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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries: Season One (review)

“The Mystery of Pirate Cove.” “The Secret of the Jade Kwan Yin.” “The Flickering Torch Mystery.” “The Secret of the Whispering Walls.” Oh my god, oh my god, ohmygod! The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew helped make me the nerd that I am today — not just the books, though I had a big long shelf full of those, but this TV series, too, which may well have been the first appointment viewing of my protogeek childhood. Saturday nights, ABC, the late 70s: I was there for this array of mysteries that were spooky and exciting (at least to an 8-year-old). The boys, Frank and Joe Hardy (Parker Stevenson and *sigh* Shaun Cassidy), found themselves in the middle of some real semi-Scooby-Doo corkers, full of UFOs, witches, haunted houses, and other supernatural-seeming stuff that always ended up having prosaic explanations. (They even have a mystery van!) Alternating each week with the boys’ X-Fileswith-training-wheels mysteries were Nancy’s (Pamela Sue Martin) more down-to-earth adventures — oh, man, was she spunky and smart and cool. I may have wanted to be Joe Hardy’s girlfriend, but I wanted to be Nancy Drew. The two discs here — one with seven episodes with the Hardys, the other with seven episodes with Nancy — have absolutely no extras, which is a shame: How awesome would a commentary track from the stars have been?


MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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