Spoiler-Free Review of “Nancy Drew” Series Premiere on the CW: “Maybe more horror and less mystery?”

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“Mysteries were everywhere and I loved solving them.”

Your favorite amateur sleuth is getting her own show, but it seems like this Nancy Drew is darker and more mature, but can she measure up to the competition?  The series premiere of Nancy Drew aired on the CW on October 9th 2019.  The show will run weekly episodes and it comes on directly after Riverdale.  Know your audience, right?

The show stars Kennedy McMann, Tunji Kasim, Leah Lewis, and Scott Wolf.  Nancy Drew makes reference to how she started solving mysteries at a young age, paying tribute to the book series character we all know and love.  However, after tragically losing her mother, Nancy Drew is all grown up and it seems like she wants to stay away from mysteries and ghosts, but it doesn’t look like they are ready to let her go just yet.

Nancy Drew has a lot of competition, especially since other shows like Riverdale, Veronica Mars, and Stranger Things all have a captivating female lead who likes to solve mysteries, but where does that leave the girl who started it all?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Nancy Drew CW Premiere 1
Images courtesy of The CW

True respect for the original character.

Nancy Drew was the first book series I fell in love with and I lost myself in the mysteries again and again.  I have seen several movie interpretations and I appreciate that this show is trying to do something different, but I also respected the clever Easter eggs thrown into the mix, including our girl Nancy investigating with the infamous flashlight.

Some potential for the new Scoobies.

I am still sorting out who is who and I’m not sure how I feel about Nancy’s friends just yet, but I like that they all want to help out.  I always loved “The Scoobies” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reminding us that you don’t have to be the obvious hero to make a difference and save the day, so I think this could be the start of something really fun and nostalgic.

The supernatural horror elements are genuinely scary!

If you know anything about Nancy Drew, you know that even though you get your fair share of ghostly mysteries, there is always some kind of rational explanation to bring us back to the real world.  Even this Nancy reminds us in the beginning of the show that she doesn’t believe in ghosts and yet there is this very real ghost story going on, which has captured my full attention.

I expected this show to be more focused on teenage drama with mystery sprinkled in, but I was genuinely surprised by the supernatural horror aspect and I think this might be something that can help Nancy Drew create a voice of its own separate from RiverdaleChilling Adventures of Sabrina comes to mind, but so far they are doing much better with that deliciously dark component, but that doesn’t mean that Nancy Drew can’t step up to the plate too.  More horror please!

The Cons:

Nancy Drew CW Premiere 2
Images courtesy of The CW

I can’t get a real read on Nancy yet.

Part of the reason why I like characters like Betty Cooper, Veronica Mars, and Nancy Wheeler is that they channel Nancy Drew while having this magnetic spark that really draws you in to their character.  I’m missing something with Nancy Drew so far and while I get that she is dealing with her grief and seems closed off, I haven’t connected with her at all yet and that could be a problem.  I’m only one episode in so I hope to get some more layers soon, but I want to ignite a fire within Nancy as soon as possible.

Forcing a ship.

Part of the way I fall in love with a ship, is that I see the progression of their relationship that leads to some epic moment between them that cannot be ignored.  We dive into this relationship between Nancy and Nick (Ned Nickerson) and I just don’t feel the chemistry yet.  I want to see some real moments between them leading up to something, rather than these bits and pieces that are being forced upon me.

The actual mystery is just kind of blah…

A dead body shows up and Nancy Drew is on the case, but there is nothing really unique or special about the murder and Nancy’s process to discover the clues seems very by the numbers and uninspiring.  That being said, the mystery surrounding this ghost story and her parents might be the real winner, but I still want Nancy to surprise me and invest me in her other mysteries.  Maybe she should call Betty Cooper up for some advice on this…

So am I in or out? 

Nancy Drew CW Premiere 3
Images courtesy of The CW

As of right now, it’s about 50/50 for me.  The show isn’t necessarily bad, but there’s nothing that magnetic or special about it just yet.  I feel like right now it is in the shadow of its competition and it needs to do something spectacular to pave its own way.  Maybe that’s the horror element I mentioned earlier, which has a lot of chilling potential. 

I plan on giving the show another two episodes to really get a feel for it, but I’m hoping for some kind of a spark here.  Out of every new Fall show premiering, this is the show I was really looking forward to and perhaps I set my expectations too high, but I’m keeping an open mind for now.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Nancy Drew in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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