him. Dallas is good looking, athletic, and intelligent, unfortunately he's not a very good actor and many times seemed like some emotionless robot, who was reading lines from a cue card. Thankfully the family and friends surrounding him were far better actors than he was. The Trager family is a terrific mix of wit and emotion that is centered on Kyle, but doesn't focus solely on him. There is a terrific storyline featuring the daughter Lori's (April Matson) entrance into sexual activity with her boyfriend Declin (Chris Olivero), who may be the single most talented person on this cast. The brother Josh (Jean-Luc Bilodeau), gives much needed comic relief to the show, while teaching Kyle the things every teenaged boy needs to know. Kyle XY was a magically complex show that blended a great science fiction story with comedy and family drama, unfortunately it was on the wrong network. A show like this could have continued to grow and come out of nowhere to be a mix of the X-Files and 90210, that appealed to a huge audience, instead, it was geared toward teenage girls who just didn't want to think. The show was designed for a large audience on a network that has a very limited demographic. Ultimately the cute boys and the occasional comedy just wasn't enough to keep them interested and the show was canceled after 3 seasons. In my opinion this show was just starting to hit it's stride and should it have been on a network that appealed to a larger audience, it would probably still be on the air today.
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