"Nancy Drew" Review

I have been reading the classic tales of “Nancy Drew” since I was a little girl. She was every girl’s idol when it came to solving mysteries and saving the day. She brought about my love for mystery (with “Scooby Doo” as well, of course), and when I heard that they were making a TV series inspired by her, I was super excited. But after watching the first episode, I had mixed feelings about it.

WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Right off the bat, we witness Nancy, portrayed by Kennedy McMann, having sex in the garage of an auto shop. How…. classic? I wasn’t fully surprised at this scene, however, because the series was piloted on the CW, the same television network who brought us the series “Riverdale.” “Riverdale” is practically a sexed-up version of the classic Archie comics, with more unrealistic action scenes and adult actors portraying high school students. 

In the novels, Nancy Drew is portrayed as a young high school girl with a knack for solving mysteries. However, in the novels, Nancy is written to be more old-fashioned and conservative, chasing after culprits instead of boys. There are some similarities between the written character and the character on screen. Both lose their mothers at a young age which causes them to become independent, but also cold. The characters from the book, Bess and George, who portrayed Nancy’s cousins, are instead her coworkers in the show, and Ned Nickerson is still her boyfriend. 

The series is supposed to be more fit for modern audiences, according to its producers. This proved to be a bold decision, as most women nowadays remember the famous sleuth and her adventures from when they were little girls -- and by women, I mean grandmothers. I understand why they made this decision, but I believe that the negative reaction from classic Nancy Drew fans was to be expected. When bookworms hear word of their favorite novels being put on screen, they are almost always expectant of it to be a carbon copy, but are let down when they see that it has been completely altered. 

However, the CW isn’t trying to ruin our childhoods. The producers of the show tried to portray her as a more relatable version of the character, so adding the component of her being sexually active, as any 18-year-old would be, seems more realistic. 

Throughout the episode, Nancy faces all sorts of issues, including her secretive father, a vengeful (and very salty) detective, her booty call with a criminal and her annoying coworkers. Then, things go haywire once the wife of an elite is mysteriously killed, and Nancy is the number one suspect. The episode reveals that the series will have a supernatural twist, with the ghost of a past “Sea Queen” becoming another character added to the mix of chaos. 

All in all, I have mixed expectations for this show. Seeing similarities between it and “Riverdale,” I’m hoping that it doesn’t turn out to be another dramatic teen drama, but instead a harrowing mystery tale that keeps me on the edge of my seat like the novels did.