'Chloe King' delivers ancient teen angst

SERIES PREMIERE "The Nine Lives of Chloe King"

WHEN | WHERE Tuesday night at 9 on ABC Family

REASON TO WATCH To see the top-cat title chick hiss before she butt-kicks the bad guy, "Dying sucks, and I'm sooo not doing that again."

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Ordinary teen Chloe King (Skyler Samuels of last summer's ABC series "The Gates") turns out not to be. She's just your average gorgeous San Francisco high school nerd, until she suddenly starts hearing things nobody else can hear, throwing balls farther than the top jock and hopping atop cars without even trying. And then some shadowy executioner inexplicably hunts and kills her but, even more inexplicably, she isn't dead.

Turns out Chloe is less Gilmore Girl than Catwoman. And that also is not so hot, because, really, who wants to be forced to be the key to the rebirth of "an ancient and sacred race" that protects humans from ancient devils turned current corporate evildoers?

MY SAY "Chloe King" doesn't miss a trick. It starts with our heroine on a heavy-breathing run through the woods, fleeing baddies to pulse-pounding music, then backtracks "Two days earlier" with trendy ballads and a birthday girl sneaking into a hot dance club where she meets a hot guy.

You get your BFF gush about makeout sessions, your smart-girl verbal jousts, your missing-dad mystery, your primal superpower mythology, and your modern fight-scene mashups, shot dark and cut quick to seem exciting while simultaneously leaving vague what the ouch is going on.

The pilot hour delivers details thick and deep, and effectively, but it's hard to tell exactly what Chloe and her in-on-the-secret teen cohorts will then be left doing week to week.

BOTTOM LINE Super set-up seems to punch every teen ticket there is, with plenty to admit adults, too. Future execution will be key -- in more ways than nine.

GRADE B+

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