First it was a play by Bill Shakespeare, then it was a movie with Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, now 10 Things I Hate About You is a half-hour summer TV show, which premiered last night. And it wasn't terrible!
Even though the show is based on the 1999 movie, there are differences — except the guy who played the dad in the movie reprises his role on TV. (Guess he was available?) Unlike the movie, Kat and Bianca — the main sisters — are new arrivals to California, and to the school. The most popular girl in school (a scheming cheerleader) is played by a black actress, a change from the usual blonde bubblehead types teen comedies usually cast.
And then there's "Patrick Verona," played by Ethan Peck. He spends most of the first episode pouty-lipped, puppy-dog-eyed and mute, a broody locker-leaner, in contrast to the way Heath Ledger played the part — as a wise-ass wild card. (TV show writer Carter Covington tells E!: "I kept thinking of Jordan Catalano from My So-Called Life.")
But it will be interesting to keep an eye on Kat, the "shrew." She's jaded and fierce and feminist-y, and here's how you know: Her car has this hanging from the rearview mirror:
…And this is her bedtime reading selection:
Last night's episode had her scaring off poor Patrick merely by looking at him (clip above.)