Kyle XY

Common Sense Media says

Teen savant tackles the mysteries of his past.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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.

Violence

Occasional brief fistfights.

Sex

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").

Language

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

Consumerism
Not applicable
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.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Cast:April Matson, Marguerite MacIntyre, Matt Dallas
Network:ABC Family
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Kyle XY was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byqltrloroi April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Parents be aware!

Caution! First two episodes lulled us into complacency! Third episode had scenes depicting the following - teen girl impressed with erection, teen boy discussing solution to erection and handing over what is obviously a porno magazine, underage kids hiding alcohol and discussing how to find it and drink it, teen girl vomiting after drinking too much, teen girl talking teen boy into skinny dipping, then getting caught, teen girl taking condoms to party with intent of losing virginity, scene of boy and girl emerging from bushes after virginity is lost, girl dissapointed when she finds out virginity taken out of pity. And more, I just don't remember it all right now. The premise of the show is great, but I don't want to normalize this behavior for my 10 and 11 year old.
Adult Written byMattDallas3 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Great!

You see, me and my friends all watch Kyle XY. We are all 11. There is nothing in this show we havn't already learned in health class. Plus, it kinda helps to see things in a realistic situation. My 6 yr old sibling has seen some of the show and most goes over head. By most i mean the sexual parts, and the cursind is stuff she has already heard and knows not to say! Anyway we are all hooked it a great show and we all plan to watch it till its dead!!
Teen, 13 years old Written byFluffylanthe January 11, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Great for teens and tweens accompanied by discussion

Firstly, I want to state that Kyle XY is the greatest TV show I have ever seen. The characters are great and the plot just blows my mind away. This is accompanied by a wonderful script that is alternatly funny and profound. That being said, Kyle XY does have a lot of questionable adult material. A main character tries pot for an episode. Teenagers run around having sex and drinking with almost no repercussions (no one even gets pregnant - that's a first for a TV show!) and no parental punishment save for the occasional non-effective grounding. It is very important that parents impress upon their kids how NOT OKAY that is in real life. My parents have taken what I feel is a good approach towards this kind of thing; I am allowed to watch shows/movies with questionable teen behavior, but after watching, we discuss how I would act in the situations presented. Instead of being awkward, this helps me keep my head out of modern media's teen fantasy. If your kid can handle discussions like this without rolling their eyes or checking their watch (or running to a party in a miniskirt and too much makeup), then absolutly show Kyle XY to them. It has wonderful role models, positive messages about friendship, loyalty, and trust, and a perfect balance of Kyle's personal life with his epic boy-hero saving the world stuff. If your kid seems to emulate the less acceptable parts of the show, you might want to hold off. This is a show for the reasonable, mature, responsible teenager. For adults, watch it. Absolutely. Even if you can't show it to your kid, watch it. It is absolutely amazing. I cannot stress that enough. For girls who actually care about it: Many cute male cast members. Srry just had to throw that in. XD
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models

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