Nancy Drew returns tonight on The CW. It’s grown into one of the best shows the network has around, but the suits decided to award it by giving it the worst timeslot they have: Fridays at 9, AFTER Penn and Teller. Looks like it’s going to need all the help it can get, so…here’s my top four reasons why you should be watching Nancy Drew right now. I’m not going to tell you the show is perfect, but it does a lot of things better than most CW shows at the moment.
NANCY IS IN WAY OVER HER HEAD
The core inspiration behind this latest incarnation is “what if Nancy had to deal with ghosts” and it works very well. Traditionally, Nancy pieces together mysteries that are somewhat grounded. Though some of the stories might allegedly involve hauntings, it’s never actually the case. This time the ghosts are right there, undeniably in her face, and there’s little she can do. Unlike most CW heroes, Nancy has no powers of her own to lean on. She is forced to track down an ancient relic that may or may not work, decipher a crumbling manuscript to figure out the one spell that could save her, or when all else fails, just run. The odds are always against Nancy, she is always outclassed and outpowered by her adversaries, and it makes for more entertaining television than whatever The Flash is doing.
THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING HAPPENING
Y’know how in every CW show you get two or three action scenes and then the rest of it is filler where two people talk to each other in a room about whatever? Nancy Drew is smarter than that. It knows not to waste your time. Any “room” scene is integral to the plot and adds an extra twist to keep the situation moving. What’s better is….
EVERY TWIST LEADS SOMEWHERE GOOD
A twist can’t be thrown in for the sake of keeping people awake. A good twist used properly should open up exciting story ideas, not limit them. Nancy Drew knows this. Everything that happens is not only surprising but has the potential to lead someplace bigger.
- Nancy’s crew is facing down The Agleca, a vengeful spirit that threatens to murder them all spontaneously via a curse that affects their future
- They somehow defy the spirit’s prophecy, but in the process, George dies.
- Nancy quickly retrieves a relic from the town vaults, a shroud that can allegedly bring dead bodies back to life. It works on George.
- Next episode, George is hearing a strange voice and sees someone else in the mirror.
- The episode after that, she finds out how the shroud actually works: it sucks in any soul that happens to be floating around, and since there were two, they’re both in one body: George and the spirit (whose real name is Odette). Now Odette is constantly possessing George’s body at random times so she talks with a French accent, and the two have to learn to live together. George has become a more interesting character in the process, but the show doesn’t rest there.
- One episode later, Nancy tracks down the previous owner of the shroud — and finds him DEAD. In fact, he just died a few days ago, around the same time the relic was used on George. This means if anybody else ever uses the shroud again, George will die.
- Naturally, the shroud is stolen at that point. They manage to get it back before it’s used again, but George and Odette are stuck together seemingly permanently. And then when someone in town is murdered, it looks like Odette did it in George’s body!
- Odette turns out to be innocent. Over the next few episodes we get to know the spirit through George and she turns out to not be that bad a being. But then George finds out her timeline is “merging with Odette’s” which means her lifespan is being cut short solely due to the possession. What will she do now? The season ended there.
THE SHOW KNOWS HOW TO USE ITS BUDGET
Like every other cheap CW production, this one is filmed in Canada, but unlike all the other shows that take place in the same warehouses and alleys, this one picked some coastside locales that look great. The characters spend a lot of time at The Bayside Claw, a seafood restaurant they work at, but we don’t mind seeing it over and over again, because the location is gorgeous.
Season Two was great and, hopefully, Season Three won’t be a comedown. Set your DVR if you have to, or if you still have one, but don’t forget Nancy Drew is airing new episodes Fridays at 9 PM.