Nancy Drew on The CW

ATX TV Festival… from the Couch: ‘Nancy Drew’ Recap

Nancy Drew is renewed for a second season! The cast and crew explains their ideas for the show, what it was like working on set, and more during a panel at ATX Television Festival … from the Couch!

Promotional image of "Nancy Drew" CW show
Promotional image of “Nancy Drew” CW show

On Friday, June 5, the cast and crew of Nancy Drew logged onto Zoom to stay self quarantined while answering questions from an interviewer about the show. ATX Television Festival hosts their 2020 festival on YouTube live due to COVID-19’s social distancing. The panel included Noga Landaou (Creator), Melinda Hsu Taylor (Executive Producer), Kennedy McMann (Nancy Drew), Jennifer Fisher (President of the Nancy Drew Fan group; The Nancy Drew Sleuths), and Scott Wolf (Carson Drew). TV Journalist Damian Holbrook interviewed them all together on Zoom for the panel.

Summary

Pictured (L-R): Leah Lewis as George, Tunji Kasim as Nick, Kennedy McMann as Nancy, Maddison Jaizani as Bess and Alex Saxon as Ace
Pictured (L-R): Leah Lewis as George, Tunji Kasim as Nick, Kennedy McMann as Nancy, Maddison Jaizani as Bess and Alex Saxon as Ace / Photo credit: The CW Network

Nancy Drew first premiered on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. This new show, produced by the CW, attempts to bring the old beloved book series back to life with modern storytelling. The show’s first season tells the story of Nancy Drew at 18 years old, finding herself in a chilling supernatural murder mystery. Landaou, Taylor, McMann, Fisher, and Wolf all discuss the show’s adaptation from the books, Nancy Drew’s feminist themes, and what to expect for season two.  

Panel Recap

Show Adaptations

"Nancy Drew" on the CW
“Nancy Drew” on the CW

Nancy Drew takes on many new twists from the book series in order to help retell the stories with a fresher and modern voice. One of these twists includes adding in real ghost mysteries into the show. Landaou explains that going this direction would help add a new spin on things in the show. She also said that any time there is a supernatural element in the show, there’s an important metaphor behind it.

“Every ghost in the real world exists for a reason, and it’s an extension of people’s stories that carry on after death.” she said. “It’s important to always ground the supernatural entity in some human truth.” 

Taylor discusses that a crucial part to ensure the books translated well into the show, was the importance of casting. Because she knew the casting is what makes the show come to life, making sure to hire the right actors is critical.

McMann laters adds on to this by discussing her own connections and experiences playing Nancy Drew.

“When you read the books and immerse yourself in that character, as a woman you put her within yourself and how she translates through your own experience.” McMann said.

Another one of the big twists the show created through their adaptation of the books is the relationship with Nancy and her father, Carson. Holbrook asks the team about their choice to create a more ‘messy’ relationship between Nancy and her father in the show.

Landaou answered by explaining the importance of capturing the darkness that surrounds both Nancy and her father at the beginning of the show, due to Nancy’s mother’s passing. Landaou wanted to show the realistic complicated relationship that occurs in a family after something dark happens.

Feminist Themes

CW's "Nancy Drew" TV adaptation
Photo credit: The CW Network

Fisher explains the importance of Nancy Drew as a feminist icon. She discusses that the books came out about 10 years after women gained their right to vote, when women were ready for a change. Nancy Drew helped to inspire women of all ages to step forward against restricting gender roles. 

“She just became this icon for women; so inspiring, so bold, so daring.” Fisher said. “We always felt like if Nancy could do it, so could we.”

The MeToo movement rose in 2017 while Nancy Drew was in production and also had an impact on the creators’ choice to create strong women in the show. Landaou explains how she listened to so many stories from survivors of the MeToo movement, and wanted to incorporate these stories of strength and ‘overcoming’ in the show. 

Taylor also chimes in to discuss how filming the show during the MeToo movement gave them more ideas for the show’s feminist theme.

“I think that there’s definitely a vision of basically the MeToo movement that underpins a number of things in the show, like listening to women and having their voices be heard in a dramatic way.” Taylor said.

New season

Scott Wolf and Kennedy McCann in The CW's "Nancy Drew" TV adaptation
Scott Wolf and Kennedy McCann in The CW’s “Nancy Drew” TV adaptation / Photo credit: The CW Network

While no spoilers for season two of Nancy Drew came up during the panel, they did discuss what the audience can expect. More supernatural elements, character revelations, and even more unexpected twists confirmed for the next season.

“I think it’s gonna be interesting how this plays out in season two, because I think there’s gonna be a lot more twists up their sleeves.” said Fisher.

Make sure to check out Nancy Drew’s new season now on HBO Max or on the CW app. And let us know what you think on Twitter @geekgalsco!

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Featured image credit: The CW

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