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.

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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:

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Illustration for article titled em10 Things I Hate About You/em: Teenage Feminism, But No Heath Ledger

…And this is her bedtime reading selection:

Illustration for article titled em10 Things I Hate About You/em: Teenage Feminism, But No Heath Ledger

Last night's episode had her scaring off poor Patrick merely by looking at him (clip above.)

Related: 10 Things You Need to Know About 10 Things I Hate About You [E!]

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DISCUSSION

Unfortunately I think there is no way it can live up to the movie. I remember watching the scene where they are outside the party Julia Styles is passing out on the swing and Heath catches her just in time. They both committed so well to that one scene and trusted each other (Julia to trust Heath that he would catch her - Heath trusting her to fall for real and not fake it) I knew they were both going to be famous. The cast was full of such good actors (Allison Janey!) there's no way the TV show will compare.