Kyle XY

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Kyle XY TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Teen savant tackles the mysteries of his past.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 19 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Although many characters initially label the main character "retarded" because he's so unresponsive, as they begin to understand his issues, they respect him for the brilliant -- albeit different -- person he is. The psychologist mom often seems oblivious to her kids' issues and doesn't make much of an effort to effectively communicate with them.


Occasional brief fistfights.


The opening scene shows a nude teenage boy lying in the woods. There are party scenes with couples making out, and teens tell friends things like "he put his hand down my pants." Masturbation and loss of virginity are dealt with; a character is obviously aroused in one scene/episode, and other characters notice (one even teaches him how to "deal with it").


"Ass," "bitch," "damn," "hell," "slut," and the like, but it's not a constant part of the show.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Encouraged by friends and with little consequence, teens drink lots of beer at parties. One girl escapes being arrested but suffers a horrible hangover the next day.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this show is riddled with questionable teenage behavior, including underage drinking, sexual exploration, and blatant disobedience. Most of this behavior from the two main teen characters goes without any repercussion, as the dad seems to ignore it and the psychologist mom is too engrossed in her patients' issues to notice those of her kids. But the series does provide an insightful view of social disorders and highlights how society often misinterprets a variety of disorders as mental incapacities.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBoiseNoise February 19, 2012

Sad to think that Netflix considers this a "Family" TV show

Interesting plot idea, but I was just disgusted at the immorality of these kids (lying, drinking, and CONSTANT inappropriate sexual comments and behaviors), and... Continue reading
Adult Written byAim4it April 26, 2021

Great until you get to season 2 episode 7 which is just a lecture about gay rights!

Might be ok for mature teens. I would suggest at least 16+. Season 2 Episode 8, was about how religion rips family's apart even though in the story it was... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bymcashd55 October 21, 2016

Wished Series Ended Better

This is a really great show. The main character is just so down to earth and likable. You won't find any show today like it. It's a great series to pi... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bychapmas October 31, 2014

What's the story?

KYLE XY is the story of a 16-year-old unidentified boy who is found wandering naked in the woods and sent to a detention center. The mysterious "Kyle" (Matt Dallas) doesn't speak or seem to comprehend language, exhibits no instincts or emotions, and has no belly button. Psychologist Nicole Trager (Marguerite MacIntyre) takes Kyle into her home where he begins to make progress, learning to communicate by mimicking. While he knows nothing of his past or how to function in society, Kyles exhibits a savant-like brilliance. He eventually adapts to family life and earns the compassion of Nicole's husband, Stephen (Bruce Thomas), and her kids, Lori (April Matson) and Josh (Jean-Luc Bilodeau). As his language skills improve, anxious Kyle asks Nicole who he is. Unable to answer him, she vows to help him unlock his past. Perhaps in the process, she can also figure out the identity of the mysterious man who, unbeknownst to them, is stalking Kyle and the Tragers.

Is it any good?

Kyle XY's premise is intriguing, but viewers may find aspects disruptive to the overall mood. While Kyle apparently can't understand what's said to him, his voice-over narration shares his very intuitive thoughts. It's difficult to reconcile his perpetually bewildered expression with his ability to formulate thoughts and questions in response to people's actions. Plus, the speed with which he learns to communicate in full sentences (within a few days of being found) seems unrealistic, leaving the show feeling a bit far-fetched.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how people respond to those with mental and social disorders. When you encounter someone who's delayed, how do you react? Do you try to communicate with them, or do you simply walk away, frustrated that you don't know how? Parents also can discuss discipline with their teens. What can parents do to enforce their rules without hurting their relationships with their kids?

TV details

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