Tuesday, July 03, 2007

"Do you ever feel like there's nothing interesting about you?": Kyle XY

I've been sitting at my desk for hours trying to figure out what to write about last night's episode, "Balancing Act." This is probably because absolutely nothing happened aside from setup for future episodes. I mean, a show where the main plot line involves a kid getting a car for his 16th birthday is not exactly what I would call high drama.

In the Trager house, Josh is 16 and is ready to collect on his parent's promise that he get a car for his birthday. This reeks of plot point because I can't imagine they did actually made that promise, considering how Josh is a total spaz. But promise him a car they did, and although Stephen just lost he job he wants to deliver because his father always broke promises to him and he doesn't want to be that kind of Dad. Josh brags to/flirts with his cute new friend Andy about his car, and it's obvious he expects to get something new and flashy. In the end, Kyle helps Stephen find an old junker that they can fix up together, and Josh sweetly and genuinely loves it, and so does the very charming Andy. I'm liking this Andy girl, despite the oh-so-twee "girl with a boy's name who likes boy things" stereotype. As long as Andy doesn't go doormat like Joey Potter, I'm OK with her.

In more distressing Trager news, Nicole "accidentally" runs into Emily Hollander on the street and Emily uses Nicole's never before seen ego to make instant friends. Madacorp's method of infiltrating Jessi into the Trager family becomes clear when Emily convinces Nicole to take Jessi on as a private therapy patient. Nicole accepts because of their tight money situation, and I am beginning to suspect that Madacorp just might have had something to do with Stephen's sudden employment problems. If so, bravo. That's damn smart.

Kyle's training with Tom Foss is making him a busy boy, and he isn't all that happy about it. Again. Tom has turned his warehouse lair into some sort of Mathlete meets Strongman extravaganza, complete with a climbing wall for Kyle to scale. As Kyle does exercises like lugging cinder blocks on a pole over his shoulders, Tom quizzes him on mathematical equations. It's sort of like if Pythagoras ran a boot camp. Of course, at one point Kyle doesn't think he can accomplish a physical feat and wants to quit, but when Tom ever so conveniently gets in trouble, he is able to accomplish it with no problem. This same thing happened last week and I am concerned this will become a pattern: Kyle resists a skill in training, someone gets in trouble, Kyle uses the skill and recommits to his training regime. Yawn.

One thing accomplished this week was character development for Tom Foss via some truly devastating backstory about how he accidentally killed his family while driving drunk. Unfortunately, although this makes him more pathetic (or sympathetic, depending on your tolerance of his act) it doesn't help us to understand why he is so devoted to helping Kyle develop his abilities. Is it because he has nothing else to live for and hopes Kyle will give him purpose? What does he do all day, besides crafting ghetto strongman events for Kyle in his lair? I appreciate the attempt to open the door to his character a little bit, but it will take a lot more than a sad history to make the audience truly understand his character and give his interactions with Kyle the weight they need to feel as real and alive as his interactions with the Tragers. Until then, he's kind of like this annoying gnat that buzzes around Kyle's head and yells a lot. Nicholas Lea deserves more than that.

As for Declan and Lori, things are, well, exactly the same. Declan is broody and Lori is sad and doesn't understand, because she doesn't know Declan is (gay and) obsessed with Kyle. Things do get a bit more interesting when Declan decides to go all crazy stalker and follows Kyle to Tom Foss's warehouse lair. He's sufficiently creeped out later to find that someone was stalking him while he was stalking Kyle, and is threatening him to stop digging by intimating his snoopy nature will put Lori in harm's way. Guess who I think is doing the threatening? That's right, Brian Taylor! If I'm right, y'all owe me some Sour Patch Kids or something.

Next week: Something exciting happens! I hope.

Random thoughts:
- Sour Patch Kid sightings: 0

- I know I bagged the new ABC Family show Greek a few weeks ago, but I watched to pilot and didn't hate it. My saving grace: somewhat likeable characters, casual sex and one cute guy! Yup, I'm shallow and proud of it. (You can get it for free here: Greek on iTunes.)


ArtfulSub said...

Very nice review, and a clever prediction on MadaCorp possibly offering Papa Trager a gig.

I'm proud to say that I accurately predicted that Eve XX would be Mama Trager's next patient!!

I also predict Mercenary Woman will hit on Papa Trager at some point.

page said...

I agree about the little Andy character. I like her too and she looks age-appropriate-ish for Josh and high school. I really don't get the amount of time we're spending in the ghetto gym, it's pretty boring. I love the idea that the bad guys got the dad fired. That's perfect. I hope that where they're going with it. The thing I like about Kyle even when nothing happens is that we have actual characters whose relationships with other characters drive at least some of the plot. We have so many shows, and I watch them all, where the characters serve only to advance the convoluted plot. Hidden Palms springs to mind. I watch it and enjoy it but what really grabs me are shows where the characters actually have...character.

Nea said...

I agree that Papa Trager got canned because of a Madacorp plot to wreak havoc with the Tragger family. They set up Mama Trager to need the extra money, and it worked perfectly. I am annoyed by Declan, and want him to confess his love for Kyle. Although, the scenes from next week seem to hint that Declan will have the hots for Jessi? I did think it was kind of strange for the Tragers to get so upset at Kyle for one week of distraction. They should cut him some slack, from the Trager's perspective in the last year Kyle escaped from a kidnapper, lost his memory, was pulled from their family to go back with his real parents, only to have them subsequently die in a horrible accident! Cut the guy some slack! No sour patch kids on this weeks show, however I did consume some of my own while watching Transformers on the 4th. Yummy!

Carrie said...

Artfulsub: You might be onto something re: Emily/Stephen, but if he ever cheated on Nicole, I would brain him. Nicole is my favorite character. Don't mess with my girl!

Page: I totally agree. This is a character and relationship driven show at its heart, which is what makes it good. Even when nothing happens, there are still some great character moments like Kyle and Lori's scene with the guitar this week. That's very refreshing.

Nea: I ate sour gummy Life Savers at Transformers yesterday. I'll admit, I felt a little guilty for cheating on Sour Patch Kids. Which is weird, and disturbing.

Everyone, don't forget to watch Big Brother 8 tonight! I'll be starting my coverage tomorrow.