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Kyle XY: The Complete Second Season - television series DVD / family and children DVD / drama DVD review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Matt Dallas, Bruce Thomas, Marguerite MacIntyre, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, April Matson
Creators: Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber   Distributor: Walt Disney Video
DVD release: 30 December 2008   Runtime: 994 minutes
(6 discs)
Format: AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Features: Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English), Subtitles (French, Spanish), Alternate ending, Livin' with the X's, Facing the Future, The Science of Kyle XY, Deleted scenes, Audio commentaries (cast, writers & producers)

Season two of Kyle XY picks up where it left off, answering all of our greedy and impatient questions. For a change, here is a show that actually does resolve the issues left hanging in season one, giving a good, solid explanation while still drawing us completely into the next season. Matt Dallas returns as the show's lead, along with all the others who make up his family, friends and enemies.

After a traumatic first episode in which Kyle learns where he came from and who created him, he finds himself back at home with the Tragers, who welcome him fully. Tom Foss is back and appears to be on Kyle's side. A new character is introduced, a female version of Kyle: Jessi, the XX model (actress Jaimie Alexander). Unfortunately, this season goes downhill by disc two. As good as the first season was, that is how bad the newest seems to get. A lot of nonsense trademarks the show now. Declan dumps Lori and fairly immediately hits on the XX girl - inside the Trager house, no less! Mr. Trager takes a job working for the company that is trying to reacquire Kyle. The sweet 'girl next door' story with Amanda and Kyle gets more and more trite. Rather than being inventive and keeping us guessing, Kyle XY falls into clichéd patterns, leaving us groaning as they do exactly what we tell them not to do. The intriguing mystery had been done away with, leaving only bad, predictable stories with poorly written dialogue. The originality is no more.

Kyle's story is just as fascinating as it was when it began, but the nonsense and drama swirling around him is agonizingly superficial and unintelligent. It isn't Kyle's story that sticks: it's all the nonsense and angst from the other random filler storylines that takes over.

Fortunately, however, midway through the season, the writers and producers seem to have realized their mistakes. It's as if Kyle XY season two was broken into two mini-seasons. The second half focuses more on Kyle and his female counterpart than on all of the melodrama. The drama remains, but it's secondary, lighter, and stops demanding the limelight quite so much. Jessi's story deepens, and with it more of the history is revealed. Mature choices are made all around; positive growth is the earmark of the end of this season. Luckily, we're not left with a cliffhanger exactly, but it's clear that there is much, much more to come with young Kyle.

One shining part of Kyle XY is the new character, Andy, gamer girl extraordinaire and full of spunk and intelligence. Magda Apanowicz's portrayal of Andy's individuality serves to not only be a happy plus in a show that isn't so impressive or original anymore, but she also draws out Josh, the Trager brother. As a result of Andy's attention, Josh becomes more real, more mature, and much, much more likable as a character. This little sideline story is unexpected and thoroughly enjoyable.

Along these lines, another positive is the surprising chain of command. In the world of Madacorp and Zzyzx, the people who want Kyle back, there is constant shifting and angling to be the one to get him - his incredible physical and psychic feats make him a powerful commodity. Even knowing that, there are definitely a couple of unforeseen whammies that give the show back a little of its acclaim.

The extras are very generous, from insightful deleted scenes (some of which really can affect the overall view of this show in a positive way) to mini-documentaries to the inevitable commentaries. Of all the bonus features, the deleted scenes go a long way in making up for the triteness heaped on through episode fourteen. And small though it may seem, the menu features on a show set the mood. The interactive menu screens are full of cool, changing in subtle (and not-so-subtle ways) as the season progresses. These graphics heighten the sense of mystery and anticipation.

Season two of Kyle XY doesn't quite live up to the expectations set so high by the first season, but there is still potential in the science of Kyle's world. It would be hard to swear off the Trager family cold turkey. The safe bet is that fans will be itching for more, in spite of the first half of this group of DVDs.
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reviewed by Carolynn Evans
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