By Stephanie DuBois
"Try to look at everything through the eyes of a child."
-- Ruth Draper
It's hard to look through the glass darkly when seeing through the unadulterated eyes of a character with no prior history, baggage or preconceived notions.
Just ask Matt Dallas, who's back for his second season as "Kyle XY" - the ingenuous teenager found naked in the woods outside of Seattle, Washington, sans memory and a belly button - on the ABC Family Channel's break-out hit from last year.
"When you're playing a character on a TV show you spend so much time with this character that, of course, you're going to pick up some characteristics," notes the twentysomething cutie who hails from Phoenix, Arizona.
"It's the same thing as when you spend time with your best friend. You start to pick up things from them."
Dallas says since he's become "used to playing a character that experiences everything for the first time there are definitely times I find myself being aware that 'That was just a Kyle moment I had' because he does look at the world in such a unique way. I'll find myself stopping and looking at a situation the way that maybe he would and it's kind of funny because I would have never even thought to see that situation probably had I not been playing a character like that.
"And sometimes, in certain situations that may be frustrating or difficult, all of a sudden I'll kind of turn it around and think 'Well, I can look at this differently' and that is such a characteristic of how Kyle looks at the world."
The "Kyle XY" troupe is shooting 23 episodes this season.
"They kept a lot of what was so appealing about Kyle before, his unique perspective of the world, and that he's na?ve to the world," says Dallas. "But he's really grown up this year and so has the show. The stuff they've been writing this year is really exciting. They really have strengthened on the plot and the relationships are so much heavier.
At the end of last season, a couple showed up claiming to be Kyle XY's real parents, taking him from his adopted family the Tragers (played by Marguerite MacIntyre, Bruce Thomas, April Matson and Jean-Luc Bilodeau), but Dallas says he will be reunited with them.
"There are lots of new characters and a lot of characters left over from last year like Tom Foss (Nicholas Lea), the guy lurking around after Kyle. His becomes a huge role this year. He kind of becomes like the (mentor/teacher) character Liam Neeson played in 'Batman Begins' to Kyle XY."
He adds, "They're really exploring the danger and the mystery and adventure of the show and they've really done a great job of integrating it in with the family aspect. Literally, the whole family gets involved."
And, of course, Kyle XY will be coming to grips with his own supernatural abilities that surface more and more as the season progresses.
"We start to deal with that dual reality that a lot of superheroes deal with but Kyle deals with it in a very unique way," says Dallas, explaining that, "he's living that double life of really trying to handle being that hero he's destined to be but at the same time living a very normal life with his family, who are his rock. It's his home. It's his family. But, he unfortunately can't let them in on who he is because in the end if they find out who he is he could lose them.
"It's really quite fascinating and interesting especially because Kyle is not just a regular superhero. He's so into humans and people and why they do what they do and really exploring the world."
Sounds like the stuff of which superheroes are made. Perhaps seeing through the eyes of a child is really all one needs.