ABC Family has been rolling out quite a few new series in the last year. So...how will the latest offering - ''10 Things I Hate About You (TV) - fare?'''
I'll start by saying that I went into this show with low expectations. As a cult-classic teen film of the '90s - I feared the worst upon learning of 10 Things getting reimagined into a TV show, to air on ABC Family no less. I figured failure was much more likely than success (because you really can't beat that movie, right?).
But - while I maintain that you can't beat the movie, I was pleasantly surprised by last night's 10 Things pilot. I didn't love every aspect of it, though there was enough potential that I'll be coming back for more.
In honor of the "10 Things" concept, here's 10 things I liked/disliked about the pilot:
1. 30 Minutes - ABC Family has not had much success with their 30 minute offerings previously (Roommates was rancid and the upcoming Ruby & the Rockits looks questionable), but this show seems to have used the format to its advantage. In fact, one hour might seem too long.
2. Lindsay Shaw as Kat - Far and wide my favorite character/actress from the pilot. It could be easy to overdo the whole angry/rebellious teeange girl thing, but I found this character to be the most enjoyable/believable (or as Patrick Verona noted, "interesting") of the batch.
3. References to real-world people and issues - Sometimes it might have fallen awkward and flat, but I applaud ABC Family for dropping people like Kim Jong Il and issues like universal healthcare into the dialogue.
4. Differentiating itself from its cinematic predecessor - I enjoyed that not only was Kat a toned-down sort of angry from Julia Stiles' portrayal in the film, but that Bianca was a toned-down sort of shallow. The less that the series tries to replicate the beloved film is probably for the better...
5. The return of Larry Miller as the father - Miller remains wholly enjoyable and entertaining as the father figure and source of wisdom. Funny how the movie and TV show are 10 years apart. It's just so fitting!
1. The guys - I found Nicholas Braun's "Cameron" to be kind of grating. I know that this is how the character is supposed to be, but it was a little bit too much in my opinion - he needs to tone it down. Also, Ethan Peck's "Patrick" was quite underdeveloped - he literally had about 2 lines in the whole pilot (but there's time for that to change, obviously).
2. The need for a dialogue reference to 10 Things... - Did you catch Chastity's remark about 10 things she disliked about her day near the end of the pilot? If there is a need to regularly include a direct reference to the show title, I think that's all too formulaic.
3. Dana Davis as Chastity - I understand that this is a TV show, but this was the one role that was too much of a caricature for me. Nobody acts or speaks like this in high school; all of the other roles were at least moderately believable as semi-realistic modern-day high school personalities.
4. Pop cultural reference overload? - I mentioned in the above section that some of the pop culture references were very successful. But, there were also far too many. Justin Timberlake, Harry Potter (like 3 times), Zac Efron, Fast and the Furious...it was a bit much.
5. Where is it going? - This isn't a dislike (yet) so much as a concern. While the show seems willing to take liberties to differentiate itself from the film, the pilot still mirrored the timeline of about the first quarter of the film. So where will we be in 4 episodes? Does this premise (which we all know its ultimate conclusion) have sustainability?
So...what did you all think of 10 Things I Hate About You? Yay or Nay?