Posted: 01/12/2010


10 Things I Hate About You, Season 1


by Laura Tucker

Film Monthly Home
Wayne Case
Steve Anderson
The Rant
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
The Indies
Film Noir
Coming Soon
Now Playing
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
Interviews TV

There is so much to be said about sibling rivalry, especially when there are only a total of two siblings in a family. There’s always a complete role-reversal with the siblings as complete opposites. I see it in my own two kids, and I know it exists between me and my sister. That’s what makes it interesting watching 10 Things I Hate About You, the differences between the two sisters.

The series is based on the movie of the same name, which was based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Kat and Bianca (Lindsey Shaw and Meaghan Jette Martin) are two sisters who have just moved to Padua High School. Their mother has passed away, and their father is an OB/GYN, doing his best to raise two teen-aged daughters. Because of his profession, he’s very concerned at all times about his daughters getting together with boys as well as them staying away from drugs and alcohol. He even gives them urine tests when they come home from parties.

Kat is … well, she would be the shrew. She’s dark and brooding, strong and intelligent, and cares about the issues. She’s more or less a social outcast, but really doesn’t care. Bianca is the opposite, with her whole life wrapped around her social status. She does research on the head cheerleader, the most popular girl in school, in order to befriend her and make the squad and hopefully get in on her social status. When Kat makes a reference to the dictator of North Korea, Bianca thinks his name is “Long Duk Dong.”

Kat makes friends quickly with Mandella (Jolene Purdy) a heavyset outcast who uses her spare time to paint graffiti on the school. While she’s undeniably drawn to Patrick Verona (Ethan Peck), Kat refuses to admit to the attraction and admires him from afar, despite Mandella’s warnings about him. Bianca meets the head cheerleader, Chastity (Dana Davis), as promised, but things don’t go well when she and Chastity’s boyfriend, Joey (Andrew Keegan), both aspiring models, hit it off. Bianca doesn’t originally make the team, but Kat and Mandella apply a little muscle and blackmail Chastity by threatening to show pictures of her with “a double chin, muffin top, and kankles” around. They hit on a deal for Bianca to be the mascot. I think even at 45 I could be blackmailed with pics of me with double chin, muffin top, and kankles.

There’s no doubt that this is a great teen comedy. While watching the DVD set, my 13-year-old daughter was completely entranced. Yet where it fails is to keep the original Shakespearean theme. The one theme that remained integral in both Taming of the Shrew and the movie version of 10 Things I Hate About You was that the younger sister wouldn’t be allowed to marry/date until the older sister did, and the older sister isn’t one that guys can get along with easily. That’s missing out of the weekly series, as Patrick is nearly chasing Kat. And Bianca’s status in dating doesn’t seem to be sewn up in her sister as much as it’s sewn up in her own choices and others’.

Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, provides reviews at Viewpoints, and provides entertainment news pieces at Gather. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at

Got a problem? E-mail us at