Previews for this show have been confusing me since they started. First, I thought they were just remaking the movie into an ABC Family TV Movie. I thought that was really dumb, and also sad because no one could replace Heath Ledger. Then, I found out it was a TV series about a month ago, but I figured it was an hour long drama. Wrong again. Apparently it is a half hour comedy on Tuesday nights at 8 pm.
The series has the same characters as the 1999 movie version. The two sisters, Bianca and Kat, are complete opposites. Bianca is younger, and has dreams of being the most popular girl in school. On her first day she announces to Kat that she has done extensive research on Facebook to deduce who is the most popular girl in school (the superintendent's daughter, Chastity Church) and has already planned out their first meeting.
Kat is uninterested in this since she is the rebellious older sister with an activist agenda (reminds me of how they make fun of Janie Briggs' stereotype in Not Another Teen Movie). She hurts Bianca's chances of making a good impression with Chastity when she knocks off the rich girl's bumper with her old car. Bianca follows her plan anyway, but does her best to hide her sister's identity. Unfortunately, Chastity finds out and it is up to Kat to get Bianca on the cheer leading squad.
The guys of the original movie are introduced in the pilot, too: the rebellious counterpart to Kat, Patrick Verona, the hopelessly smitten with Bianca, Cameron James, and the completely self absorbed boyfriend to Chastity, Joey Donner. They don't serve much of a purpose in this episode except to introduce themselves, and so far they are exactly like they were in the movie. I'm looking forward to when the TV show will come up with something fresh and deviate from the movie plot line.
Not to be forgotten is Larry Miller playing the role of Kat and Bianca's overly preachy dad. Miller is the only person to reprise his role from the movie. He is still funny with his constant speeches about the dangers of teen pregnancy and STDs, and his unique punishments for wrong behavior. In the pilot, Kat is sentenced to a wheel chair for a few days as a mode of getting around the house after she rams Chastity's car. This part was cute and amusing.
There isn't much else to say about the pilot because it was only a half hour. As I said, I'm looking forward to fresh plot lines. The cast works for me and lives up somewhat to their predecessors (except Ethan Peck as Patrick...no one can be the adorable Heath Ledger I greatly miss). ABC Family's comedies don't usually do very well, but hopefully all the publicity for this will keep it going throughout the rest of the summer.