Nancy Drew is a very long-running series of books. After all, it started up in 1930, which is how it has managed to influence entire generations of its readers. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that Nancy Drew has had a number of adaptations, with the latest being either the second or third such show depending on whether one counts The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries in the late 1970s or not. So far, the new Nancy Drew is still on its first season, though it remains to be seen whether it will be capable of securing further seasons in the times to come.
How Does the New Nancy Drew Show Differ From the Books?
Naturally, there are bound to be a lot of people curious about whether the new Nancy Drew can be considered a faithful adaptation of its source material or not. For those who are curious, the answer is that there are significant differences, which is perhaps unsurprising when they are in such different genres as well as such different mediums. Here are some examples:
The Character’s Appearance
It is clear that the protagonist of the new Nancy Drew show is based on the character from the book series. However, there are some differences, which in turn, contribute to a very different story. Appearance-wise, Nancy Drew tends to be seen as a redhead. Supposedly, the initial version was a blonde, but a printing error meant that what was supposed to be blonde hair turned out to have a reddish tint to it. Due to this, the writers decided to just go with that rather than get too stressed out about the discrepancies, thus resulting in what is now an iconic look for the character. There are people who have argued about whether the actress’s hair is the right shade or not to be called “titian hair.” However, even if it isn’t, this is minor enough that it cannot be considered a major difference between the show and the source material. Never mind how the show material has used more than one hair color.
Age-wise, the version presented in the show is pretty close. In the earlier books, Nancy Drew was supposed to be a high school graduate at the age of 16. However, she was rewritten in later books to be a high school graduate at the age of 18. The character presented in the show is college-aged. Furthermore, she was at one point in time college-bound, which presumably means that she is indeed a high school graduate. As such, the age of the character presented in the show is actually grounded quite well in the source material.
The Character’s Relationship with Her Parents
Nancy Drew’s relationship with her parents is where the big changes start becoming notable. In short, the character’s mother was dead in the source material and is indeed dead in the show. However, there is a notable difference in that the character’s mother died when she was still a child in the books, with the result that she became more independent at an earlier age. In contrast, the character’s mother died much more recently in the show, with the result that the character is still clearly devastated by what has happened. Naturally, this has had an effect on the character’s relationship with her father. To be exact, it is much more strained, not least because her father Carson Drew has managed to move on. Something that can be seen in how he is dating a a detective named Karen Hart.
The Other Characters
Speaking of which, the other characters have seen some major changes as well. For instance, Nancy Drew’s boyfriend in the books is a very bland college student named Ned. Meanwhile, her boyfriend in the show is a very cliched individual named Nick, who perhaps unsurprisingly, has a dark past of some kind. With that said, there is one interesting change, which is that Nick is black whereas Ned was very much not. In any case, both of Nancy Drew’s friends Bess and George have seen major changes as well. In the books, Bess and George were cousins, with Bess being on the plumper side of things while George being more of a tomboy with short hair. Suffice to say that neither Bess or George in the show look like their counterpart in the books. Moreover, they aren’t cousins. Instead, they just dislike each other, thus making for a very different set of relationships to say the least.
The Setting of the Show
Setting-wise, there has been a major change. In the books, Nancy Drew and her supporting cast lived in either a Midwestern town called River Heights or somewhere nearby in the local region. Meanwhile, the show is set in Horseshoe Bay, which isn’t a real place in the state of Maine but definitely seems like a place that could exist in the state of Maine. In this, it has been helped to be a considerable extent by the influence of Stephen King. However, it is worth mentioning that King is far from being the first horror writer of note to set their stories in New England, which has had an effect on how the region is perceived in certain kinds of media.
The Content of the Show
When it comes to content, the show again shows some major differences from the books. For starters, the show is definitely something that one would expect from The CW, which is a change from how the book version of Nancy Drew was always much more focused on investigating mysteries than anything else. However, since the show decided to go for more character-driven storytelling, some change was inevitable, though not necessarily this particular kind of change. In any case, there is another major divergence in that the show features actual supernatural elements rather than what some people had hoped to be not so supernatural activities disguised as supernatural activities before the start of the show, which might be what is popular in the modern TV landscape but is nonetheless a major difference that makes the show less close to its source material.