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The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries

Hardy Boys Nancy Drew 70s nostalgia

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#1 Virgil Vox

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 03:44 PM

Since I've been reading The Hardy Boys novels and have started with Nancy Drew I thought I'd track down the 70s TV show and give it a shot. I bought the first season and have watched the first two episodes.

The Mystery of the Haunted House

This is the first episode of the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries TV show. I didn’t realize at first that this season didn’t actually see the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew team up together. Instead it’s seven stand alone Hardy Boys episodes and 7 stand alone Nancy Drew episodes. It’s a little disappointing but at least I have the second season to look forward to.

This was a good episode. It does act like viewers should have some familiarity with the characters (and I’m sure a lot did) as it drops people pretty much right in the action. Frank and Joe are following their dad who should have been fishing but is instead on some kind of case. He goes missing, and then two men break into the Hardy home in the middle of the night. This convinces Frank and Joe that they need to investigate, which eventually leads them to the titular Haunted House, a club/restaurant/haunted house ride. It also eventually leads to some Cold War espionage.

I think Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy are perfectly suited for their roles though to show my lack of 70s knowledge I thought Shaun Cassidy was Frank at first. I obviously don’t know my 70s teen heartthrobs well enough.

I bought them as brothers, and I thought they handled the banter between the two of them quite well. There were some funny one-liners in here.

It looks like the Bayport police aren’t too aware of Frank and Joe’s detective skills as they seemed to scoff at the idea that Joe could lift fingerprints from their father’s ransacked offices. In defense of the police, they were bringing home a half naked Frank who had chased after the burglars in only his underwear. I don’t think I’d take them that seriously as detectives either.
There are moments that seem to drag on, like when Frank is chasing a man they believe to be their father’s client through the woods, or when the brothers, the client, and the bad guy are in the hall of mirrors trying to either find or avoid one another. Both sequences dragged on more than they should have.

Still, I enjoyed the episode. It had a fair amount of cheese which I like. The actors were good, it had a decent mystery, and it was a nice updating (for the 70s) of the Hardy Boys without losing any of their appeal.

The Mystery of Pirate's Cove

The season 1 DVD has divided the Hardy Boys episodes from the Nancy Drew episodes. I can understand why they did that. This way a fan can watch all of the Hardy Boys episodes on one disc of they want and then all of the Nancy Drew episodes on one disc. I decided that I would watch the show as it aired, where it aired the Hardy Boys first and then Nancy Drew.

Much like the first Hardy Boys episode, the Nancy Drew pilot was a good way to introduce the character and set-up. The episode focuses on Nancy, George, and Ned (no Bess but she could show up later).

The mystery starts when those three plus another guy named Brandon head out in Brandon’s boat to check out the flying fish. What they find instead is a lot of dead fish and lights on in the old lighthouse, which is supposed to be abandoned and which Nancy’s lawyer father just helped sell.

The buyer is a college professor who is studying ghosts and other supernatural phenomena and wants to see if he can record any activity in the lighthouse. This strikes Nancy as odd since she’s never heard of any kind of legend about the lighthouse. The more she uncovers, the more she finds new twists and turns.

It is a good mystery to start the series off on a good note. It didn’t go exactly as I thought it would. The mystery allows Nancy to show off her skills as she pokes holes in the professor’s story and catches clues that others miss.

Pamela Sue Martin makes a good Nancy Drew. She’s assertive, quick witted, and always seems to be one step ahead of everyone else.

While Ned has feelings for Nancy, he hasn’t said anything to her yet. He works for her father so he thinks a relationship might be inappropriate. I get the feeling that Nancy at least suspects he might have feelings for her.

George is Nancy’s faithful companion, helping her solve the mystery even when she really doesn’t want to.

The three make a good team and have nice chemistry with one another. I’m more than happy to watch them solve crimes for the next six episodes (maybe more depending on if they keep everything the same set-up for season 2).
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#2 RJDiogenes

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 05:16 PM

I watched this show sporadically when it was on the air. I liked the idea of a classic mystery show-- the closest thing to a real mystery show at the time was Columbo, and the identity of the killer was only a mystery to the detective, not the audience-- and it did a pretty good job of establishing the classic mystery atmosphere. Unfortunately, I didn't really like either Parker Stevenson or Shaun Cassidy, and, while I liked Pamela Sue Martin, I didn't buy her as Nancy Drew.  So I never really could get into it.
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#3 Virgil Vox

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:38 PM

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I watched this show sporadically when it was on the air. I liked the idea of a classic mystery show-- the closest thing to a real mystery show at the time was Columbo, and the identity of the killer was only a mystery to the detective, not the audience-- and it did a pretty good job of establishing the classic mystery atmosphere. Unfortunately, I didn't really like either Parker Stevenson or Shaun Cassidy, and, while I liked Pamela Sue Martin, I didn't buy her as Nancy Drew.  So I never really could get into it.

