Sunday, 17 June 2007

Kyle's Back and He's Brought a Friend

ABC's Family channel had a sleeper hit on their hands last year. Kyle XY is that rarest of shows, it manages to cross genres and engage almost everyone who watches it. Unusually for a genre show with any kind of conspiracy arc it also gives you answers.

This season's opener feels like a natural continuation of the storyline, it doesn't feel like any of the cast or crew have been away from this show for several months. You could watch this back to back with season one's finale and not miss a beat.

The writers have managed to pull off a very neat trick here. As a long time fan of the show, the plot rewarded me with some genuine answers to most of last season's mysteries, I might add that these answers made a lot of sense, didn't reinvent the show and didn't leave us with more questions than we'd started out with. Most importantly of all they developed the plot and character arcs.

Now my girlfriend hasn't seen a single episode, knows nothing at all about the show in fact. Yet she thoroughly enjoyed it as well. She's up to speed on who's who, how their relationships connect and what's happening plotwise. Kudos to the writers then, they've kept the old fans and welcomed the new ones.

As the story unfolds we learn a lot about Kyle and the reasons behind his existence, we also see how his absence is affecting the Trager family. Kyle does eventually return to the Tragers but no one's pressed any reset buttons here. Kyle's a very different person now, much more in tune with who he is and what he can do, in a reverse of season one's premier, this time it's the Tragers who are the innocents in the relationship. It'll be interesting to see how this repolarised relationship unfolds. The Trager's youngest, Josh, didn't get any resets either. After feeling increasingly sidelined by Kyle's addition to the family last year, his expected return to the status quo didn't quite happen. Michelle's mourning over Kyle's absence just pushes Josh further away from her motherly affections. I don't think Josh will react well to Kyle's return to Chez Trager.

He might be more enthusiastic if he saw Kyle's "sister" in vitro. XX was supposed to be the more successful result of the project that created Kyle XY, who apparently was regarded as a failure.

ABC Family are so pleased with this show that they've expanded this season's order to a full 23 episode run. They'll be airing in two blocks, 13 episodes this summer and the remaining 10 next winter. I'd love to see some new Kyle air over the Christmas period, it'd be a terrific show for that time of year. Kyle is expected to be repeated on the ABC channel later this year, the first time a cable commissioned series has migrated back to the main networks.