10 Things I Hate About You: Season One, Volume Two DVD Review: Canceled Too Soon?

Wait, they made a series out of that movie? Indeed they did! For those of us who don’t bother paying outrageous monthly fees in order to keep up with the latest crap television networks dish out to otherwise intelligent audiences on an hourly basis, it may interest you to know that Disney turned their 1999 hit teen drama 10 Things I Hate About You into a TV show ten years after its source of inspiration came and went. In hindsight, their timing probably wasn’t the best: the family dramedy was a short-lived one, lasting only a single season and twenty 30-minute episodes before fading into the annals of forgotten series along with shows like Cop Rock and The Paul Reiser Show.

But, whereas nary a one shed a tear over the departure of Cop Rock and The Paul Reiser Show from their TV sets (the latter more than the former), I can’t say I was delighted to see 10 Things I Hate About You go. As family-friendly series go, this wasn’t that bad of a show — and that’s not just because they brought the great Larry Miller back to reprise his role as Dr. Walter Stratford, the paranoid, prissy patriarch of the show’s teenage female protagonists, Kat and Bianca, played here — respectively — by Lindsey Shaw (who later had the misfortune of being cast in The Howling: Reborn) and Meaghan Martin (who wound up starring in another, even shorter-lived series, Wendy).

For me, the best thing about this series was seeing Gregory Peck’s grandson, Ethan Peck, in the role of Patrick Verona, played for in the 1999 movie by the late Heath Ledger. Much like his famous grandpappy, Ethan has one of the greatest, deep voices I’ve ever heard, especially when it’s heard alongside high-pitched teenage girls. If he doesn’t make the most of that voice, it’ll be a major shame. Another thing I liked about 10 Things I Hate About You was — just like its cinematic predecessor — it shoots some good family values home to the youths, such as “Take your time when it comes to sex,” and “It’s okay if your best friend turns out to be gay.” Frankly, I like seeing that in a show. Too bad it ends on a cliffhanger, eh?

Oh, and we also get to see thirty-something co-star Dana Davis (who plays a teen, and convincingly at that) in a bikini. The fact she looks a bit like porn star Candice Nicole makes it all the more appealing to me.

Damn. So much for my “family values” crusade.

Shout! Factory brings us the second and final set of this ill-fated ABC Family show to DVD in a 3-Disc set boasting 10 episodes. While the box art says they’re presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, they are actually shown in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The only special features to be found are some behind-the-scenes shots, most of which are for co-star Chris Zylka’s character’s moment on a fictitious reality show called The Biggest Poser.

Best recommended for families, needless to say.

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Luigi Bastardo

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