Thursday, October 10, 2019

Nancy Drew - Pilot

Our introduction to Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann), the title character in The CW's new series which takes its name from the well-known kid detective who has remained popular and in print since her first appearance in 1930, isn't solving a case but hooking up with a boy she barely knows in a garage. It's here that the show's creators break from the tradition of the cute and precocious Nancy Drew template and offer an older, although not necessarily wiser, version of the character. McMann turns out to be a fairly good choice for this version of Nancy who, in the first episode, deals with a murder, a ghost mystery, the lasting effects of her mother's death on her life plans, and the supernatural. It's the last of these that becomes the hardest two swallow, especially as it becomes increasingly clear just how much of ghosts and things that go bump in the night the show's writers are prepared to accept.

The murder in question involves the death of a customer outside the local dive where Nancy works. Along with her co-workers (Leah Lewis, Maddison Jaizani, Alex Saxon) and friend-with-benefits (Tunji Kasim), Nancy becomes a suspect in the murder (although video caught on her cellphone suggests the town's legendary ghost is responsible). Despite pushing the character in new directions, the show's pilot episode does offer nods to longtime fans of the character while offering some ideas on how Nancy's childhood antics (breaking and entering while looking for clues, for example) may not be nearly as acceptable from a more adult version of the character (albeit one with major daddy issues). Although, to be fair, it does seem like her father is hiding some rather dark secrets (including possibly being involved the murder of the town's ghost?). For me, the show is going to need to stay grounded long enough to keep my attention (but I have serious doubts that's where Nancy Drew is headed).

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