This past week I found myself needing to clean out the DVR box and as a result I finally got around to watching two new series premieres. Hung and 10 Things I Hate About You surprisingly left me with similar feelings. Mainly, the two shows were pretty horrible premieres in that they both served the purpose of setting up the future story lines without really allowing the audience to truly like any of the characters.
Let’s start with the show I’m least ashamed of watching: Hung. This series stars Thomas Jane as Ray Drecker, a recent divorcee who quickly finds himself nearly broke. Ray’s two children (who thus far add absolutely nothing to the show) originally were living with him until the house practically burned down and they fled to live with their mother (played seamlessly by Anne Heche). Ray is a teacher which automatically means he has no money, so he signs up for a course about entrepreneurship. While taking the course, Ray learns that he must discover what his money maker is and sell this to the public. If you couldn’t already guess from the title, it turns out Ray’s money maker is his extremely large penis. Ray realizes this after Tanya, a poet he had a past sexual fling with, suggests he sell his body. The entire episode essentially focuses on Ray’s sucky life and his decision to prostitute himself to make some money. Tanya ends up offering to help him and the process and act as his pimp.
Now it’s hard to really judge Hung based on this episode alone. Frankly, it was a bit slow paced and boring, but the odd friendship between Ray and Tanya could prove to be entertaining. The two clearly aren’t heading for a romantic relationship so it will be interesting to see exactly who the writers bring on as possible counterparts for these two characters. The best thing going for the show right now is it’s time slot. Hung airs immediately after True Blood on Sunday nights so it’s guaranteed to find a few loyal viewers. So next week when True Blood airs, stayed tuned a little longer and see what you make of this ridiculously conceptualized show.
Before I even begin talking about the next premiere, let me set the record straight. A few weeks ago I initially heard about ABC Family’s upcoming re-working of 10 Things I Hate About You. I immediately vomited in my mouth and wrote it off completely. Then, a few days ago, a friend e-mailed me a link to the show’s site saying, “horrible ideas I hope you are preparing to blog about.” It was at that moment when I decided to brave the storm, watch the show, and then trash the hell out of it. Sadly, I’m not sure I can do that cause the thing is I think I kind of liked it. Okay, okay, put the angry fists down and stop yelling at me through the internet a moment and hear me out will you? As a child of the 90s I’m infuriated by the concept of a show which thinks it can measure up even slightly to the amazingness of 10 Things. On the other hand, as an avid television watcher, the premiere itself wasn’t all the bad. Every single one of the actors and characters from the movie version out perform the television version ten-fold, but the writing is kind of damn good. The thing which saves 10 Things is the quips, sarcasm, and generally goofiness inherent in the script. These kids are kind of funny. And they do things like call the bitchy popular girl “Voldemort” and say things like “Can we turn off NPR it’s giving me menopause?”. Really, these aren’t even the best examples. But the show has some potential.
The premise is essentially the same as the movie, two sisters are attending Padua High School and one is the know-it-all, slightly pretentious bitch while the other is blond girly-girl who everybody likes. Patrick is the creepy, bad-ass guy who no one likes and Cameron is the dork in love with the pretty girl. The main difference is in the television version the sisters are the new comers to Padua High, not Cameron. The audience then gets to see Bianca’s attempt to become popular which is fairly difficult since the Cordelia-esque Chastity quickly writes her off after discovering her familial relations. In the end, Kat attempts to secure her sister a spot with the popular kids by threatening Chastity with printing ugly pictures of her in the yearbook (typical, over dramatic teen plots).
Really the biggest problem for this show (other than the fact that the movie will clearly always be better) is that Patrick is kind of too creepy. Think Edward Cullen eye rapes Bella creepy…not good. The writers would have been better off making Patrick have no interest in Kat but the first thing he says to her is that she interests him. I’d personally rather see the building of said interest as opposed to it just randomly appearing out of no where.
I’m ashamed I watched this, I’ll admit it, but I will also admit that I plan on watching it again. I laughed out loud several times and I was pleasantly surprised by the writing. If you’re anything like me, swallow you’re pride and give it a shot.