Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Underappreciated Gems: 10 Things I Hate About You

Instead of featuring another underappreciated one-hour drama, this time around I'm going with a half hour comedy. Which one? Probably one you didn't watch. Duh.

Underappreciated Gems: 10 Things I Hate About You
10 Things I Hate About You
Adapting movies into TV shows doesn't really happen very often. Unlike revamping old TV shows into new ones, which has been happening a lot recently, and almost never goes well (yeah, yeah, there are a few exceptions to the rule like Battlestar Galactica, but for every one of those you have a Charlie's Angels, Bionic Woman and Knight Rider). ANYway. Back to 10 Things I Hate About You, a show which I was very skeptical about at first, but which quickly won me over.

Underappreciated Gems: 10 Things I Hate About You
Most of the high school cast.
The basic set up is the same. You've got Kat and Bianca Stratford, two sisters who couldn't be more different, personality-wise, with their overprotective dad (who is even played by the same actor from the movie!). Add in Bianca's dorky and smitten best friend Cameron, and the rebellious Patrick Verona as the love interest for Kat, and I could just as well be talking about the movie right now. And I happen to love the movie. But the show also managed to be fresh while treading the same basic story, and really started to shine when it started to go down its own path.

Underappreciated Gems: 10 Things I Hate About You
Joey, you are so hilariously dumb.
One of the best examples of exactly this is in how the show dealt with the character of Joey Donner (played by Chris Zylka). In the movie he was basically this repulsive person we were happy to see ultimately get his comeuppance. But in the show he was still a wannabe model, but in a completely lovable dumb puppy way. You actually find yourself wanting him and Bianca together instead of wanting her to get over him and get together with Cameron. You have to wonder whether this was an intentional change from the beginning, or whether it developed based on the chemistry of the actors together.

Underappreciated Gems: 10 Things I Hate About You
Kat, you know you want him.
Of course, most of the show's success (creatively!) was due to this great chemistry between all of the actors. They are all pretty superb, with wonderful comic timing. I won't just keep raving and raving because I think you get it by now! By far the most upsetting thing about the show is that it was so unceremoniously canceled. It was left on something of a tiny cliffhanger, with so much potential for more in the future... it's just sad, really.

The good news is that you can marathon the show either on DVD or Netflix Instant, and there's always the original movie to turn to as well. But seriously, if you liked the movie and haven't given the show a chance, you should. It's legitimately funny.

Top Episodes:
Dance Little Sister (1x08)
Fight for Your Right (1x09)
Great Expectations (1x13)
Just One Kiss (1x17)


  1. I really liked this show too! Never missed it. I agree, the actors had great chemistry and Lindsay Shaw had wonderful comedic timing. She and Ethan Peck were great together.

    Ah well.

  2. It was a shame they didn't get to make more. I agree that Lindsey and Ethan were great together.