June 2006. Kyle XY premiered and ABC Family finally arrived. Though Wildfire enjoyed great success before it, Kyle XY was the series that really broke through.
A charming lead, a great cast, and a very intriguing premise, Kyle XY started off being television’s best (and really only) mix of sci-fi and family drama.
A boy without a belly button, covered in some purple goop, naked in the woods, who doesn’t know where he came from, not to mention not knowing how to speak or eat or go to the bathroom… Strange sounding at first, but playing out on screen, pulled in viewers who easily fell in love.
Unlike other sci-fi shows on television at the time, Kyle XY managed to reveal things about the central mystery (Who is Kyle XY?) even in just its first 10 episode season, but still have twists up their sleeve and still keep everyone guessing.
Add to that the equally engrossing family dynamics of Kyle being adpoted by the Tragers and taken under the wing of the family matriarch, Nicole. As a psychologist, she was always there for Kyle, not just as a doctor, but as a mother.
With family drama and the angst that comes with teens in high school, Kyle XY managed to seamlessly weave both aspects week after week.
Unfortunately, the show somehow seemed to lose that talent through the 23-episode 2nd season. The sci-fi aspect took a backseat to increased high school hijinks, which actually took away from the show and made it seem like it was trying to be a mere teen drama than what it really was.
Even with the introduction of Jessi, it seemed like the sci-fi aspect, Kyle’s origins and the people behind his creation, which was the core theme of the series, seemed to be less and less a priority.
Thankfully, season 3 managed to regain some of that magic in season 1, but it was too late. The ratings took a drastic dip, magnified by the big numbers being reached by ABC Family’s newest hit about a pregnant teen.
But we can’t do anything about it now. This week’s finale, which was amazing if it was only a season finale, put a huge period after a bunch of ellipses; ending one of television’s most creative and intriguing dramas with “I am you brother!”
Writer and co-producer Julie Plec has answered questions and details what we would’ve seen if Kyle XY had moved forward, and it all sounds so good that it makes ABC Family’s late and sudden cancellation sting even more. Hope for even just one TV movie that could wrap the series up is probably all but dead.
So all we can do now is appreciate three seasons, 43 episodes of a groundbreaking series. Matt Dallas with his charm and charisma allowed for Kyle to be a very rootable and very relatable character. Dallas led a perfect cast, especially the amazing Marguerite MacIntyre who exemplified awesome moms on TV (right up there with Friday Night Lights‘ Connie Britton).
The series was thrilling, emotional, romantic, funny… networks, and ABC Family, would be hard pressed to find a series quite like Kyle XY in the future.