Sigh. I love mystery stories, and series in particular. So when I saw that a new version of Nancy Drew was coming, I thought, “Cool beans.” I’d give it a go. I totally missed that it was on the CW, which would have given me a clue as to the type of show it would be. It is definitely not your parents’ Nancy Drew. This is more ND, by way of Stranger Things or The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Yep, there’s a supernatural element.
Here’s the skinny. Nancy Drew is in Horseshoe Bay, Maine, and has grown up solving mysteries. But she’s 18, time for college, right? Nope, Mom died of cancer, and it kind of put her college on hold for a year. So she’s waitressing and using boy toy Ned “Nick” Nickerson for sex. Her and her dad are estranged, she’s just marking time until she can go off to college, and she has given up her detective days.
Well, until the pilot, when a local rich boy comes into the diner after hours for a quick meeting while his wife waits outside, only for her to wind up dead. The Sheriff thinks Nancy and her friends are involved, although really he’s just busting their chops because ND has been a pain in his side for awhile. Nancy plans to stay out of the case, but well, she dabbles. Until it turns out her BF might have a motive. Now she’s all in on whodunnit, drawing up lists, predicting motives and means. The Game is Afoot. And just for fun, a dead girl haunts her with clues.
Nancy Drew is played by relative newbie Kennedy McMann and she does an okay job through the episode. She’s a little uneven in the role, but that should adjust over time (bopping from Veronica Mars one minute to space cadet the next, and don’t get me started on the relationship angst). Not that entertaining for that part, but whatever.
Her boyfriend / boytoy Nick is played by Tunji Kasim and he is even more inconsistent. Angry one second, hurt another, loving a third. Whatever. The rest of the “friends” group isn’t much better…Leah Lewis as Georgia (I have only seen her in an episode of The Gifted), Maddison Jaizani as Bess (also from Into the Badlands), Alvina August (Sabrina!) as Detective Hart, Scott Wolf as Nancy’s dad (terrible chemistry with the daughter), and Adam Beach as the police chief (wtf?). Pamela Sue Martin apparently showed up in the episode as Harriet, and I have NO idea who that was in the Ep. She’s a throw-back for nostalgia as she used to play Nancy Drew in earlier shows (70s).
So, I was expecting a procedural “mystery of the week”, kind of like Veronica Mars or a younger version of Murder, She Wrote. Instead, it is much more Sabrina than that. Which isn’t bad, I guess, just not really Nancy Drew to me. Almost like X-Files in some ways although she’s not really interested in the ghost stuff, just what the clues can tell her.
I predicted renewal, and I’ll stick with that. I may even watch the rest of the episodes to see if it turns out to be who I think it is (Detective Hart, the one protecting Nancy). Motive? I have no idea. Maybe the woman lied in a case and Hart put the wrong person in jail. That’s what I’m going with for now.