Most writers have a book or book series that was hugely influential to them in their younger years and I’m no exception. For me it was Nancy Drew. Not the paperback ones that were already slightly out of date when I was in sixth grade, but the old yellow ones. I l loved them and read every single one my tiny little library had. At the time I thought they were the oldest ones; the originals, as it were. Later I would discover that the yellow ones were themselves reprints of the originals (the blue ones) with updated, for the time, vocabulary and a slightly less brassy Nancy.
I loved everything about them. I loved the mysteries. I loved how clever Nancy was. I loved her friends. I LOVED her car and her expansive wardrobe. She had a handbag for every outfit and she didn’t refer to them as a purse but as a handbag! Handbag is so much more romantic than purse!
Most of the originals were written by Mildred Bensen a brassy sort of lady in a time when brassy wasn’t admired and published by Grosset and Dunlap, a company run by a married mother, in a time when working mothers were rare and female CEOs were even rarer.
Well, it turns out Nancy Drew isn’t going to be relegated to the past anymore. She’s getting her own television show on the CW network and it looks like she’s getting the full CW treatment. A more diverse set of characters (which is great), a more complicated past (she’s no longer the wealthy daughter of a lawyer) and lots more angst. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it. First of all, we already have Veronica Mars. Veronica has always felt like the modern Nancy Drew to me complete with a brassy personality and a clever mind (plus how amazing is Kristen Bell!). Second, there’s Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries which is like a grown-up Nancy Drew (with the clothes and the car). And third, if you make Nancy a poor high school waitress where are all the great clothes and handbags going to come from? What about her ROADSTER?!!!!! And while I have been a devoted fan of the CW show Supernatural, and a cautious viewer of the rebooted Roswell, I’m not sure I can handle more angst…
Then again the mystery looks pretty compelling. Is it an actual ghost? Is it something supernatural? That was always how the books were and I LOVED that. Even though I knew it would turn out to be something explainable I always loved the idea that it might be something unexplainable. I loved secret passageways and hidden wills and clues found in old photographs.
I’m going to tune in and I’m going to try and give it a fair shake. Then I’ll pop on here and recap the episode and give you my thoughts. At the very least I have read a lot of Nancy (both the yellows and the blues) and think it could be fun to see how the 1930s and 1950s versions compare.
Here’s to Miss Drew and all the fantastic adventures we might still go on!!!