While the ABC Family series 10 Things I Hate About You has yet to premiere, I'm ALREADY making a list of the reasons why I WON'T like the show based upon the extended preview I saw for the first time today.
1) These actors SUCK. You can't replace Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger (God rest his soul). The original cast was simply too good. I almost feel bad for these kids. I don't care if Gregory Peck is the grandfather of the guy who is playing Patrick Verona (Ledger's character in the film). You WILL not EVER be as good as Ledger was in the movie.
2) The plot elements aren't all the same. In the movie the Stratford sister's mom leaves them. In the preview it mentions she dies. I'm sure this is just one in a long list of changes the writer's of the series have made in order to provide more dramatic plot points. Instead they're just screwing with what WAS a cleverly designed film based on Shakespear's "Taming of the Shrew".
3) They are trying to bring back the best elements of the film in the worst way. Allison Janney was amazing as Ms. Perky in the film. Her character, while not the largest role, was certainly one of the best. In the preview her replacement seems to attempt to fill the void and I don't care how hard the writer's try...no other guidance councilor will be able to take her place (I doubt the characters will even be able to MAKE the same hilarious sexual references on ABC FAMILY).
4) I didn't see Mr. Morgan. Granted the preview was short so there is the potential they cast a character to fill the role left by Daryl "the Chill" Mitchell in the big screen version. But if they did a good job he should have made the extended preview. Mr. Morgan's character was pivotal in the film for a number of reasons (most importantly it provided the stage for Kat's poem in the end), it should be similar to Mr. Pheny's role in Boy Meets World if the show wants to succeed.
5) How many more Gyno jokes can Larry Miller make? I loved Larry Miller as Mr. Stratford in the film. I love that he's back in the show. I don't love that they are going to make me hate his character by using every sexual cliche possible and exploiting his role as a Gyno. The preview already gives an example of how they are bringing back his overly-concerned parenting style. It's as though they're trying to meld Mean Girls with the original film in order to make the sex jokes funny again. Well, they're not.
6) Did I mention I don't like the acting? Upon further review I feel the need to discuss this subject in more detail. Bianca's character in the film worked because you both loved her and hated her. Larissa Oleynik was able to make you feel for her and loathe her all at the same time. And you could genuinely sense the deeply rooted love between the sisters. I'm not feeling the love for Meaghan Martin here. Maybe it's because of her Disney roots (although I doubt it. Camp Rock was bad for all parties involved, not just her). I swear to God if they try to make her into a singing star in this series I'll vomit. ABC Family is not known for pumping out duel-threats. That's Disney's job. The minute the "talent show" episode comes around RUN.
7) Where's Andrew Keegan's character? The show needs a Joey. I'm not sure if he just didn't make it into the previews or what...but without the self-obsessed jock this show won't fly. Andrew Keegan was the antagonist and also served as the comic relief in many of the film's scenes. If you are really going to stay true to the foundation on which this idea was formed you must have a strong Joey presence.
8) What about the quirky sub-characters? Part of the movie's charm was the sub-characters like Boegy Loenstein who were both responsible for plot development AND comic relief. The show will need the same strong background characters in order to keep the framework together. I just doubt they'll be able to get the talent necessary to bring that to the table, especially considering you they have playing the leads.
9) It's on ABC Family. I mentioned this before, but I have to say it again. Part of the movie's appeal was it's sometimes crude sense of humor, drug and alcohol use, and sexual references. I'm not sure how strict ABC Family will be regarding these topics. I know you see a lot of that in Greek but will it be enough to keep 10 Things afloat?
10) It's premiering in the middle of the summer. When was the last GOOD TV show that made its debut in the middle of the summer? That's what I thought. If this were really that good they would have held it for a fall premiere. Maybe I'm just a pessimist. Maybe ABC Family programming works differently from other networks. Maybe the network is trying to follow in Disney's footsteps and steal the younger generation away during the summer months. If that's the case good luck. That will also mean you won't be going after the audience that fell in the love with the movie the first time around. I know this because they are all my age and will be out doing things this summer NOT watching ABC Family. This should be the type of show that ends up on the CW and competes with Gossip Girl, not ends up on ABC Family and competes with Hannah Montana.