on 22 January 2008
I loved this show as a kid and was amazed when I saw this had been released.I bought this box set with some reservations however. So often the reality of seeing these old programmes again do not match up to your fond memories and expectations. I'm happy to report that these teen super-sleuths are still plenty of fun to watch and have bucket loads of charm into the bargain. There is no bad language or violence in the stories, which makes it ideal for younger viewers who enjoy an adventure or ghost hunt,and I don't think this will put off the older fans out there either. They bring back so many memories of saturday teatime viewing. The Nancy Drew episodes are far superior, both in pace, execution and plot ('A haunting we will go' is downright funny and very tongue in cheek)and my only grumble is at the gratuitous singing included in a couple of the Hardy Boys episodes due to Shaun cassidy's rising pop career at the time (the reason I deducted one star - he is awful). Aart from that, the only mystery that still remains unsolved is why it has taken so long to bring these characters back from the past. Can't wait for season 2!
on 1 September 2013
I love this series to much! The acting is really good, and it is great to hear Shaun Cassidy sing occasionally! Pamela Sue Martin is good as Nancy Drew, but plays her very differently to Emma Roberts. This is an amazing series, definitely worth the money!
Mystery lover that I am, I'm sure it's no surprise to learn that I used to read both The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books as a kid. I remember loving them, too. (Well, until I found Trixie Belden.) Somewhere along the line, I learned about The Hard Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, a series based loosely on the books that aired on TV during the late 70's. Since I wasn't old enough to watch the show when it originally aired, I never saw it, but I recently caught up with the first season on DVD, and I enjoyed it.
For the first season, the show split time equally between the Hardys and Nancy. While they never solved a case together, one week featured Frank and Joe Hardy (Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy) while the next week was a Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin) mystery. For the first season set, all seven of the Hardy Boys episodes are features on the dual sided disc one while Nancy gets all of her cases on the dual sided second disc. Since each episode is independent of each other and the two sets of characters never meet, the fact that the episodes are in order for the characters but not interspersed as originally aired doesn't really matter. Heck, you could watch these episodes in random order and not really notice anything.
Probably the biggest thing that the loyal readers will notice is how characters have been shifted, combined, or deleted. For example, Frank and Joe's mother is never mentioned, their best friend Chet only appears twice, and Joe's steady girlfriend is nowhere to be found. Instead, they are supported by their dad Fenton (Ed Gilbert) and Callie (Lisa Eilbacher) who appears to be Fenton's secretary more than Frank's girlfriend. Aunt Gertrude (Edith Atwater) does appear for a little comic relief.
The characters in Nancy's universe faired a little better. Gone is the housekeeper and Bess, but her friend George (Jean Rasey) and potential love interest Ned (George O'Hanlon, Jr.) are present. William Schallert also plays her father Carson. In the first episode, none of the characters seem like themselves, including Nancy, but soon they start to right themselves and find characterizations that work for the show.
So what kind of cases to the characters take on? Frank and Joe investigate a haunted house, try to save a rock star, and trap a ring of thieves in Hawaii. Along the way, we even get to hear Shaun Cassidy sing a couple of times. Nancy, meanwhile, investigates a haunted lighthouse, takes on a motorcycle gang, and investigates a group of actors in a local play who are acting very strangely. None of these cases are pulled from the books, although two of the Hardy Boys episodes do share titles with the books, and many of them sound like they could be titles from the series.
The mysteries are surprisingly good. A few I figured out early on, but most of the time I was left wondering what the heck was happening until the very end. Yet things always make sense at the end. There's one episode each that weren't up to the normal standards, but that's to be expected with anything.
The acting is fairly decent as well. Don't get me wrong, this is definitely late 70's cheese, and it shows up just about everywhere from obvious Universal Studios town sets to obvious stock footage. And yes, even the acting. But the acting is good enough to make the shows watchable, and the cheese adds some fun to the mix.
And can I comment on the clothes? Can we scream 70's any louder? This is especially true in the Hardy Boy's episodes when Frank and Joe go around in the shortest shorts I have ever seen guys wear. It's perfect for a laugh at how styles have changed.
There are no bonus features in this set, just the 14 hour long episodes on two double sided discs. The picture is full frame and the sound is stereo in keeping with how they were originally broadcast.
There's nothing deep about these episodes; they are simply escapist fun. And if you keep that attitude in mind, you'll enjoy the first season of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries.