Monday, July 03, 2006

TV: Kyle XY

Genre: Drama, unintentional comedy
Logistics: ABC Family, 7 p.m. (Central) Monday
Verdict: &&

If the American Broadcasting Company wants to use one of the networks it owns to show 24-hour footage of grass growing or janitors cleaning up the Desperate Housewives set, that's their business. More power to them. But let's don't completely misrepresent what a network is all about. I'm no prude, but when I recently came across the film Igby Goes Down showing on ABCFam, I did more than a double take. It's a fine movie, but its sexed up antics have no business on a network with "fam" in its name. Then, thumbing through my copy of Entertainment Weekly, I see several consecutive pages of ads for a new series called Kyle XY. The ads focus exclusively on young actor Matt Dallas … his blue eyes and, most provocatively, a close-up of his midsection as he pulls up his T-shirt. Granted, he has no bellybutton, but isn't that a convenient excuse? Just what are we up to here? Sex sells, of course, and apparently that's openly applied to family programming in the 2000s. But what of the show, you ask. "Kyle," a mysterious blank slate, is found wandering aimlessly and is taken in by the Trager family, which conveniently includes a predictably snide teenage daughter and son. Somewhat interestingly, Kyle has the ability to soak up knowledge such as languages very quickly, but, less interestingly, the show focuses on obvious gags such as Kyle standing at the refrigerator, discovering food. The son's running commentary on why Kyle is an alien is sometimes funny, but you can see the very special episode with the discovery of hormones coming six miles away. A guilty summer pleasure? Perhaps. Family programming? Maybe, but something is warped in the ABCFam psyche.

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