Monday, August 07, 2006


I have weened my TV habit down to regularly watching only one program. Kyle XY somehow weasled its way into my "Best of the Worst" slot. It beat out shows like.... Well, there was no competition this season, since Lost is on hiatus and Taylor's fling on AI is done. The real selling point for Kyle is availability. I can download episodes on iTunes if I happen to miss one of its two weekly broadcasts.

So, each Monday night I find myself on the couch spacing out to ABC Family. Side note: I don't want to live with the guilt of recommending trash TV to anyone, so I won't recommend the show. In fact, I advise you not watch TV at all. Spend all your free time reading blogs. They're better for you.

Anyway, I was watching the show, and I realized that the main character is a mixture of two familiar characters: (1) teen Superman and (2) Mr. Data from Star Trek, the Next Generation. Kyle XY is Super Data XY!

Kyle is a genious with amnesia. He doesn't know his own name or birthday. And we find out as he tries to adjust to life with a new foster family, despite his seemingly supernatural intellect, he doesn't understand the rules that make the world go round. It's that amalgam of super-human ability and child-like naiveté that is Kyle's defining quality. And it's the key to the show's appeal.

I guess I identify with Kyle for a couple of reasons. First, Kyle is a symbol for our international politics. Just like Kyle, America recognizes her unique abilities. She knows she is special and has superior power. But, just like Kyle, she is not as as experienced as her peers. She constantly finds herself making embarrassingly bad decisions, despite her promising qualities.

And I can identify with Kyle personally, too. I can easily imagine myself in his place. I'll bet a lot of people can. Just like Kyle, we are mysteries to ourselves.