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TV Series Review

Keeping secrets, breaking and entering, solving mysteries and catching crooks is just a day in the life for young sleuth Nancy Drew… Or at least it used to be.

Ever since her mom passed away from pancreatic cancer, Nancy stopped searching for clues in the dark. But when a rich socialite is killed right outside the diner where Nancy works during a mysterious blackout, she can’t help herself. Because, let’s be honest, Nancy loves solving mysteries.

Based on the character created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer as the female counterpart to his Hardy Boys series, Nancy is as smart, resourceful and independent as ever. She receives help from book series regulars Bess Marvin, George Fan (originally Fayne in the book series), and even her longtime beau in the novels, Ned Nickerson (though he prefers to go by “Nick”). However, the CW’s interpretation of these characters aren’t quite as wholesome as the originals.

The Mystery of the Morphing Detective

For starters, Nancy and her friends aren’t, well, friends. George—one of Nancy’s BFF’s in the books--is the manager of the Claw, the diner where Nancy works, and she’s been holding a grudge against Nancy since high school, believing that Nancy spread rumors about George’s supposed sex life. Bess is an out-of-place city girl with a criminal record for shoplifting. And Nick … well, let’s just say that his and Nancy’s relationship is more carnal than relational.

In fact, until they’re all brought in as suspects for the murder of Tiffany Hudson, the socialite who died outside the Claw, none of them really seems to have anything in common—other than each having a clear motive for murder, that is. But therein lies another problem. Was Tiffany killed by a human or by Dead Lucy, the town ghost?

“I don’t believe in ghosts. I believe in looking for the truth.” Nancy says.

The Haunting CW Adaptation

This latest adaptation of the precocious heroine takes a much darker approach than previous versions. And, at least in terms of the show’s creepy atmospherics, it works. Although the supernatural elements feel like they’ll end in a Scooby-Doo-esque encounter with a man in a mask, the jump scares are effective, as are the mysterious figures that appear through the shadows and mist when no one is looking.

Nancy and her friends keep their language modest with only a few misuses of the Lord’s name and the occasional h-word. Sadly, the same cannot be said of their romances. Although we don’t see anything critical at this early stage, the nuances are enough to awkwardly turn your head away from the TV and pray for a commercial break. It’s obvious that these characters won’t be holding to the same standards of innocence as those in the books. Drug use and occult references also earn screen time, too.

The one saving grace might be that nobody seems to be interested in duking it out. That being said, Nancy is investigating a murder, and the death of Dead Lucy probably wasn’t an accident either, proving that while we didn’t see it on screen, violence has already reared its ugly head.

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Episode Reviews

Oct. 9, 2019: "Pilot"



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Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew; Leah Lewis as Georgia “George” Fan; Maddison Jaizani as Bess Marvin; Tunji Kasim as Ned “Nick” Nickerson; Alex Saxon as Ace; Alvina August as Detective Karen Hart; Riley Smith as Ryan Hudson; Scott Wolf as Carson Drew; Sara Canning as Katherine Drew






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Emily Baker

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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