“Nancy Drew” is the latest CW production in a line of reboots on the network. Nancy Drew is the title character and young female sleuth from author Edward Stratemeyer, who published the “Nancy Drew” books starting in 1930 under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. This new show, first premiering on October 9th, looks like CW is giving Nancy Drew a modern and more 21st-century adaptation.
Right off the bat, the show begins by retelling the town of Horseshoe Bay’s infamous ghost story, about the Sea Queen. As a coastal town, it misleads into believing it to be quiet and without city-life drama. However, the show makes a point about this town and its range of crimes, from kidnapping to murder. Nancy is, of course, shown, a red-haired and curious young girl who has developed an interest as well as a talent in solving the cases of Horseshoe Bay.
Nancy Drew, after an adolescence of solving Horseshoe Bay’s most puzzling mysteries, has had a tragedy of her own. Her mother has just died of cancer, and no longer feeling the same energy about crime-solving, has given it up. She barely made it through her last year of high school and ended up staying in her hometown when she didn’t apply for college on time. She feels stuck and at an in-between in her life, working at the local diner The Claw. She is closed off from those around her, like her father and her boyfriend, still reeling from her mother’s death.
Throughout the course of this first episode, the audience gets to learn about the dynamic of the town, with a pretty diverse cast of characters. In the original books by pseudonym Carolyn Keene, those important to Nancy Drew like her boyfriend and friends were dominantly white. It is clear that the showrunners wanted to bring the books and the characters into the world of 2019. Nancy’s boyfriend, Ned Nickerson, is African-American and her coworker George, the young and cynical manager of The Claw, is an Asian woman. With other diverse characters on the show, it is refreshing to see the popular 1950’s character revamped and more relatable to today’s audiences.
Speaking about progressiveness, the show makes it clear from the very beginning that it’s going to be more mature and appealing to teenagers and young adults. Ned ‘Nick’ Nickerson is Nancy’s boyfriend, and his first introduction is Nancy and him having sex. It is nothing outrageous as they are both adults, but it does give Nancy a new look. In the original book series, parents were comforted by Nancy’s “clean” image, but now, the show is making her character sexier and normal for the youth of today. With this steamy romance, it looks like “Nancy Drew” is getting the same makeover as the CW’s other teen-drama reboot, “Riverdale”.
The central plot of the first episode, as well as what looks like the rest of this first season, focuses on the murder of socialite on the night of the town’s annual parade. The woman’s husband and his friends were having a late dinner at the diner where Nancy and the rest of her coworkers were at when Tiffany Hudson, the socialite, opted to stay at the car where Nancy brought her food out to her. Time passes, and when the lights go out in the diner, Nancy ventures out to check on Tiffany, only to discover her dead body. This throws Nancy back into the world of crime, whether she wants to or not.
The unanswered questions at the end of the episode draw audiences in, the interesting creepiness of this show is something new for old readers of the original books. In the original stories, Nancy experiences some suspenseful moments and a bit of danger that ends in a happy place. This new show takes a more eery approach, one with ghost stories and seances, that adds to the mature and supernatural spin to the show. The CW has had a history of creating hit-or-miss shows, and while the first episode was an enjoyable start, only the rest of the season will tell if this new “Nancy Drew” was a hit.