10 Things I Hate About You: Volume 1 (2009)

Genre(s): Comedy
Buena Vista || NR - 230 minutes - $29.99 || January 12, 2010
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2010-01-25


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Karen McCullah Lutz & Kirsten Smith (characters); Carter Covington (developer)
Cast: Lindsey Shaw, Meaghan Jette Martin, Ethan Peck, Nicholas Braun, Larry Miller


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Episode Commentaries
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Gag Reel
  • "Make It or Break It" Pilot


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

Spinning off a movie into a TV show is not an easy task. Sometimes it works (“MASH”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), but many times they fail (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, “Ferris Bueller” among many others). But here's the thing - when you opt to try and make a successful movie and turn it into a TV Series it's best to do so at the height of its fame – and this case it would be 1999/2000. But when Heath Ledger died it must have sparked some renewed interest in one of his best films, so Disney commissioned a pilot which in turn became this series.

The show is very loosely based on the movie 10 Things I Hate About You with some obvious changes being made to help sustain it for (possibly) several seasons. The Stratford sisters are new in town, and act very much like their movie counterparts. Bianca (Martin) is the pretty, yet stupid daughter who dreams of being part of the cool crowd and dating the cutest guy in school while Kat (Shaw) is the rebellious, older daughter who has a mind of her own and would rather stand up for women's rights instead of trying out the newest color of lipstick. As usual, the two play off each other, get into fights, team up and just try to get through the hell of High School.

The show succeeds in a few areas. First would be bringing back the original dad from the movie, Larry Miller, as he is the perfect single father to raise two young women. He's quick with jokes and gels well with the transformation from a Movie to a TV Show. The way he acts in the show is exactly how he is in real life. The two female leads also bring a fresh feeling to the show (I didn't care for the two leads in the movie...strange, right?) as does Kat's off and on boyfriend Patrick (Peck; taking over for Heath Ledger). What does not work is the character of Cameron who went from a shy, slightly geeky character to a full blown idiot along with his sidekick Michael. While I respect that they wanted to bring as much from the Movie to the TV Show as possible, these characters should be dropped. Possibly the worst aspect would be the 30 minute format (really 22 with commercials). In a teen drama, 22 minutes is never enough time to properly carve out a story; far too many times subplots are too quickly resolved or are completely forgotten.

With ABC Family high on love for teen shows, "10 Things I Hate About You" seems like the perfect fit - except it's a 30 minute show compared to all the rest that have survived more than one season (R.I.P. "Ruby and the Rockits" and "Roommates"). So that's where the problem lies - where does this show go? ABC Family has success in its 1 hour dramas ("Secret Life", "Make it or Break It", "Lincoln Heights", "Greek") but you can't possibly schedule this show after any of those because of the limited running time unless ABC Family doubles-ups on episodes. So what we’re left with is show that has a problem finding a lead-in or lead-out and can't find a good show to go on before or after it to boot!



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

This release comes packaged in a clear DVD case with an attractive slip cover.

Commentaries on the following Episodes: “Pilot” and “Light my Fire”

10 Things I have VS. 10 Things I Love (13 Minutes) - The cast talks about their likes and dislikes. Young kids who watch the show will enjoy this, but anyone over the age of 15 will quickly turn this off.

And rounding out the disc is a short Gag Reel (3 Minutes), a Backstage Pass (4 Minutes) feature which shows us various pieces of the set and the Pilot episode for "Make it or Break It" (42 Minutes).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

“10 Things I Hate About You” is presented in 1.78:1 with all 10 episodes on 2 DVDs. Like the other recent ABC Family DVD releases, it looks stunning up-converted. Colors are incredibly vibrant and blacks very dark. Disney continues to impress me with their TV offerings.

Disney has included an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track for this release. Dialog is very clean while rears are frequently empty. This is not a bad thing as the show is so dialog heavy. As usual, everything is focused on the front speakers while the rears are rarely used. Not a bad thing given the low budget of the series.



.::OVERALL::.

“10 Things...” is a decent attempt at turning an edgy teen flick into a watered down tween show, but hopefully things improve. I'd like to see them drop some of the extra cast members (Cameron and Michael) given the short run time of each episode, and maybe delve into slightly edgier topics that other hit shows on the network do. ABC picked it up for another 12 episodes, so hopefully things change.