Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1 Review: A Chilling Paranormal Mystery

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Nancy Drew is not your average detective in what is arguably the best adaption of the series yet. 

While it was easy to expect a light, juevenile mystery when the show was first announced, Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1 proved to be the complete opposite.

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Unlike other series which are targeted towards teenagers and weighed down by nonsensical high school drama, Nancy Drew is a mature and enticing addition to The CW network. 

The Search Is On - Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1

Going off of the book series, the big bad always turned out to be a common thief, and it was expected that the television series would follow the same track.

But the powers-that-be decided to shake things up, and adding a paranormal spin has changed the playing field entirely.

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Instead of a Riverdale or a Scooby-Doo mystery in which everything can eventually be explained by teenagers, cops, and common sense, Nancy Drew is a chilling supernatural thriller with an endless amount of possibilities.

It's true that some scenes could have been a bit more suspenseful and there was a cringe-worthy moment or two, but no series starts perfectly. 

Making A Call - Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1

Every show needs room to grow and time to find their rhythm.

Nancy Drew did an excellent job reeling viewers in, making their spines tingle, and setting up multiple plot lines to be further explored throughout the season. 

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As the main character, Nancy has a lot of potential. She's likable, but too closed off for viewers to become fully attached to her.

That is, without question, due to her mother's death and her refusal to acknowledge the emotional damage left in its wake. 

It's far easier to become invested in a character who bears their heart and soul to the audience, than one who attempts to keep their emotions in check. 

It's because of her disconnection from her feelings that Nancy keeps everyone in her life at arm's length.

One of the main relationships suffering from Nancy's disconnect is her relationship with her father.

Carson: I've just been buried at work.
Nancy: Poor word choice, given recent events.

The "mom-passes-away-and-daughter-lashes-out-at-dad-for-moving-on," trope is recycled fairly often, but may have been necessary in this scenario.

Dad and Daughter - Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1

Everyone deals with grief in their own way, and Nancy appears to be a person who wants to be isolated. She'll take any excuse she can to push the people in her life away. 

She even had trouble pursuing the one relationship she wanted, because she was afraid of all the emotional baggage that would come with it. 

Nancy: Nick and I are seeing each other. He seems to have an issue with me not acknowledging this publicly and has decided now is the time to rectify this.
Nick: Consider it rectified. I feel much better.

The intriguing thing about Nancy is that she runs straight into the face of danger without a second thought. Breaking and entering? No problem.

There might be a ghost in your attic? She'll investigate in the middle of the night with the lights out. 

Yet when the time comes to be emotionally vulnerable, Nancy runs away the first chance she gets. 

Ned "Nick" Nickerson - Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1

After feeling betrayed by her father, it was satisfying to hear Nancy open up to Nick and give viewers more of an insight to who she is as a character. 

I've wanted to believe that this isn't my life. That I'm not here. That my mom isn't dead. That Colombia's not just a pipe dream. But all of those things are true. This is my life. And the only thing making it any better is you.

Nancy

But Nancy's emotional journey is nowhere near done, and she still needs to allow herself to accept help from others. 

Nancy clearly prides herself on her independence, but even the president has a second in command. 

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Nancy's relationship with Nick has potential, but her budding friendships with George and Bess may be what drives her character forwards. 

Out of everything that happened, the boisterous trio of women is what made Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1 stand out.

The Supernatural? - Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1

Physically seeing the characters form friendships is far more satisfying than developing them offscreen, so Nancy Drew has just stumbled upon a golden opportunity.

Nancy and George aren't each other's number one fans and it doesn't seem as if they want to be. Watching that relationship evolve from begrudging co-workers to possible friends is something to look forward to. 

Guys? I tend to do these sorts of things by myself.

Nancy

Speaking of the girls, is anyone else shipping George and Bess? I don't know if the chemistry was supposed to be there or not, but it was and it can't be explained. 

Bess - Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1

However, the likelihood of that happening seems slim, especially with George pursuing Ryan. The last-minute twist was something viewers didn't see coming, so here's to hoping more of that story will be revealed. 

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If a character needs to say, "I'm not in high school anymore," to a grown adult, usually the dynamic is not shaping up to be a healthy one. 

Not to mention that Ryan just got out of a long term relationship. And by "got out of a long term relationship" we mean his wife just got murdered a day ago. What is going on in this town?

After Close - Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1

It's highly unlikely that George, Bess, or Nick had anything to do with Tiffany's death. Given that the show is trying to frame them all as possible culprits, the chances that they actually are are slim. 

Out of everyone, Ace is the most reasonable suspect given that he's spying on George and sending pictures to the officer on Tiffany's case. Is he trying to cover something up?

But considering that a ghostly figure was spotted in Nancy's video of Tiffany and there was a creepy-looking spirit standing behind Nancy in the attic, our bets are on the sea queen. 

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No human or ghost can be ruled out completely, and in this new world of Nancy Drew, anything is possible. 

While we're unsure what's coming next, Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1 was a strong start to haunting new series and I can't wait to see what the creative forces behind the show have in store.

Manager - Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1

Stray Thoughts:

  • The reason Nancy stopped solving mysterious is even more intriguing than her origin story.

    Why would she ever want to solve anything again when she couldn't get to the bottom of most important mystery: How to save her mother's life?
  • Nancy's narration of her story adds a fun element to the show that amps up the mystery even more. Not all of her commentary makes sense now, but it makes viewers long for the day when it all falls into place.
  • Nancy and Nick have great chemistry, and Nick cares about Nancy a good deal.

    But the best relationships on television are always developed over time, and their romance would be more satisfying if we had witnessed the foundation it was built upon. 

It's your turn TV Fanatics!

What are your thoughts on Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1

Let us know in the comment section down below! 

Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

Pilot Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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Rachel Foertsch is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Nancy Drew Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Nancy: Nick and I are seeing each other. He seems to have an issue with me not acknowledging this publicly and has decided now is the time to rectify this.
Nick: Consider it rectified. I feel much better.

Carson: I've just been buried at work.
Nancy: Poor word choice, given recent events.