It was with no small amount of apprehension that I approached watching the new TV version of 10 Things I Hate About You. I love the original, as we are all secretly big fans of certain girly movies, and I was nervous about seeing it changed to fit a TV audience, especially since it was for a “family” network, specifically ABC Family. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.
The plotline has been changed slightly from the movie–in the series, Kat and Bianca are new students at school, having moved from Ohio to California. However, the bones remain.
Larry Miller reprises his role as the Stratfords’ father, who doesn’t want his daughters to date, because dates mean the possibility of sex and as an OB/GYN, he knows all too well what sex can mean for teenage girls. Oldest daughter Kat (Lindsey Shaw) doesn’t seem that interested in dating anyway, or interested in anything about high school, making her the opposite of her younger sister Bianca (Meaghan Jette Martin), who’s so focused on popularity that she doesn’t see the giant crush Cameron (Nicholas Braun) has on her. Meanwhile, while Kat may claim she couldn’t care less about the high school teenage wasteland, she sure does seem to notice one Patrick Verona (Ethan Peck). That’s understandable, to say the least, because I was noticing him, too.
All of the high school cast members are likeable, but Peck can’t help but stand out. With a face like that, a centered manner, and a startlingly deep voice, he seems almost like the product of the classic cinematic leading man. And of course, that’s because he is.
Now, the kids could be the greatest actors in the world but if the writing were bad, we’d be ill-inclined to tune in. However, the writing was much sharper than I expected. I laughed out loud when Mr. Stratford asks a ranting Kat, “Are you talking to me or to the Democrats in your head?” I, uh, could probably be asked the same question from time to time. Anyway, while it’s still too early to tell how good the show will be, the first episode showed a lot of promise. Here’s a clip:
(10 Things I Hate About You airs Tuesdays on the ABC Family channel at 8pm.)