I have a confession to make. The Season 1 finale of 10 Things I Hate About You left me ... whelmed. Am I alone here?
Don't get me wrong. I've professed my love for this show on several occasions. It's not that I hated the episode. There were some cute moments. Kat (Lindsey Shaw) and Chastity (Dana Davis) bonded for, like, five seconds over the issue of school uniforms. Joey (Chris Zylka) and Bianca (Meaghan Jette Martin) hooked up for, like, five seconds in a storage closet. Next season will be great! The cup of storylines is poised to runneth over! So what the hell -- er, heck -- is up with Kat?
After solving the uniforms issue, she and Mandella (Jolene Purdy) chained themselves to a tree in the school's courtyard to protest the bag searches that were instated along with the uniforms. It was all very Kumbaya-meets-country club until Mr. Stratford (Larry Miller) marched in and delicately persuaded his daughter to come down from her post, since she would get suspended and it would go on her permanent record and she wouldn't get into Brown. It was like he was convincing her not to buy a pair of shoes because they weren't the right color -- even though just last week, he had placed a surveillance-camera-stuffed animal in his house to monitor his daughters while he left for the weekend. You'd think that such an overprotective parent would react a little more vehemently to the possibility of his daughter's suspension.
To top it off, Kat flipped her protest-minded outlook almost instantly, to the disappointment of Mandella and Patrick (Ethan Peck), who believed she'd sold out. But when Patrick refused to have his bag searched and stormed back out of the building to his own suspension, Kat changed her mind again and followed him out -- even though just two weeks ago, she had confessed to her father that she bought a fake I.D. You'd think that a girl with a conscience would continue to respect her father, instead of following her crush blindly into "rebellion."
Kat just isn't herself anymore -- and while it's refreshing to see characters mature and develop over time, it's frustrating and unrealistic to see it happen over the course of a single episode. What's the lesson here, ABC Family? That it's okay to change your mind about stuff because a cute boy convinced you to? That it's okay to stand up for what you believe in as long as he's got the motorcycle ready and waiting outside? That it's okay to defy your parents when they know what they're talking about?
I'm not sure what the 10 Things crew has in store for the Stratford sisters next season, but I hope that Kat redeems herself. She's sure going to be in trouble when she gets back from that motorcycle ride ...