10 Things I Hate About You: Volume One
R1 - America - Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin (17th February 2010).
The Show

Turning a film into a TV show takes a degree of talent in trying to figure out how to convert a self-contained story that lasted more than an hour into a half hour to hour piece of television. There are some greats, like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2004) becoming one of the greatest pieces of television after the hilariously bad film (1992), but it’s just another way to stroke the tremendous talent of Joss Whedon. But outside of the handful of exceptions, there are complete and total failures. Building from a mediocre teen movie to create a teen half-hour sitcom is just a sign that it’s all downhill from the pilot onwards, but Carter Covington’s adaptation of “10 Things I Hate About You” (1999) into “10 Things I Hate About You” (2009) plunges into the depths of hell.

Ditching the reasonably entertaining aspects of the film, the television series pursues a beyond stereotypical teen comedy. Rather than having any sort of story depth with the main characters, people are re-submerged back into typical teen niches and actions, not even building any interest in the characters. This time around Kat (Lindsey Shaw) and Bianca (Meaghan Jette Martin) are new to a California high school, though their character types are mildly the same. Their father, played again by Larry Miller, is an overprotective OBGYN who is terrified of them becoming pregnant. Bianca is constantly in search of becoming popular, foiled by the mean popular girl Chastity Church (Dana Davis), while Kat is independent again though is strongly attracted to Patrick Verona (Ethan Peck) from the getgo.

By losing all the conventions of the film just in favor of the title and a few character names, the show is about as generic as you can get. There’s nothing here in this vapid teen comedy world, only popularity, boys and being the rebel, or at least as rebellious as you can get away with on ABC family. At least with adaptations like “Clueless” (1996-1999) you have the same creative force that powered the original film, but in this case Carter Covington seems to only have a grasp on what a network finds marketable as a sitcom rather than what’s actually entertaining. All the young actors seem to have been premanufactured for Disney or ABC family television and just feel fake, false and generic.

This show is worthy of the hate sonnets that Kat in the original film probably constructed, and putting together my own hate sonnet to the film would never be able to fit within the proper pentameter and number of lines. How do I loathe thee? I cannot count the ways, for this cast is too bland, it’s story so plain and it’s entirety so devoid of being that I can’t even compel myself to spend more time thinking about it.

Basically this show isn’t worth your time.

Included are the following episodes, all taken from song titles if you can’t tell (Pilot episode being the exception):

- "Pilot"
- "I Want You To Want Me"
- "Won’t Get Fooled Again"
- "Don’t Give A Damn About My Bad Reputation"
- "Don’t Give Up"
- "You Can’t Always Get What You Want"
- "Light My Fire"
- "Dance Little Sister"
- "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)"
- "Don’t Leave Me Like This"

Video

Presented with a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio, the film has the artificial look and feel that you would expect from a half hour teen comedy sitcom. It has the odd soft lighting that, combined with the HD cameras, creates a slight soap opera feel. Still the transfer brings across clean colors, though the weird lighting scheme creates a weird soft contrast that dulls a show that is already plain and mediocre.

Audio

The English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track doesn’t quite feel like a full featured audio track, but that my have been because of the original softened feel that the audio has. Like the visuals it’s oddly clear yet somehow off considering the artificiality of the show itself. Beyond the dialogue, that comes through all too clearly, is a terrible soundtrack filled with the latest in what I would guess to be teen pop songs.
Also included are English for the hearing impaired, French and Spanish subtitles.

Extras

The full season runs only ten episodes and so only spans two DVD's with a bit of special features sprinkled in, including two audio commentaries, two featurettes, a bonus pilot for another show and the bloopers along with some bonus trailers.

DISC ONE:

The only audio commentary track on this disc is on the "Pilot" with episode director Gil Junger, series writer Carter Covington and cast members Lindsey Shaw and Larry Miller, and it really lives up to the quality of the series. The track is filled with pauses and anecdotes that aren’t that interesting or only casually related to the rest of the show. Stories include learning to drive stick, the heat and the weather, and different thigns that they love about the show. They seem to be having a good time watching the episode and talking about it, and if you enjoy watching the show you may enjoy watching it with them, but for me it was just another extension of the terribleness of the show.

Bonus trailers on the disc are:

- “When in Rome” runs for 2 minutes and 33 seconds.
- “Make it or Break it: Season One” runs for 58 seconds.
- “Gary Unmarried: The Complete First Season” runs for 1 minute and 11 seconds.
- “The Last Song” runs for 1 minute and 43 seconds.
- “Surrogates” runs for 1 minute and 22 seconds.
- “Disney Blu-ray” spot runs for 1 minute and 2 seconds.
- “Greek: Chapter Four” runs for 1 minute.
- “The Boys are Back” runs for 1 minute and 22 seconds.
- “10 Things I Hate About You: 10th Anniversary Special Edition” runs for 57 seconds.
- “Army Wives: The Complete Third Season” runs for 1 minute and 18 seconds.
- “10 Things I Hate About You” spot runs for 32 seconds.

DISC TWO:

First is the audio commentary on the episode “Light My Fire” with executive producer Robin Schiff and cast members Dana Davis, Nick Braun and Ethan Peck and runs about the same as the earlier commentary on the first disc. There’s still the same amount of weird pauses and causal links to the show, more stories about what it’s like working with other actors than actually talking about the show. Maybe the most bizarre thing about it all is Ethan Peck’s bizzarely deep voice compared with his in-show voice, it makes more sense that he’s 23 in real life, but still it’s a bit of a disconnect.

Next up is a bonus pilot for “Make it or Break it” which runs a full 44 minutes and 5 seconds. Another exercize in cross promotion, this pilot is for a gymnastics drama sitcom that is about as interesting as you expect. Gymnasts who look far to old to be actual Olympic gymnasts or at least over 14, the show makes gymnastics less interesting and since their created day to day dramas aren’t engaging either.

“10 Things I Love Versus 10 Things I Hate” featurette runs for 12 minutes and 26 seconds, the cast and creator of the show go through things they love and hate about the show. Going through loves and hates about their characters, the rest of the cast, dating and a few other topics involved with the show. It’s a featurette that seems cornily necessary for a show with this title, not terribly interesting as all the cast jokes around about likes and dislikes, while giving small pieces of information on the show through talking head interviews and clips of the show itself.

The blooper reel runs for 2 minutes and 24 seconds, it’s a blooper reel where people on set laugh and you may or may not.

“Backstage Pass” runs for 3 minutes and 38 seconds, this featurette is more like an interprogram promotional clip where everyone describes the show as well as a great amount of clips of the show to try and trick you into watching it.

Overall

The Show: F Video: B- Audio: C+ Extras: F Overall: C-