In light of recent movie to movie remakes (Footloose, Fame, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, The Karate Kid, etc.) and movie to Broadway ideas coming to pass (Sleepless in Seattle, Heathers, Shrek, American Psycho, Legally Blond, Spiderman) it really shouldn’t surprise me that a 10 year old movie has been made into a bastardized version of itself on ABC Family. With that said, I guess I’m not so much surprised anymore as I am disappointed. If you are going to take a movie that is just 10 years old, whose original fan base is only in their mid twenties to early thirties, it better be damn good.
While the essence of many of the characters is there (and their names, whoopee!), the overall plot and heart of the movie has been lost. Since we are barely three 30 minute episodes into the ten episode run of the summer I’ve compiled a list of 10 things I hate about the show (original right?) in the hopes that the next 7 start to find their stride.
How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways:
1. “I burn, I pine, I perish!” Where for art thou Shakespeare? Granted this is a television show about a movie about a play, but please try a little harder than just using the characters names.
2. And where the hell is the plot? So far the show seems about Bianca’s social climbing aspirations while dealing with her less than social sister and hasn’t even hinted at a Cameron/Bianca/Joey triangle, or that Patrick will be paid to date Kat. Remember the title is in reference to Kat’s poem over Patrick’s betrayal – not just a hip 90’s movie reference to get your pilot green lit for a full season.
3. Bianca, Bianca, Bianca. When did you go from “I happen to like being adored!” to social climbing facebook stalker? I miss Alex Mac! While the original came off as somewhat ditzy and selfish, she was actually quite witty and could keep up with Kat in a battle of words. Her purity, even through her conceitedness, is what made her such a great juxtaposition to Kat and worthy of men plotting to date her. New Bianca throws other girls under the bus just to get into Charity’s good graces while being too vapid to realize how it’s affecting those around her. And I don’t see her being physically, emotionally or mentally strong enough to beat the crap out of the resident campus douche bag.
4. Why are Kat and Bianca so tolerant of each other? Sure they make snide comments here and there about the other’s social status, but for the most part they get along. I want more witty banter! Think bitchy Gilmore Girls and get on that.
5. Why are the adults not featured? Even the parents who’s teenage daughter gets pregnant have their own story line. 10 things, do yourself a favor and bump up your ridiculous 30 minute air time to a full hour, like other ABC Family Shows, and cast a back talking, Shakespeare rapping, bad ass English teacher. Then turn around and see if you can’t inject a little Ms. Perky into your butt kissing principal. Better yet, if Larry Miller is in maybe you can get Allison Janney to make a cameo.
6. Where are all the cliques? One of my favorite parts of the movie is it’s overemphasis of the different groups that form at a high school. No jocks? no Rastafarians? Where are the coffee geeks, cowboys or Ivy Leaguers? You are depriving yourself of so many future story lines!
7. For that matter where is Bogie Lowenstien? Inject a little yuppie spirit into all the teen angst and social climbing!
8. This guy. Seriously, how much closer to 30 can you look while actually of “high school” age? David Krumholt played the character with quirk and charm, you sir are just wearing the clothes and trying to talk the talk.
9. Where is the music? I get that you had a band no one has heard of do a remake of the original soundtrack’s big song. And that you play it with all of your promo’s (11th thing I hate about this show: The ABC Family Announcer) and after the show – but you have the chance to be the O.C. of 2009. Give the kids a peach pit or a night club, at the very least give Kat a decent mix tape when driving in her car.
10. Dear Ethan Peck: being silent, staring and wearing the James Dean t-shirt with a pair of too tight jeans does not a brooding bad boy make. Instead so far all you’ve done is come off as an illiterate, creepy, stalker-y, womanizing, male model who has issues combining words into coherent speech. News flash: speaking slowly does not make you seem pensive, sometimes it makes you seem like an oaf. So far you remind me more of Andrew Keegan’s character than Heath Ledger’s. And don’t say it’s the writing. Watch the film and try as hard as you can to mimic one tenth of the charm and charisma Ledger infected Patrick Verona with instead of trying to play the bad boy, it just comes off as bad. Sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind…
I know I know, I come off as a bit of a shrew in my critique of the show, but even though I don’t think there is a need for the show – it does have some redeeming qualities:
Kat (Lindsey Shaw) is engaging, authentic, quick, witty and plays Kat with actual depth (unlike other actresses who simply state they have depth while “in” character). 2009 Kat is reminiscent of Julia Stiles original performance, with a hint of Lizzy Caplin from Mean Girls, and a bit of her own je ne sais quoi for good measure. Truly, she reminds me of Kristen Bell’s Veronica Mars and I’m excited to have that kind of sass back on television.
Hate the stereotype, love the way Dana Davis plays Chastity. I can see why they extended her role from one episode to full on supporting cast member. She’s a pleasant combination of Big Red from Bring It On and Regina George of Mean Girls. Now if only the writers would remember their original script and that they don’t have to do a mash up of Saved by the Bell (see title opening sequence) meets Bring it On meets Mean Girls.
SNIDE TWILIGHT REFERENCES FTW \o/ (Translation: For the Win – stick figure throwing hands in the air).
Kat: I just have one thing to say to you. I’m not that girl.
Patrick: What girl?
Kat: The girl who’s turned on by the spat boy crap. I’m not skipping home to scribble in my journal that maybe you’re a vampire.
Larry Miller! Give him someone other than his daughters and the delivery woman to interact with!!! See below for some of my favorite Larry Miller moments in addition to his original performance in 10 things I hate about you:Vodpod videos no longer available. Vodpod videos no longer available. Vodpod videos no longer available.