By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Teen savant tackles the mysteries of his past.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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 & Scariness
Occasional brief fistfights.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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").
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"Ass," "bitch," "damn," "hell," "slut," and the like, but it's not a constant part of the show.
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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.
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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.
Where to Watch
Based on 5 parent reviews
I don't understand producers
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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?
- Premiere date: June 26, 2006
- Cast: April Matson, Marguerite MacIntyre, Matt Dallas
- Network: Freeform
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
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