I like all three actors in the role. Granted, I've only now watched two episodes from the Hardy Boys and two episodes from Nancy Drew but they seem to embody their characters well, just updated for a 70s TV audience. I especially like that Nancy is really assertive and doesn't listen to others when they say she should stay out of danger simply because she's a girl.

The mysteries have been rather nice, as well. They're not as transparent or easily guessed as I would have thought.
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#4 Niko

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 09:01 AM

Oh, man.  Shaun Cassidy as Joe Hardy was my first hard-core celebrity crush when I was seven.  I don't think I've seen the series since it was on the air.  I remember being really resentful of the Nancy Drew episodes because I wanted it to be only the Hardy Boys.  (Though what I remember of Nancy Drew, I did like the actress.)

How are you watching, VV?  I had DVD's of it in my Netflix queue back when I was still doing the disks by mail, but my queue was so long, I never got around to watching.  Do they have it streaming, or are you using other means?
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#5 RJDiogenes

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:19 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 02 May 2017 - 10:38 PM, said:

I like all three actors in the role. Granted, I've only now watched two episodes from the Hardy Boys and two episodes from Nancy Drew but they seem to embody their characters well, just updated for a 70s TV audience.
To me, the boys seemed kind of bland and blow-dried, and Pamela Sue Martin was more suited to a bad girl role than Nancy Drew.

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I especially like that Nancy is really assertive and doesn't listen to others when they say she should stay out of danger simply because she's a girl.  
We had this thing called Women's Lib.  :lol:  The 21st century could use something similar....

View PostNiko, on 03 May 2017 - 09:01 AM, said:

Oh, man.  Shaun Cassidy as Joe Hardy was my first hard-core celebrity crush when I was seven.  
He was annoying as only a teen heartthrob can be, but he seemed to have pretty good taste in music, anyway.
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#6 Virgil Vox

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:42 PM

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Oh, man.  Shaun Cassidy as Joe Hardy was my first hard-core celebrity crush when I was seven.  I don't think I've seen the series since it was on the air.  I remember being really resentful of the Nancy Drew episodes because I wanted it to be only the Hardy Boys.  (Though what I remember of Nancy Drew, I did like the actress.)

I can see why you'd crush on him. I wonder if a reason for his casting was because he was a teen idol at the time? The network probably figured he'd bring with him a built in audience.

I thought I wouldn't like the Nancy Drew episodes, either, but the two I have watched so far I've liked a lot. It kind of makes me sad that the solo Nancy Drew episodes in season 2 were drastically cut back.

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How are you watching, VV?  I had DVD's of it in my Netflix queue back when I was still doing the disks by mail, but my queue was so long, I never got around to watching.  Do they have it streaming, or are you using other means?

I bought the season on DVD. I found a brand new copy on eBay for a really good price. I've actually bought the second season from Amazon already because I've been enjoying season 1 a lot so far. I did find complete episodes on Youtube though when I was trying to find clips from the show to see if I would like it or not.

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To me, the boys seemed kind of bland and blow-dried, and Pamela Sue Martin was more suited to a bad girl role than Nancy Drew.

I can see what you mean about the boys but for me they just click and I have no problem with them portraying Frank and Joe. I really don't see Pamela Sue Martin as a bad girl but I honestly have no idea if I've ever watched her in anything else so maybe seeing her in a different role would change my mind.

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We had this thing called Women's Lib.  :lol:  The 21st century could use something similar....

You're not wrong about that.

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He was annoying as only a teen heartthrob can be, but he seemed to have pretty good taste in music, anyway.

Despite the back of the DVD promising Shaun Cassidy singing the songs that made him a hit so far Joe has yet to bust into song so I can't comment on his music one way or another.

The Mystery of Witches’ Hollow

I knew I was going to like this episode when it started with Frank, Joe, Callie, and Chet driving to a cabin in supposedly haunted woods at night during a thunderstorm.

