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Rating: TV 14 (Dialogue, Language)
Running Time: 230 minutes
Starring: Lindsey Shaw, Meaghan Jette Martin, Ethan Peck, Nicholas Braun, Dana Davis, Kyle Kaplan and Larry Miller
Retail Price: $29.99
Features: Audio Commentaries, 10 Things I Hate vs. 10 Things I Love, Bloopers, Backstage Pass
Specs: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, French Subtitles, Chapter Stops (5 per episode), Two-Disc Set
Released: January 19th, 2010
The first volume of "10 Things I Hate About You" is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Save for some contrast issues in scenes that are more darkly lit, as well as noise and edge halos, these are nice transfers. Fleshtones are spot on and detail is quite good. Color saturation also impresses: colors are very rich and vibrant, and filled in quite nicely all without smearing. There is no oversaturation, either. Very pleasing and strong stuff, overall.
The series also features English Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks for its episodes. Nothing completely overpowering, so don't expect robust use of the surrounds or subwoofer, but all the sound elements are rather pleasant. Dialogue is always clear and easy to hear, while the show's music gives the channels a lot of energy that taps into the show's spirit. Surround effects are pretty good. It's typical of background crowds, footsteps, lockers slamming and other high school noises, but there are some that are pretty discrete — namely the cars in the opening of the pilot. Very fitting and satisfying, given the material.
Subtitles in English, French and Spanish are also included.
There are two Audio Commentaries. The pilot features Lindsey Shaw, Larry Miller, Director Gil Junger and Creator/Writer Carter Covington. The 7th episode "Light My Fire" features Covington, producer Robin Schiff, Dana Davis, Kyle Kaplan, Nicholas Braun and Ethan Peck. Both commentaries feature the good-natured joking around, and plenty of production anecdotes (revealed in the first commentary is the series' connection to "Heathers" and "The Craft"). Everyone seems to have a good rapport with one another and enjoy working on the series, and that definitely comes out within the comments. While neither of these tracks are slog at all, I think I preferred the second track — the flow and overall rhythm among everyone just seemed to gel a bit better. Still, both tracks are fun and breezy, much like the show itself. If you're a big fan of the series, you'll probably get the most out of these commentaries.
The second disc features all the video based extras. 10 Things I Hate vs. 10 Things I Love is presented in anamorphic widescreen, and features the cast (and series creator Carter Covington) telling things they love and hate over the course of 12 and-a-half minutes. Really, the lists tend to be about how the actors relate to their characters and ultimately give way to stories about the production. Also given time are thoughts on high school, cliques, parties, dating and Shakespeare. The cast is rather winning, and there is some genuinely humorous stuff here. This piece might be a little superfluous, but ultimately relevant and quite entertaining.
There are also roughly 2 and-a-half minutes of Bloopers, plus the 3 minute Backstage Pass. It seems like an extended promo clip, as it features clips from the show and fluff interviews from the two leads where they more or less set up the series. Light and harmless.Oh, and there's the Pilot for another ABC Family series, Make It Or Break It. Hooray for synergy — but I don't really count this as an extra.
It's hard not to feel this is a cash grab at the beloved movie, but this re-imagining of "10 Things I Hate About You" has its charms. As a DVD set, this is a nice package: the episodes look and sound good, and there are a few extras. Fans of the show will want to pick it up, but those worried their memories of the 1999 film will be tainted by seeing the series should give it a rent first. Really though, there's not much to really "hate" here. (Ha ha haaaaa.)