In what should be a surprise to absolutely nobody who has ever spent any prolonged time with me, I am quite the bookworm. Always have been. And as a kid, my reading genre of choice was mystery detective stories, like The Hardy Boys series. And yes, also Nancy Drew even though those were supposedly “for girls” (hey, it was the 80’s where the amount of hair spray used was inversely proportional to how progressive things were!). In fact, I would even say that the Nancy Drew books trumped Hardy Boys and the others in terms of writing.
Of course by that stage, Nancy Drew had actually been around for more than 50 years already, with the character constantly evolving to effect the social climate of the times. And also evolving was the numerous TV series adaptations that came from those original stories (ghost-written by a number of authors under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene). And now we’ll be getting another “modern” TV incarnation of the young female amateur sleuth on our screens again. Except in this version, she won’t be as young or amateur as you may remember.
Deadline reports that CBS has put in a pilot order for Drew, a new contemporary take on the classic character, which will feature “a diverse Nancy, now in her 30s, working as a detective for the NYPD where she investigates and solves crimes using her uncanny observational skills, all while navigating the complexities of life in a modern world”. And yes, before you ask: “Diverse” means exactly what you think it does. So if you believe that all classically white pop culture characters should always remain white even when the colour of their skin has zero bearing on their character, then you may need to visit your local pitchfork and torch store to stock up. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
Actually, hold on, I take that back. I may just join you guys in the store though. No, not because of the whole “diverse” Nancy Drew thing, but rather because this show will be co-written by longtime Grey’s Anatomy exec producers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan. And being familiar with their work thanks to my wife’s almost irrational love of Grey’s, that means I’m expecting that in between solving mystery cases that occasionally stretch believabilty, Nancy and her co-workers will all have a bunch of complex romantic entanglements in the office – they will of course get freaky in the evidence room while at work – with every other episode turned into a total tearjerker complete with melancholic pop music. Yeah, my wife is going to love the crap out of this.
The last time Nancy Drew was on screen was in Warner Bros’ 2007 feature film adaptation Nancy Drew, which saw 16-year old Emma Roberts in the title role. Taking the approach of keeping Nancy’s more classic sensibilities (including her retro dress sense and magnifying glass) but putting it in a modern world didn’t completely pay off, as the film received mixed reviews. Many praised the intelligent character and Roberts’ portrayal of her, but derided the supporting cast and actual mysteries for being very bland. I’m guessing this new version will try to fix up those problems.
Last Updated: January 25, 2016