They are going to check on Callie’s uncle, a retired police officer who is friends with Fenton. After that the boys are going to go camping. However, when they get to the cabin they discover that he hasn’t been home for at least a week and are told that terrible things happen in the woods of Witches’ Hollow.

That turns out to be true as an intruder breaks into the cabin, Joe almost dies by falling off a cliff, they hear screams in the forest at night, and Callie is attacked by a panther. It seems as if no matter what the boys find out, they can’t connect the dots to explain all the weird things going on.

This was a really fun episode. Like I said in my review of the first episode, Frank and Joe have good chemistry together, and that extends in this episode to both Chet and Callie as well. All four work well with one another. There are also some really good brotherly moments between the Hardy boys.

The mystery was well executed. Even though the episode lets the viewers in on who the villain is early on I couldn’t guess his motives since what he was doing seemed to go against what he was trying to accomplish.

Poor Joe. This was not a good episode for him. He almost falls off a cliff, and then when he and Frank jump from a moving cliff he lands in a pool of muddy water and he almost becomes panther chow.

The pacing was just right, not like the pacing from the first episode. I never felt like the episode did anything just to pad the run time.

This was just a really enjoyable episode. Everything worked. I had no problems with it.
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#7 RJDiogenes

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 06:00 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 03 May 2017 - 08:42 PM, said:

I can see why you'd crush on him. I wonder if a reason for his casting was because he was a teen idol at the time? The network probably figured he'd bring with him a built in audience.  
I thought the TV show came first and he built the singing career on that, but I could be wrong.

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I can see what you mean about the boys but for me they just click and I have no problem with them portraying Frank and Joe. I really don't see Pamela Sue Martin as a bad girl but I honestly have no idea if I've ever watched her in anything else so maybe seeing her in a different role would change my mind.  
I may feel differently about it now.  There are shows I didn't like as a teenager that I find a lot more appealing these days (e.g. the first season of Wonder Woman), so I might like it if I watched it now. Certainly your descriptions of spooky houses and thunderstorms go right to what I want to see in a mystery.  :lol:
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#8 Niko

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 06:58 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 04 May 2017 - 06:00 PM, said:

View PostVirgil Vox, on 03 May 2017 - 08:42 PM, said:

I can see why you'd crush on him. I wonder if a reason for his casting was because he was a teen idol at the time? The network probably figured he'd bring with him a built in audience.  
I thought the TV show came first and he built the singing career on that, but I could be wrong.
That was how I remembered it, too.  Hmmm... looks like his first album came out in Europe in 1976, but didn't hit the U.S. until June, 1977.  Hardy Boys premiered in January, 1977.  So it looks like Hardy Boys came first from the U.S. perspective, but given his family connections, it's probably not a stretch that he was being positioned for teen idol status before that.

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I bought the season on DVD. I found a brand new copy on eBay for a really good price. I've actually bought the second season from Amazon already because I've been enjoying season 1 a lot so far. I did find complete episodes on Youtube though when I was trying to find clips from the show to see if I would like it or not.

Ah, that's cool.  I tend not to buy DVD's except for shows that I'm really hard-core about... I have so much anime that it's already super-embarrassing how much media I own. :p  I really miss Netflix for that reason.  The whole reason I signed up for Netflix was as a way to watch these sorts of older shows again without having to pay for a whole season set, but once their focused moved to streaming, they stopped getting replacement disks and it seemed like more and more shows were becoming unavailable, one disk at a time.  And streaming is so hit-and-miss for whether studios bother to make them available on streaming, it's not worth it to me.

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I can see what you mean about the boys but for me they just click and I have no problem with them portraying Frank and Joe.
I agree.  I can still picture the way the two of them interacted... they always had a pretty good rapport, I thought, and the times when they got together with Nancy Drew for a combo-episode, their interactions with her were fun, too.

(And I have a vivid memory of Joe's singing being a plot point in at least one episode, so it will come. :) )
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#9 Mary Rose

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 07:33 PM

Just popping in to say that Pamela Sue Martin makes a great bad girl. I watched he in this and liked her but I also really liked her as bad girl Fallon in Dynasty.
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#10 RJDiogenes

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:39 PM

^^  Oh, I forgot about Dynasty.  She did play a good bad girl.

