After 89 years in existence, it’s probably safe to say that Nancy Drew is an institution. The literary teenager who has meddled in all things questionable and mysterious since 1930 has been adapted into a plethora of Hollywood pictures and two television series.
And now, the character is the star an eponymous CW serial that takes all the best parts of its source material while at the same time adding a little of the 21st-century flare expected for a program on such a “hip” channel.
The tone is a little darker than fans of the books will be used too. It’s a little naughtier – after a few introductory scenes, our ginger-haired heroine is seen engaging in sex. And it’s a little spookier. Apparently the spectral Lucy Sable isn’t just a local legend to attract tourists. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is that our gal Nancy still loves a mystery.
Who Done It? — Nancy Drew Style
Well, let’s say Nancy’s (Kennedy McMann) still intrigued by a good mystery. Even though she’s still known far and wide in her little seaside hamlet as the girl who did the job that the police get credit and pay for, Nancy hasn’t engaged in much crime solving since going up against her most fearsome foe: the pancreatic cancer that claimed her mother’s life.
Now she’s found herself in a dead-end waitressing job alongside preppy Bess Marvin (Maddison Jaizani) and the perpetually stoned Ace (Alex Saxon). The trio answer to Nancy’s grudge-holding former high school chum George (Leah Lewis), who apparently runs the eatery single-handedly.
If it wasn’t for her afternoon assignations with garage mechanic Nick (don’t call him Ned) Nickerson (Tunji Kasim), Nancy isn’t sure she would be able to cope.
But in an instant, Nancy’s new normal is shattered. During a town celebration, she discovers the body of socialite Tiffany Hudson lying in the diner’s parking lot and everyone present (save for Ace) is now a suspect in the slaying.
Despite her best efforts to resist temptation, Nancy soon finds herself engaging in a spot of B&E in an attempt to get her hands on some proof that Tiffany’s husband may be more guilty than he initially appears. Inside the couple’s home, she finds a mariner’s charm that leads her to Harriet Grosset (special guest star Pamela Sue Martin, who played Nancy Drew in the 1977 TV version), Horseshoe Bay’s resident psychic medium.
With George and Bess as tag-a-longs, Nancy pays Harriet a visit and asks her to make contact with Tiffany. However, during the séance, Harriet channels another spirit – presumably the one belonging to the town’s very own local urban legend – who urges those assembled to, “find the dress!”
On the Low Down
It’s been a hot minute since Nancy’s been investigating possible murderers so her skill set is a little rusty. In fact, Nancy is so derelict in her duty that she leaves her cap behind at the Hudson house — long red hair and all.
Luckily the officer who finds the incriminating accessary just happens to be a woman who loved Nancy’s mother “like a sister.” She also apparently loves Nancy’s legal eagle papa, judging by the smooch the two are caught engaging in by the would-be Shirley Holmes.
Even though Nancy’s money is on Tiffany’s husband being the killer, she gets a serious wakeup call when her sleuthing reveals that not only was Nick arrested on a charge of manslaughter but Tiffany was the eye witness whose testimony insured a conviction!
But lest you believe that Nick is now the only suspect, ruminate on the following. Not only is George engaging in a spot of hanky panky with the “grief-stricken” widower but Bess somehow managed to get her hands on a large diamond ring that used to occupy a spot on Tiffany’s finger. And their secret assignation is recorded by Ace, who’s turned mole for McGinnis (Law & Order: SVU alum Adam Beach), Horseshoe Bay’s chief of police and Nancys number one detractor.
At the episode’s close, a blackout and commotion in the attic lead Nancy to come upon an old trunk that she remembers seeing her parents unearth one night as a child. Inside, she finds a bloodied prom dress – apparently belonging to the missing Lucy Sable whose ghostly apparition appears poised to advance on an unsuspecting Nancy.