Third-episode verdict: Kyle XY

Kyle XY at home with the non-AspiesAs is tradition round here, once they’ve reached the third-episode stage, I report back again on shows whose first episodes didn’t totally suck. Kyle XY showed quite some promise, so I’ve stuck with it and here’s how it’s going.

After the promising start, we’ve continued to have more mysteries throw at us, with precious little extra information – ‘Did you miss any clues?’ the continual pop-ups demand. Clearly, I have.

How did Kyle manage to go for two weeks without sleep? How can he jump from the roof of a house and land unharmed? Why can he only sleep in a bath tub? How come a teenager has completely perfect teeth, like they’ve never been used? Why does Nicholas Lea from The X-Files keep stalking Kyle in a battered pick-up truck? And why did Lea murder that man yet leave the body lying around in the middle of nowhere, right where Kyle was found, with an odd playing card by his side? Who is that man Lea keeps phoning?

No answers yet, although I’m heading towards the ‘genetically engineered super-soldier, grown in a vat’ theory of Kyle’s existence.

We’ve also started veering into heart-weaming morals territory. This week, the lesson was “lying is bad”, although there was enough nuance in it that any grown adult watching didn’t laugh their socks off.

But, I’m prepared to wait and put up with the morals. It’s not quite as intriguing as it was, but I can understand why they wouldn’t want to divulge all the secrets just yet. It’s got just enough mystery to make you want more, but not so much that you’re wanting to throw a rock at the tele and shout, “Just tell me something, will you!”

Since this is airing on the ABC Family channel, I’m also wondering if perhaps Kyle XY is Asperger’s/autistic propaganda:

“Hey, shallow stupid high school kids! You’re dumb and malicious aren’t you? But you know that guy at school who acts a bit odd and you all take the piss out of? You know, the one who likes maths and computers? Really smart, bit child-like and naive, has a monotone voice, muted emotional reaction, doesn’t know how to act in social situations, intense stare? Well, isn’t that exactly like that really hot Kyle XY guy? Accept him and his gifts for he has much to offer. Plus he could be a genetically engineered super-solider. Or an alien.”

Which sounds like an admirable thing to me. So along with supporting the return of John Doe in teenage form and family programming that doesn’t suck totally, you can help Aspie kids get accepted by society by watching Kyle XY.

Here’s a clip from this week’s episode, presented in association with my sponsor Sour Patch Kids.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.