I don’t watch a lot of TV (especially now that 24 is finished), so I do occasionally watch TV on DVD. (Which means I’m always a year behind what’s current.) The other day I Netflixed the first two discs of Kyle XY, produced by ABC family. From what I could tell, it was about a kid who might be an alien . . . and the idea intrigued me.

This morning, after watching those two discs, I had to ask some friends at church if I am totally out of touch with the youth culture. I mean, these kids on this show don’t behave like any kids I know . . . nor do the parents. Yet this show is definitely geared toward adolescents . . . and that’s why it bothers me so much.

For instance–the other day the Mom and Dad were kissing goodbye on the front porch as the kids when off to school. The ninth grade boy looked at his parents and smirked. “Keep it in your pants, Dad,” he deadpanned before walking off.

Excuse me?

In another scene, the kids were tussling with a box that contained a Oujia board. The ninth grade boy didn’t want his sister to play the game. The reason why became obvious when the box spilled, revealing the boy’s stash of pornographic magazines. At that point, all the kids in the room laughed, and an 11th grade boy said, “Dude, I’ve got one word for you: Internet.”

I’m sorry, but I personally know too many adults whose marriages are on the rocks because of Internet pornography. Yet here it was, presented as innocent, funny, natural, normal. (And that’s not even mentioning the fact that they were playing with a Ouija board . . . )

I just think it’s a shame, because the series could have a lot of potential for good. It could be summed up in one phrase: “test-tube teenager.” Kyle, the kid without a belly button, enters the world at about sixteen and has to learn everything. (BTW, the adults in this show are thick as planks. They keep thinking he has amnesia. Excuse me? He has no belly button!)

Kyle is cute and sweet and innocent. He lives with this family where the kids bicker and lie, then conveniently learn a lesson before the hour’s over . . . but they are TEACHING a lot to the kids who are watching this show. And what they’re teaching isn’t so good.

I told my hubby the youth pastor about this show. He doesn’t watch it, but he says “all the kids do.” I can see why . . . but I don’t think it’s a good thing. The “moral” of one show was “don’t lie to your parents,” but then Kyle lies about damage to a car–he says it was his fault in order to spare a friend. And then he walks away, and the moral was that this time, lying was a good thing.

Was it? No one addressed the obvious: who would pay for the damage, whose insurance would go up, etc., plus the girl had already admitted that she damaged the car, so why lie? It simply made no sense.

Frequently the dad will answer the phone, the little brother will say, “I’m not here,” and the dad lies for his son.

I’m sorry, but these mixed messages aren’t good. What is ABC Family thinking?

~~Angie, on her soapbox


  1. Kay

    I am so out of the loop, I haven’t even heard of this show.
    But ugh.
    We’re in the Nickelodeon and Disney Channel stage here, but I am often disappointed with their content, too.

  2. Suzanne

    We’ve learned that ABC Family isn’t family oriented. We blocked it on DISH Network because of the questionable shows that were being advertised during repeats of Full House.
    Nothing like having your 10 year old daughter assaulted with junk like that during an innocent program.

  3. jan

    don’t know if you have noticed, but these bad messages are even on the commercials now! it is sad.

  4. Cindy Swanson

    Angela, I’m so with you on the way pornography is portrayed on TV. It’s always presented as funny and harmless. In reality it’s poison. TV REALLY annoys me. I pretty much watched only “Lost” and “American Idol” last season…now I watch almost nothing. I read a lot. 🙂

  5. Nicole

    You put good looking and/or funny young people on television or in film and you “preach” a version of secular humanism. Because of the physical appeal, many will excuse the message and participate in regular viewing. Take the popularity of “Friends”, “Gilmore Girls”, “OC”, etc. When they begin at the teen level, they have a solid following for the next level of viewership.

    It’s a tight rope for youth pastors to teach around these various shows and movies, to illustrate what they are truly saying and why it’s in direct opposition to the truth–and then again why this particular rendition of an “attractive” TV program or film is harmful and destructive and how it’s designed to suck them in to a secular philosophy (Col. 2:8).

  6. Anonymous

    I knew my daughter was not pleased with ABC Family and shared your post with her. Here’s what she wrote back. “Glad to see I am not the only one! I will not watch ABC Family anymore, nor let the kids watch. There was a “movie” about 2-3 years ago that Kat and I were excited to watch, starring Christy Carlson Romano which was one of her favorites! It was disgusting and full of filth, gay teens in high school, the slut, drinking, drugs, text messages to get the others in trouble, sex during school, etc. I was so freaked that I immediately turned it off, and got on to the website and wrote a scathing letter! Have not watched since… 🙁 I am not sure whose family they are living in, but no family I know!!” Clyde

  7. Pam in Colorado

    We do not have tv reception and have chosen to not get cable/satellite (been there.. done that). It is hard enough to find decent videos to watch. I have chosen three the past few weeks to watch with my husband and two teen sons and each had one or more explicit sex scenes that I did not expect. I’m glad I am not having to figure out what tv programs will be appropriate day to day or minute by minute!


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