Nancy Drew is back, and she brought a ghost with her. A real ghost. A scary ghost.
The new “Nancy Drew” (8 p.m. Wednesday, Ch. 30) is filled with attractive young people — it’s on The CW, so you had to figure that would be the case. There’s murder. Romance. Mystery. Angst. And a ghost.
Not like in an episode of “Scooby-Doo.” There’s no logical explanation at the end of the episode. Nobody is wearing a mask to, like, scare people as part of a plan to profit from a real-estate deal.
Dead Lucy is “very real,” confirmed director/co-executive producer Larry Teng. And Dead Lucy might not be the only supernatural element in the show.
“Yeah, so there are ghosts in our show,” said series creator/executive producer Noga Landau. “The way to really look at it is that most of the things that are supernatural are ... rooted in emotion or some mystery amongst the living that has been unresolved.”
For whatever that’s worth, this is definitely not your grandmother’s Nancy Drew. Actually, this is not your great-great-grandmother’s Nancy Drew — the character first appeared as a rather prim-and-proper 16-year-old in 1930.
Nine decades later, the new Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is 18, and she’s kind of a mess. When her mother died a year earlier, Nancy stopped sleuthing, her grades dropped and she didn’t get into college. She’s at odds with her father, Carson (Scott Wolf); the guy she’s sleeping with, Nick (Tunji Kasim), is a bad boy; and she’s waitressing at a local diner in picturesque/spooky Horseshoe Bay while she tries to pull herself back together.
That gets complicated when a woman is found murdered outside the diner, and Nancy is one of the suspects. She knows she didn’t do it, but she’s not entirely sure about her co-workers — the new girl, Bess (Maddison Jaizani); the resentful former high school classmate, George (Leah Lewis); or the amiable burnout, Ace (Alex Saxon). Or, for that matter, Nick.
Or maybe Dead Lucy had something to do with it. She was killed the night she was crowned the local Sea Queen 19 years ago and she’s back for … revenge? And does Nancy’s father know more about what happened to Dead Lucy than he’s letting on?
The first two episodes of “Nancy Drew” are genuinely creepy at times. And there are moments that will startle you out of your seat.
The show has been compared to the “Supernatural” — which begins its 15th and final season on Thursday (8 p.m., CW/Ch. 30) — but the only real similarity is that the supernatural stuff is real in both series. “Nancy Drew” is more like “Riverdale” … with a ghost. Or ghosts.
McMann is a 22-year-old newcomer — she has only two TV guest-star credits on her very short résumé — but she carries the show with a lot of help from a very good ensemble. The writing is good, and the look is great.
I’m not telling you it’s great drama, but it is entertaining. I jumped three times during the first episode; once while watching the second episode — and the biggest surprise of all is that I actually like the show.
GHOST OF NANCY DREW PAST • Pamela Sue Martin, who played Nancy in the 1977-78 series “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries,” makes an appearance in the first episode of the new show as the local psychic, Harriet. And Teng revealed that Martin wrote McMann a “passing-of-the-torch letter.”
“I still have it,” McMann said. “It’s, like, tearstained. I cried when I read it.”
She didn’t reveal its content, except to say that it “was quite personal” and contained advice about “the industry and standing up for one’s self ... making your own decisions”; and “how to kind of transition into a role like this and the repercussions of that in Hollywood. ... It was lovely. It was very thoughtful.”