Thursday, June 29, 2006


TV Guide Online sums it up best when talking about 'Kyle XY' (and that talking is mostly asking questions):

Who is Kyle XY? And where did he come from? Or is the question what is this strange young, innocent man? And perhaps the issue at hand is when did he originate?

Kyle is a young man, probably supposed to be no more than a teen, who awoke in the middle of the woods in the Pacific Northwest, naked and amnesiac as to who he really is and how he got there.

Sounds familiar? The same thing happened to the character we came to know as 'John Doe' on FOX a few seasons back.

The actor who plays Kyle gave this splainin to TV Guide in an interview: The opening scene of Kyle XY is similar to that of the series John Doe, with a mysterious person of unknown origin waking up in the middle of nowhere naked, unable to explain himself....
Dallas: We've been getting compared to 'John Doe' quite often, but what's funny is this show was actually was created before 'John Doe' was even a series. They created this show seven years ago and it's just been floating around trying to find a home. In the meantime, 'John Doe' came on the air… and went. I get how people could see the trailer for 'Kyle XY' and think we’re kind of the same thing, but it’s a much different show.

I don't remember anybody ever complaining that 'NYPD Blue' was a rip-off of 'NYPD' or 'Naked City', yet there had to be similarities. When 'Babylon 5' and 'Deep Space Nine' both came along around the same time, the complaints about similarities of the basic set-up eased off once people could see how different they really were.

It's all in the execution.

And with 'Kyle XY', it's obvious right from the very first episode that it will be a far different show from 'John Doe'. While both characters would inevitably be trying to find out the truth as to who they really were and have some overall mystery story arc that plays a part in their lives, 'John Doe' became kind of a detective drama.

On the other hand, 'Kyle XY' will be examining a family's dynamic and how Kyle living with them will have an impact on their household... all the while a low-key (for now) mystery unfolds around him.

The best way to sum up the show's premise is '7th Heaven' meets 'The X-Files'.

For Toobworld purposes, I welcome the comparisons to 'John Doe'. Thematically, I think both shows can be linked as even having the same origins. 'John Doe' was a finished product before he was set loose upon the world; his brain was filled with all the information he would need to become a living computer. But he also had the basic memories and social skills needed to function in the modern world.

'Kyle XY' didn't have that; his brain was a tabula rasa, a slate wiped clean so that he had to learn everything for the first time - eating, drinking, sleeping, even taking a dump.

And apparently he's not the only one. During the pilot, a news report played on the TV in the background, about a girl who had washed up on the beach who also had no memories as to who or what she was.

Furthering the thematic link to 'The X-Files', hovering in the background is a shady figure played by Nicholas Lea. On 'The X-Files' he played villainous FBI agent Alex Krychek. That character is definitely dead, but perhaps this new character is a clone; it's not outside the realm of possibility in Toobworld.

For weeks I passed the posters for 'Kyle XY' on the streets of NYC and couldn't figure out what they were trying to promote with this show. I knew about the basic premise, but I couldn't understand why ABC Family, still with some kind of tenuous tie back to the 700 Club, would be trumpeting the teen sexual angle - the poster depicted Kyle's torso as he suggestively lifted his t-shirt.

Well, just shows to go ya how o'bservant I am. I didn't even notice that he had no belly button!

Reminds me now of an old "Bloom County" comic strip in which one kid asked another if Adam and Eve had belly buttons.

(Tying in with that, according to the TV Guide interview, Kyle's mysterious origins are linked to a group called the Mada Corporation. "Mada" is Adam spelled backwards......)

I don't know if Dominic Purcell ever appeared shirtless on 'John Doe', but I'll be that at some point during the series his belly button was visible. I don't see that as a roadblock in my attempt to link the two series though.

Like I said earlier, 'John Doe' was the finished product; not only did he have a brain full of all the information available in the world, but he had his belly button surgically installed to complete the package.

(Now that has me wondering: is Kyle circumsized? Aghk! Don't go there!)

Another science fiction series which could be linked to 'Kyle XY' is 'Now & Again', which was about a man's brain implanted in a perfectly engineered human body. Perhaps that technology which grew that body was used for Kyle as well. But now, seven years down the timeline, they've finally been able to overcome that last stumbling block - the brain. They've been able to successfully "grow" one so that they don't have to depend on a transplant with all of its pre-existing memories.

It's a link theory that will depend on how much we learn about Kyle's body and where he came from.

Until then, I think it's going to be an entertaining series that should be able to get the time needed to find its audience (with the help of parent net ABC showing the first few episodes in an encore on the following Friday nights). 'Kyle XY' is definitely going to be part of Toobworld Central's summertime schedule for viewing, along with other guaranteed returning shows like 'The Closer', 'Rescue Me', 'Entourage', 'Hustle', 'The 4400', 'Monk', 'The Dead Zone' and 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'.

There ain't no cure for the summertime views. The naked in the woods scene, was that the very first one you actually shot?
Dallas: No, that was actually toward the end of the shoot, which was kind of nice. I got to know people first before I dropped my pants.

So that's where I've been going wrong.....


No comments: