10 Things I Hate About You TV Poster Image

10 Things I Hate About You

(i)

 

High school-set comedy raises important issues for teens.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series has a strong focus on high school social structure, and many characters are preoccupied with popularity and how to achieve it (though others apparently couldn't care less). Still, although characters like "mean girl" Chastity use popularity as an excuse to be cruel, others stand up for themselves, and there's a strong father-daughter relationship at the heart of the series.

Positive role models

While Bianca admits it’s worth giving up her dignity for social acceptance, Kat sticks to her personal code and has unwavering self-esteem (even though her strong will makes her stand-offish). The girls’ over-protective father is a sympathetic character whose concern for his daughters is understandable in light of his affection for them. But teachers are cast as weak and, in at least one case, willing to give in to Chastity’s demands because of her father’s standing on the school board.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Many references to sex. Teens have romantic relationships, and there's a good bit of passionate kissing and even some mild groping. Kat and Bianca’s dad often warns them of boys’ not-so-innocent intentions with warnings like “boys want to put a baby in you.” Teens toss around terms like “getting laid” and discuss girls’ appearances and cup sizes. Bianca alludes to Kat’s previous sexual experience. 

Language

Occasional use of words like “ass” and “bitch." 

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teen drinking is implied at parties, but nothing is shown, and the drink is said to be non-alcoholic beer. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this teen-targeted series based on the same-named 1999 film includes frequent references to sex -- including comments about girls’ bodies, use of terms like “get laid,” passionate kissing, and mention of teens’ sexual experience. Popularity is a key concern, and one central character uses her social status to terrorize all but her closest friends, and her behavior goes unchecked by her peers and adults. Expect some intermittent strong language (“bitch,” “ass,” and the like) and references to teen drinking (though nothing is shown). Kat and Bianca’s father -- who never wavers in his protection of them,  even when they defy him -- is the show's strongest positive role model.

What's the story?

Inspired by the 1999 film of the same name, 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU chronicles the struggles of the Stratford sisters, Bianca (Meaghan Jette Martin) and Kat (Lindsey Shaw), as they adapt to a new school. Socialite Bianca longs only for acceptance into Padua High’s popularity nucleus, but when her sharp-tongued, feminist sister butts heads with the school’s self-appointed diva, Chastity (Dana Davis), Bianca knows she has an uphill battle ahead. On the romantic front, Kat’s unruliness turns the head of mysterious Patrick (Ethan Peck), and Bianca is being heavily pursued by resident nice guy Cameron (Nicholas Braun). The only thing the sisters can count on is the persistence of their protective father, Walter (Larry Miller), who will do anything to ensure that they stay safe -- and untouched by the opposite sex.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This series probably isn’t what Shakespeare had in mind when he wrote The Taming of the Shrew. It’s peppered with bold sexual references and innuendo, many of which come from the teens’ father (though he's otherwise an admirable role model). What’s more, Chastity’s nasty behavior toward her social inferiors raises issues related to tolerance and fairness, and Bianca’s willingness to forego her dignity for social standing sends some iffy messages to tween and teen girls. Add to that the occasional strong language and casual references to teen drinking, and it’s clear that this show (like the movie before it) isn't meant for tweens.

On a positive note, while Kat takes defiance to a new level and is frequently (and unabashedly) rude, her self-assuredness and strength in the face of social pressure are good examples for teens. Cameron, too, displays positive qualities like sincerity and integrity, and his attraction to Bianca is more than just physical. Bottom line? The content is too mature for tweens, but teens are likely to enjoy it -- just be sure to follow up with a discussion about the issues that arise if yours do tune in.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about social pressure. Teens: How have your experiences compared to those of the show's characters? What pressures have you faced? How did you respond to them?

  • You can also discuss how the show portrays teen sexuality. How does seeing and hearing about sex on TV impact real teens' behavior?

  • How does the series compare to the movie? How have the issues that teens face changed since it came out? Do you think this series offers an accurate, realistic view of current teen life?

TV details

Premiere date:July 7, 2009
Cast:Larry Miller, Lindsey Shaw, Meaghan Jette Martin
Network:Freeform
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of 10 Things I Hate About You was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 14 and 16 year old Written bydadoftwo May 20, 2010

Used to watch it, but just gave it up May 2010

My family with a 16 year old boy and 14 year old girl watched this show regularly. It was a little edgy sometimes, but we decided that it would provide a positive opportunity to discuss the bad choices that some characters were making. But the episode we just watched actually had one of the main characters going to a clinic with her soon to be partner to test for STDs before they had sex. They discussed the number of partners they had already had, and made it seem like the more the better. While they end up arguing just before consummating the relationship, it was still shocking to see them planning this up to the point of laying in the back of a van half dressed. In the same episode, they have a boy announce that he is gay.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byhannahns94 August 18, 2009

Great Teen Show

Kat isn't afraid to be herself, no matter what others say.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written bysnowtree10 February 24, 2012

Good for teens

I really like this show! There are some inappropriate scenes and references but nothing that a 14 year old probably doesn't know about already. I wouldn't recommend this for younger kids because I think they should learn about everything in an educational environment not a show that makes everything look amazing. This is a really funny show with funny characters. I recommend this for teens : )
What other families should know
Too much sex

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