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TV Review: ABC Family's '10 Things I Hate About You'

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'10 Things I Hate About You'
Three stars
7 p.m., ABC Family

I'm not sure why anyone would turn a teen movie into a TV series 10 years after the fact. All its original fans are still bitterly living at home with their parents, unable to get their careers started because of the economy, and disillusioned by the death of the movie's star, Heath Ledger. They will probably not be watching.

But a new audience will enjoy this smart high school series, which makes light of the eternal hell of high school. In a very loose update of "The Taming of the Shrew," Bianca Stratford is a sophomore new at the school, determined to become popular by kissing up to the head cheerleader.

But she can't date until her older sister Kat dates. And considering that Kat wears a beret and worries about universal health care, that's not going to be anytime soon.

Kat, played by Lindsey Shaw, has that adolescent above-it-all attitude nailed. She has no patience for the brooding hunk who has his eye on her.

"Who is Captain Intensity over there?" she asks.

"Patrick Verona," she is told. "People say he knows the taste of human flesh."

It's fun - and comforting - to watch a show where the problems are so shallow. In this series, even the dorks are attractive. Kat looks like a cross between Selma Blair and Wendy Malick, for what that's worth.

The one holdover from the original movie is Larry Miller, the girls' quirky single dad. He still has a unique method for instilling values. I remember in the movie that he would make his daughters wear a fake pregnancy belly before dates, which surely put a damper on any light petting. In the TV show, after Kat gets into a small car accident, he makes her get around the house in a wheelchair. Maybe he could write a parenting guide?

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This page contains a single entry by Paige Wiser published on July 6, 2009 4:30 AM.

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