10. The Dad from the movie is the dad on the series. He had the second best line in the movie:* “What’s normal? Those damn Dawson’s river kids sleeping in each others’ beds and what not? I’ve got news for you. I’m down, I’ve got the 411, and you are not going out and getting jiggy with some boy, I don’t care how dope his ride is. Mama didn’t raise no fool.”
9. Shakespeare is name-checked at minute one and 35 seconds. (“Beguile… big word, Shakespeare.”)
8. Kat has the smart mudflap girl hanging from her rearview. I’m in favor feminist protagonists, although you know, it is Taming of the Shrew, and Kat can be mean for real. (She mocks some girls to their faces for needing male attention. Uh, why wouldn’t they? Misogyny is real. Don’t blame the victims of sexism for sexism.) And no, not all feminists are super-nice or patient and kind, but it’s hardly like we have a plethora of small screen heroines. TV characters who use the F word are… Donna from that 70s Show and… um… yeah. Even Buffy doesn’t call herself a feminist.
7. So many spectacular one-liners like: “Your booty needs to pop like that whitehead on your chin!”
6. Ethan Peck, who plays Patrick Verona, also played young Kelso on That 70s Show (they grow up so fast!) Anything that reminds me of Kelso is all right by me.
5. Nicholas Braun, who plays Cameron (who loves Bianca), played Randy on Secret Life of the American Teenager, the manager of the Hot Dog Hut of Minorities Propping up White Ladies, the one who hit on Anne by asking if she’s a natural redhead. It’s my list, SLAT can come before That 70s Show if I want it that way.
4. “I’m not skipping home to scribble in my journal that maybe you’re a vampire.” Ha! FACED Edward Cullen!
3. The game Rock Band as a seduction technique. Friends, I have tried to use this, I have high hopes it can be deployed well, but neither I, nor the mailwoman managed it.
2. Kat and Bianca Stratford are originally from Ohio in this version, which is mostly just great to Doostyn and me. Like we always say, “Great Lake, Great Time.”
1. Kat’s new best friend, Mandella, seems to have a big ol’ lesbian crush on Kat. I love this development! It is so rare for a character on a teen show to just be straight (heh) out lesbian, not experimenting after and before being “really” into dudes or, worse, girl-on-girl-to-turn-on-dudes. I think this is TVs way of denying that lesbians really exist, it’s either all for the guys or a short detour from the guys. It’s the chaste bro hug for the ladies.
And 4 Things I Hate About 10 Things I Hate About You:
4. Kat is getting the ugly makeover. The actress is clearly a pretty girl, but they are making her look tv ugly (probably for a later makeover, natch). This is so unnecessary! In the movie, Julia Stiles as Kat was smoking hot. But I guess we’re learning a valuable lesson about how feminists are ugly. (I say, while sporting a veritable thicket of leg hair. Believe me, I’m in favor of women not having to be hawt all the time, but somehow I don’t think that’s the egalitarian ideal the show is going for.)
3. As usual, the show promotes the poisonous idea of the Nice Guy. You know, he just loves the girl, and is dorky yet devoted. He deserves to win her, as a prize for his goodness! Unlike that mean jock who loves her for shallow reasons of status. (The nice guy usually (and definitely in this case) falls for her instantly based on, you guessed it, looks. Nice guys= patriarchal douches who think they’ve mastered their sexism.)
2. The “disgusting perv” who has a note from his parents saying he has gender confusion so he can use the ladies’ room. Kat asks: “Are you confused?” Disgusting Perv: “I’m confused about how to get into your pants.” Ugh. Bathroom panic is simultaneously so 80s and so last year. Neither Feminism nor widespread understanding of transgender issues will lead inexorably to straight, cisgender male pervs in the bathroom. God.
1. The head cheerleader is a black girl, which would be encouraging (I think modeling what you’d like to see in society on tv is a great way to get people used to ideas) since I love the idea that the most socially prized position needn’t go to the usual thin blonde white girl. But Chastity seems to be set up to take a fall so that Bianca (thin blonde white girl) can rightfully usurp her. And the idea that the already privileged are the only ones who deserve leadership positions is a lesson no one needs.
*The best line, of course, is the late great Heath Ledger’s “What is it with this girl? Does she have beer flavored nipples?” No joke, I quote this line ALL the time.