Have you been staring forlornly at your TV wondering what, oh what, to watch next during this endless period of self-isolation? Fear not, we've already picked out what your next binge should be! In its first season, the CW's Nancy Drew has been a surprise this TV season, and it's the perfect binge for those of us who love juicy teen drama with a side of pee-your-pants terror.
The three main ingredients you'll find in Nancy Drew are as follows: Obviously there's the titular intrepid teen detective (it wouldn't be much of a Nancy Drew series without, you know, Nancy Drew), there's a supernatural mystery at the center of it all, and there are enough jump scares to give blockbuster horror movies a run for their money. Basically, it's like Veronica Mars, The Vampire Diaries, and The Haunting of Hill House had a spectacular, totally binge-worthy baby, and we are here for it.
The series follows Nancy (Kennedy McMann) and her co-workers at the local diner as they find themselves caught up in a murder case whose main suspect is actually a ghost. Dead Lucy, the town's resident urban legend, would be the perfect suspect for this murder, if Nancy actually believed in ghosts, that is. Determined to find the real culprit as well as clear herself and her friends of any suspicion, Nancy must reevaluate everything she thinks she knows about the supernatural as ghosts, evil spirits, and ominous omens turn out to be all too true.
Slowly but surely, each of Nancy's friends, who include a snobby heiress, a diner manager with a bad attitude, a dreamy mechanic with a dark past, and the town stoner, begin to realize that Dead Lucy is haunting the hell out of their lives. The only way to get back to life as they know it is not just to solve the town's recent murder, but to solve the mystery of Dead Lucy as well. Along the way, the kids manage to get themselves in all kinds of supernatural messes and have several run-ins with other horrifying ghosties. Seriously, The CW hasn't been this scary since Supernatural Season 1.
But through it all, the series manages to find the human moments in Nancy's grief over her mother's death, her turbulent relationship with her father, and a few delightfully scandalous love triangles.
Because no series is perfect, we'll warn you there are some bumps to be expected if you plan on diving headfirst into Season 1. While the series knows from the first minute what its identity is in terms of genre, it takes a little longer to find itself when it comes to character dynamics. The original love story between Nancy and Nick (Tunji Kasim) pretty much falls apart in the first nine episodes, especially when a sexy millionaire with much better chemistry starts making eyes at Nancy. You can also expect to find yourself particularly confused when the snobby heiress, Bess Marvin (Maddison Jaizani), gets a backstory seemingly out of nowhere — seriously, her disappearing and reappearing British accent will have you wondering what in the world is going on there. Like all new series though, Nancy Drew finds its legs eventually as characters settle into their roles and relationships. If we had to mark a spot, we'd say Episode 7 is when the show really starts to hit the ground running.
Ultimately, this series is a good investment of your time, and we wouldn't be surprised if it turns into a staple of The CW in the coming years. Season 1 was, unfortunately, interrupted by concerns over the coronavirus spread, which shut down production before the first season could wrap. Who knows where that's going to leave the show plot-wise, but we do know it's gotten a Season 2 renewal, so at least you can rest easy knowing it won't put you through the nightmare of a cliffhanger cancellation.
Any other nightmares you endure as a result of watching this spooky series are absolutely not TV Guide's fault.
Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW and is currently streaming on CWTV.com