Published July 10, 2009
"10 Things I Hate About You" is the small-screen version of the 1999 feature film that launched the career of the then-unknown Heath Ledger.
Both the movie and the new show feature a modern retelling of William Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew," and the shrew in question is Kat, a smart, edgy outsider at Padua High School. And while she's likely to be tamed by the handsome hunk Patrick Verona (as in the movie), the TV show's pilot focuses on her strained relationship with her sweet, if not terribly swift, popularity-craving sibling, Bianca.
It seems that the TV series is going to cover a lot of loving and hating between a lot of different people. And thereby hangs a tale that's been the crux of some of TV's greatest shows. We look at those famous love/hate relationships where opposites repel and yet attract — or at least come together for their own convenience or the benefit of an uproariously funny story line from time to time.
Jim Halpern and Dwight Schrute on "The Office"
Everyone has one — that person at the office that just makes them crazy. Dwight Schrute is Jim Halpern's office foil. So, Jim and Pam spend a lot of time playing pranks on the borderline sociopathic paper salesman. Still, Jim and Dwight had to set their differences aside when they both received potentially career damaging feedback from their clients. What else could two sitcom archenemies do but turn Batman and Robin to clear their good names and expose the conspiracy that Kelly planned to bring them down (that will teach them to skip her "America's Got Talent" finale party)? With their bonuses intact, they could go back to the task of making each other miserable on a regular basis.
TV has never really seen such opposites as Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, the dueling judges on "American Idol." The pair bicker endlessly while critiquing the contestants. Sweet, allegedly over-medicated Paula tries to find the good in everyone, even if that means complimenting someone's shoes or new hairstyle, while the hyper-critical, always ornery Simon dispenses a kind word so infrequently that singers are often stunned when he does. And yet, the two occasionally find common ground and do appear to like each other in that weird brother-sister "I'm not touching you" kind of way.
Marie Barone and Debra Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond"
Marie Barone's relationship to her daughter-in-law, Debra, had a bit more hate than love going on. Marie spent her days cooking, cleaning, and running the house and when she was done with that, she went over to Debra's to criticize her efforts. Debra had her hands full tending to three rambunctious kids and a lazy husband who did little to help around the house. Marie's allegedly kind gestures barely masked the manipulative, hyper-critical nature that bubbled just underneath the surface. Debra tried to ignore her constant meddling until she got to the breaking point (once every episode or two) and took it all out on her husband, Ray.
David Addison and Maddie Hayes on "Moonlighting"
Sometimes the whole love/hate drama spills off the small screen and carries into the actors' real-life relationships. Such was the case on the set of the '80s detective series "Moonlighting." Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd played David Addison and Maddie Hayes, a private eye and former model who joined forces to solve crimes. Their sexual tension was thick, culminating in the inevitably disastrous Season Three consummation of Dave and Maddie's passion. Behind the scenes, Bruce and Cybill were notoriously contentious with each other. Tensions mounted when Shepherd became pregnant with twins and needed to lighten her workload, and Willis became a movie star. While the detectives became lovers, the actors became adversaries, and the series soon came to an end.
Andy Travis and Herb Tarlick on "WKRP in Cincinnati"
Andy Travis and Herb Tarlick frequently went toe-to-toe on the '70s sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati" – Andy in cowboy boots and Herb in his white patent-leather shoes. After all, it wasn't easy to be Herb's boss. He tried to get the sweet-as-pie Bailey Quarters fired from her first producing gig on "Cincinnati Beat," and even though he was married, he pursued secretary Jennifer Marlowe with a vengeance. Add to that, he wasn't a very good salesman, which was, after all, his job. But despite the fact that, at best, WKRP rose to 14th place in the local market, Andy just couldn't bring himself to let the annoying Herb go. After all, how could he totally hate an employee who'd take one for the team and sport a giant WKRP carp fish suit? And after walking in Herb's shoes while his employee was out on jury duty, Andy realized that being the fledgling station's sales manager might be a tough job even for a more capable guy.
Alex Reiger and Louie De Palma on "Taxi"
Friction between Alex Reiger and Louie De Palma was inevitable. Louie was "Taxi's" dispatcher, officially in charge of putting drivers on the street. Alex was the de facto leader of the motley crew, which included an actor, a boxer, and a fine artist who made a living by driving the yellow cabs. When you add in the fact that Louie was perhaps the most notoriously nasty character in TV history and that Alex didn't suffer fools gladly, you had sitcom gold. Still, when Alex had a chance to help Louie find love, he lent him a hand, hooking him up with vending machine maven Zena Sherman. Would a true hater help his nemesis follow his heart? We think not.
Archie Bunker and Mike Stivic on "All in the Family"
Archie Bunker and his son-in-law never saw eye-to-eye on anything. Archie was an uneducated, outspoken, close-minded bigot, who seldom found the good in anyone, while Mike (or "Meathead" to Archie) was a long-haired, liberal, hippie college student, who often went to anti-war protests and wrote letters to Congressmen. But the pair had one thing in common: Gloria. And so they lived with the differences and in some weird way even came to appreciate them.
Rhoda Morgenstern and Phyllis Lindstrom on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
Mary Tyler Moore had two best friends, who, of course, were in a constant rivalry to be her BEST best friend. Rhoda Morgenstern and Phyllis Lindstrom could not have been more different. Rhoda was a carefree, artistic, self-deprecating New Yorker who was a little bit jealous of Mary's life, while Phyllis was an uptight, snobby doctor's wife who couldn't imagine in a million years why everyone wasn't jealous of her life. Rhoda lived in the tiny fourth floor attic apartment managed by her landlady, Phyllis, but she always coveted the bigger, brighter unit downstairs. When the third floor space became vacant and Phyllis' found out her friend Mary was moving to town, the landlady forged her friend's signature on the one-year lease (without Mary's consent) rather than let Rhoda get what she wanted. This caused Mary and Rhoda to get off on the wrong foot, but they got over it. Rhoda and Phyllis? Not so much. In one episode Phyllis explained, "We like one another, except as people." Still, the pair always came together when Mary needed her friends.
Felix Unger and Oscar Madison on "The Odd Couple"
The opening title sequence of "The Odd Couple" poses the age-old question, "Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?" The answer, of course is a resounding: "No." But even though Felix and Oscar completely clashed every step of the way, uptight, neat freak Felix and easy-going slob Oscar managed to get past their differences and even find common ground on occasion.
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