Ten years after the popular teenage romantic comedy film "10 Things I Hate About You", director Gil Gunger along with writer Carter Covington ("Greek") returns with a brand new sitcom for abc Family with "10 Things I Hate About You", a 30-minute comedy which began in July 2009 and on its first day attracted over a million viewers. With 10 episodes filmed, the popularity of the series has earned an additional episodes that will be shown in 2010. But to prepare viewers for this second half of season one, volume one of the TV series has been released on DVD.
The film which is based on Shakespeare's play "The Taming of the Shrew" has a slightly different storyline with the TV series version. In the TV series of "10 Things I Hate About You", The Stratford family has just moved to a new city and their father Walter (played by Larry Miller) who is a doctor is overprotective about his two daughters Kat (an activist who is very serious about school) and Bianca (a teenager who wants to be popular and is not as serious about school). Bianca will only be able to date guys when Kat dates guys but Kat doesn't seem interested in dating anyone but focusing on school and getting into college.
During the first day of school, Kat (Lindsey Shaw) tries to park her car but the top high school cheerleader Chastity (Dana Davis) tries to beat her to it. Chastity who is rich tends to get her way but Kat doesn't let Chastity get the parking space and crashes into her car and tears off her fender without a care in the world. Needless to say, Kat is not on Chastity's good list. Kat learns from the principal that Chastity is the daughter of the school board president and everyone in school makes her happy. This infuriates Kat.
Meanwhile, she notices a guy named Patrick (Ethan Peck)who rides a motorcycle and gives her a stare and immediately the two seem to not get a long. She sees him at school and learns that people are scared of him but Kat, doesn't fear him at all which surprises him.
Meanwhile, Bianca (Meaghan Jette Martin) is new to the school and the shy, nerdy student Cameron (Nicholas Braun) falls in love with her but feels he must get to her before she is tainted by a bad crowd. With advice and support from his friend Michael (played by Kyle Kaplan), Cameron helps Bianca with her locker and the two become friends. As for Bianca, she quickly meets Chastity and the two have similar tastes and quickly become friends and encourages Bianca to join the cheerleading team. All seems good between the two, until Chastity later finds out that Bianca is sister's with Kat (who wrecked her car earlier in the morning).
So, now Bianca is upset that Kat has ruined her chance to be popular but Kat comes up with an idea to blackmail Chastity to let Bianca on the team or else Kat (who becomes the school photographer) will make her shots for the school's publication look terrible. So, Chastity pretends to be nice to Bianca and let her on the team as the school mascot but is jealous when her boyfriend, high school quarterback Joey (Chris Zylka) starts being cool with Bianca, who happens to be cool with Joey's decision to go into modeling (Chastity's popularity must be in sync with Joey, who must be the star quarterback and not to focus on modeling).
"10 Things I Hate About You" focuses on the life of Kat and Bianca at their new high school and the people they encounter and becomes friends with. But will Kat be able to watch over her popularity-obsessed sister and also find out what is the Patrick's problem? Meanwhile, will Bianca become popular with or without the help of Chastity? And will Cameron ever have a date with Bianca and prove to her that he's not gay? Find out on the first ten episodes of "10 Things I Hate About You - Volume One".
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"10 Things I Hate About You - Volume One" is presented in widescreen (1:78:1) and for the most part, the picture quality is satisfactory for this drama series. Also, it helps that the series features various settings, including multiple outdoor shots which definitely makes the PQ for the DVD much better. Didn't notice too many scenes with compression but it helps that each setting tends to be outdoors or has a good amount of lighting.
Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The series is front and center channel driven, dialogue is clear and understandable and music comes out quite clear from the front channels. The series is not the type of series that utilizes special effects or the use of the surround channels but if you have a modern home theater receiver and a 5.1 or 7.2 setup, definitely worth selecting audio on all channels on the receiver for a more immersive soundscape. I found it pretty cool that the TV series, like the film incorporated music quite a bit for each episode.
Subtitles are in English SDH.
"10 Things I Hate About You - Volume One" comes with a few special features. Included are:
* Audio Commentary - Audio commentary for the pilot episode by Lindsey Shaw (Kat Stratford), Larry Miller (Walter Stratford), Gil Gunger (director) and Carter Covington (writer).
* Audio Commentary - Audio commentary for episode 7 ("Light My Fire") featuring audio commentary by Dana Davis (Chastity), Nicholas Braun (Cameron), Ethan Peck (Patrick), executive producer Robin Shift and executive producer/writer Carter Covington.
* Make It or Break It - Pilot Episode - A look at the pilot for the drama series from abc Family about a family (who don't have much money) from Fresno who moved to Boulder, Colorado in order for Emily Kmetko to train at a prestigious gymnastics school known as "The Rock", but the top three gymnasts at the school are not so welcoming towards her. Emily tries to prove that this small town girl who trained at the YWCA has what it takes to be as competitive as them.
* Bloopers - (2:22) Bloopers from "10 Things I Hate About You".
* Backstage Pass - (3:36) Lindsey Shaw (Kat) and Meaghan Jette Martin (Bianca) talk about their characters and give a tour of the high school of where the series is filmed.
* 10 Things I Hate vs. 10 Things I Love - (12:25) The cast of "10 Things I Hate About You" talk about the things they hate and the things they love about their characters, their shooting schedule and more.
I enjoyed the TV version of "10 Things I Hate About You" and that it's not a copycat of the film. It's very different in terms of who is the primary antagonists and of course, to see how the characters relate to each other. Everyone seems to click very well and for the most part, viewers are pulled in and these are characters you start to care about and for Kat and Bianca, to see how these two young women evolve in the series.
I will say that I found the series duration at 30 minutes to be perfect and it works for this type of series. It's a teen sitcom with comedy elements and is not as dramatic as other abc Family shows such as "Make It or Break It", "Greek" or "The Secret Life of an American Teenager". For the first ten episodes included on volume one of this DVD, the stories are written well, enough to give us a feel for each of the main and supporting characters of the show. The storyline features episodes with character developing storylines and for the most part, good balance of humor. A very entertaining series thus far!
As for the DVD, I'm very happy that "10 Things I Hate About You" has quite a few content especially audio commentary (something I wished "The Secret Life of An American Teenager" would have) and similar to TSLoaAT, the pilot episode of "Make It or Break It" is included.
Overall, I'm sure for some who absolutely adored the film will not enjoy the changes made on the TV show, my feeling is that I'm glad there are changes. With the film, that was an awesome cast and Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles and the rest of the cast members brought something special to that film back in 1999. With the TV series, it's a good jumping point to a series and because it's a series, you're going to have to extend and change some of that storyline. And similar to the film, I do like the chemistry of the new talent and their characters. Lindsey Shaw definitely brings out the character of Kat quite nicely and Meaghan Jette Martin's Bianca is good in playing the sister that is naive and wants to be popular. But interesting twist in making the character of Chastity the antagonist and Joey, the not-so-smart model wannabe. Definitely different from their film counterpart but it works.
For parents, the comedy is not for young children and similar to "The Secret Life of an American Teenager" with some sexual references but the comedy is quite humorous and for the most part, it's what makes "10 Things I Hate About You" so much fun!
If you enjoyed the series on television (or on film) and want a fun teen sitcom, definitely give "10 Things I Hate About You" a chance. Definitely recommended!