The first episode opens with the dad warning the girls not to pregnant on the first day at their new high school. Why they are at a new school is unclear (Bianca is a freshman so that makes sense, did Kat get kicked out?) Bianca reveals that she has done research to discover the most popular girl in school and though I believe in her social ambition I doubt she would put in that sort of effort because it’s too much like doing homework. When Kat tells her she looks shallow she says thank you.
Kat then has a near run in with Patrick Verona, though we don’t get to see more than his eyes and his bad boy motorcycle. She then plows into Chastity’s car, Chastity being the rich mean girl whose father basically supplies the school with money. Why you might ask? Because Chastity said she couldn’t park in her spot, as they are assigned by Charles Darwin.
Over to Cameron and Michael, sophomores who are desperate for girlfriends and remaking their images. Cam spots Bianca and instantly falls in love with her so he attempts to be her hero by opening her locker and mooning over her. He further points out that her locker combination is made up of prime numbers. Chastity and Kat are in the principal’s office, where the principal sweet talks Chastity “can’t have our head cheerleader having problems.” Kat’s pretty pissed as this is public school where everyone deserves to be treated equally with dignity. Another short run in with Patrick, still not a favorable impression.
Cam basically stalks Bianca during lunch. He is freaking out because he only has a short window of time to attract her attention before she becomes popular. Unfortunately for him, Bianca intends to befriend Chastity and sets her plan and knowledge of the it girl in motion by dropping her lip gloss in front of Chastity, who is now sporting a neck brace. Chastity tells her to try out for the cheerleading squad. Cam and Michael decide they need a plan of their own to catch Bianca’s attention.
Kat skips out on the cafeteria, instead finding Mandella spray painting the walls. Kat assures her that she won’t tell and then notices Patrick staring at her looking all broody in the corner. Apparently “Captain Intensity” has a scary reputation (something about eating human flesh?), but Kat is unintimidated by his mysterious aura (after all it’s just a front to get laid). She stares him down until he leaves. Mandella is awed by this.
Bianca continues “flirting” with Chastity until the head cheerleading spots her boyfriend Joey and starts making out with him. She lets her boyfriend know that it’s important for him to be starting quarterback because she doesn’t date second string. They discover that they have so much in common because they both…take chemistry!
Cam and Michael set their plan in motion by interrupting the school news to announce that they are planning a party. Cam is concerned with getting caught and being kicked out of the AV club, of which he is 1/2 the club.
Onto cheerleading tryouts Chastity gives an inspiring speech about how not everyone can make it (“its tryouts not sign ups!”) and how whoever doesn’t make it will regret it for the rest of her lives. The only thing she regrets is that no one cried. Not to worry though, Bianca is a winner! Until Chastity discovers that she and Kat are sisters. Because of the Ten Things Chastity hated about the day, Kat makes the list three times. (See what they did there? Ten things? Get it?!?)
During dinner they fight about Kat ruining Bianca’s social life. Bianca’s upset because Kat keeps using big words (dictators, bound feet, etc) while telling her there are bigger things in life. But her father shocks Kat when he reveals that he doesn’t think popularity is a shallow thing to pursue. He says he loved being popular (wait, that was Uncle Jimmy who was popular with). That’s when we see that the dad is making Kat sit in a wheelchair to show her how serious the accident could have been. (Not as bad as the fake belly in the movie, I think.)
Bianca wants Kat to drive her to the party and at first Kat refuses, but Bianca threatens to reveal to their father that Kat is no longer a virgin so Kat relents. Cam’s party, however, has gone horribly awry because he didn’t realize he was meant to supply beer. Oops.While Bianca searches for Chastity, Kat approaches Patrick (with a tazor) to ask what his deal is.
All he has to say is that he finds her interesting because people are afraid of her. (We are all disappointed here to find out that Patrick doesn’t have an accent.) Chastity is upset because Joey isn’t starting in the game. It seems he wasted his summer modeling instead of practicing his football. Bianca ends up in the closet with him and they talk a little. Bianca sympathizes with his desire to model and Chastity discover them in the closet together. To add insult to injury, Bianca is wearing the same top as Chastity.
The next morning Bianca says she’ll join show choir since she can’t be popular. Kat thinks its good, mom would not approve of her obsession with what other people think. The dad counters, saying Bianca’s ability to thrive in any social situation was one of Bianca’s best traits. And then the kicker, their mom loved Kat’s compassion for others, which is why it’s shocking that someone who cares so deeply for universal healthcare can’t find any compassion for her own sister. Ouch. Even Kat acknowledges that he’s good, serving back the dead mom card.
The cheerleaders are super excited to see people cry about not making the team. Chastity is ambushed by Kat and Mandella. They convince her to put Bianca on the squad by taking bad pictures of her. As photography editor of the year book Kat will fill it with bad pictures of her if she doesn’t agree. So Chastity relents. She puts Bianca on the squad…as the mascot! Cam is disappointed but when Bianca reveals that she needs help in french he offers to tutor her (as in the movie, he knows no actual french).
The show ends with Kat knocking Chastity’s bumper off her car a second time while pulling out of the parking lot, the song “I Want You To Want Me” that we all know and love from the movie playing.