tek's rating: ½

10 Things I Hate About You, ABC Family
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This series, premiering in 2009, is based on the 1999 film of the same name, which was itself based on Shakespeare's play, "The Taming of the Shrew." Anyway, I know I enjoyed the movie, but I don't remember it that well, so I'll have to pick up a copy of it sometime and watch it again, write up a review, you know. Meanwhile, the show is okay. There are two sisters, Kat and Bianca Stratford. Kat is played by Lindsey Shaw, of whom I'm already a fan from Ned's Declassified and Aliens in America. Their dad, Dr. Walter Stratford (a widower), is played by Larry Miller, of whom I'm a fan from a number of other things.

They just moved to a new town (from Ohio to California), so the girls are starting at a new school. Bianca hopes to become popular, so she befriends the head cheerleader, Chastity Church (who played Monica in Heroes, though I think she looks totally different, here). Chastity is apparently the daughter of the superintendent, or whatever. So the principal will let her get away with anything. And I don't think any of Chastity's friends really like her, and she doesn't particularly care for Bianca at first, and makes her a mascot instead of a cheerleader. But eventually the two do become closer, though it's complicated. At least she does eventually become an actual cheerleader.

There's a guy named Cameron who's interested in Bianca, and he has a friend named Michael, who wants Cameron and himself to become popular. Cameron and Bianca become friends, which is a mixed blessing for him, since he gets to spend time with her, but she has no idea how he feels (in fact, for awhile, she thinks he's gay). By the end of the first season, he does admit his feelings to her, though. But Bianca has more chemistry with Chastity's boyfriend, Joey. Who is a football player, but more interested in modeling, and because he apparently isn't going to be the quarterback, Chastity may not be interested in him anymore. Though that doesn't mean she'd be okay with anyone else having him, either.

Meanwhile, Kat is much more serious and intellectual than Bianca, and something of an activist. Certainly she's not interested in popularity, which is a problem for Bianca, because she's not allowed to date until Kat does. But um, that nod to the original plot doesn't seem to last long, as far as I could tell. (Still, their father, an OBGYN, would rather neither of them date, because he doesn't want them to get pregnant.) Meanwhile, there's a guy named Patrick Verona, who people think is dangerous, and who is interested in Kat. (She also seems to be fighting an interest in him, doing her best to disdain him.) Also, Kat befriends a sort of goth girl named Mandella, who acts scared of Patrick, though she may turn out to be more dangerous than he is.... Anyway, Kat and Patrick eventually get closer, by the end of the first season.

And then, in 2010, the series returned, and I guess they called it the second half of the first season, even though they had previously said the season ended. I hate how often shows do that kind of thing now. But that's not important. Whatever you call the second batch of episodes, things are a bit different. Kat is sort of involved with Patrick. Bianca is dating Joey, who eventually gets onto a reality modeling show called "The Biggest Poser." Bianca and Chastity's friendship has its ups and downs. Cameron starts out trying to avoid Bianca since she broke his heart, but she still wants to be friends, so she tries to set him up with someone else. And he eventually starts dating one of her cheerleader friends, Dawn. Kat develops a rivalry with a British transfer student or whatever, named William "Blank" Blankenship. Walter eventually starts dating Darlene Tharp, a guidance counselor from his daughters' school. Um... I think Mandella was only in one ep in this batch (though I did miss an ep), and I don't exactly remember what happened with her. I also think Michael was only in one ep. (It's kind of annoying that the writers virtually abandoned these characters.) Anyway... the series finale ends with Chastity making a surprising announcement, as well as a major change for Bianca and Dawn, plus cliffhangers involving something that happens to Joey on his reality show, and something that happens with Kat and Patrick. But I'm avoiding spoiling any of this stuff... though I'm really annoyed to know none of the plot developments are going to be resolved. Meh well... it was never that important a show to me, but still... yeah, annoying to leave things hanging like that.

But aside from all that, I should say that Walter is a fairly intelligent and funny guy, who seems to have a good relationship with his daughters, especially Kat. He can give them both good advice, put things in perspective for them or whatever. But then, of course, he can also be a typically overprotective sitcom dad. Um... and I'd like to also mention that I enjoyed it when at the end of the first episode, "I Want You to Want Me" started playing. Because that song (originally by Cheap Trick) was covered in the movie by Letters to Cleo. Here it's covered by the band KSM, who seem pretty cool (though I still prefer Letters to Cleo).


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