View PostNiko, on 04 May 2017 - 06:58 PM, said:

That was how I remembered it, too.  Hmmm... looks like his first album came out in Europe in 1976, but didn't hit the U.S. until June, 1977.  Hardy Boys premiered in January, 1977.  So it looks like Hardy Boys came first from the U.S. perspective, but given his family connections, it's probably not a stretch that he was being positioned for teen idol status before that.
So it was a tie. :D  But it would have seemed like the show gave him the popularity to put out an album, like other TV stars did (David Soul, for example).
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#11 Virgil Vox

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 07:22 PM

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I may feel differently about it now.  There are shows I didn't like as a teenager that I find a lot more appealing these days (e.g. the first season of Wonder Woman), so I might like it if I watched it now. Certainly your descriptions of spooky houses and thunderstorms go right to what I want to see in a mystery.  :lol:

I'm the same when it comes to spooky houses and thunderstorms. I know they've become a cliche at this point but they can still be really effective. Well, if you ever decide to give the series another try I hope you do like it. For me the episodes are fun with characters I like and watching them makes for a nice way to relax after a hard day.

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That was how I remembered it, too.  Hmmm... looks like his first album came out in Europe in 1976, but didn't hit the U.S. until June, 1977.  Hardy Boys premiered in January, 1977.  So it looks like Hardy Boys came first from the U.S. perspective, but given his family connections, it's probably not a stretch that he was being positioned for teen idol status before that.


Hmm. Interesting. Thanks for the info. The DVD packaging mentions Shaun Cassidy singing the songs that made him a pop idol so I figured he got famous for singing first and then joined the show. Instead it looks like it all happened for him at once.

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Ah, that's cool.  I tend not to buy DVD's except for shows that I'm really hard-core about... I have so much anime that it's already super-embarrassing how much media I own. :p  I really miss Netflix for that reason.  The whole reason I signed up for Netflix was as a way to watch these sorts of older shows again without having to pay for a whole season set, but once their focused moved to streaming, they stopped getting replacement disks and it seemed like more and more shows were becoming unavailable, one disk at a time.  And streaming is so hit-and-miss for whether studios bother to make them available on streaming, it's not worth it to me.

I wish I didn't buy as many DVDs as I do. I have gotten better over the years but I still buy way too many DVDs. I have cut back a lot on buying season box sets though. It used to be if I half way liked a show I bought the season box set when it came out but I don't do that anymore. It has to be a show I absolutely love (like Teen Wolf or Supergirl) to get me to buy the DVDs.

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I agree.  I can still picture the way the two of them interacted... they always had a pretty good rapport, I thought, and the times when they got together with Nancy Drew for a combo-episode, their interactions with her were fun, too.

(And I have a vivid memory of Joe's singing being a plot point in at least one episode, so it will come. :) )

They do have a good rapport and it is what makes the episodes work. If I didn't buy them as brothers the episodes wouldn't be as enjoyable.

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Just popping in to say that Pamela Sue Martin makes a great bad girl. I watched he in this and liked her but I also really liked her as bad girl Fallon in Dynasty.


So she has played a bad girl before, just after she played the ultimate good girl.


The Mystery of the Diamond Triangle

This was a strong episode, much better than the pilot. Not that I didn’t like the pilot, mind you, but this had a stronger mystery. Nancy is flying a plane and sees a car drive into a ravine. When the police go to investigate, they find no car. Not only that, but they say it’s impossible to get a car into that ravine. Nancy’s investigation leads her to a young college student who had fixed up the car to sell and didn’t realize it was stolen. Now he’s being framed for insurance fraud and Nancy isn’t sure of his innocence or guilt.

This episode did a good job of showing Nancy’s perseverance. Even when all the clues and everyone around her are telling her that what she saw was impossible she trusts her instincts and works to prove herself right.

I am really liking the trio of Nancy, George, and Ned. They work well together and their personalities are nice and diverse. George is probably the character that personifies most of the viewers. She doesn’t want to just throw herself into danger like Nancy and she’s wrong about the mystery but she still goes along and helps her friend out.

Ned came across kind of bad here; telling Nancy that since she’s a girl she shouldn’t go investigate until he gets off work. I get that he’s worried about her but she’s been solving crimes for a while and can obviously take care of herself.

I went back and forth on whether the college student was guilty or not. I figured he would be innocent since Nancy seemed so sure and I figured the show wouldn’t have the main character be wrong in the second episode.

Still, I wasn’t sure where the mystery would lead. I didn’t expect it to be car thieves. It was a bit of a let-down but it all came together well.

The Disappearing Floor

That was a bit of a trippy episode as the brothers see a UFO and find an abandoned house where furniture grows and shrinks and floors disappear. Also, apparently Frank failed a gym class because his shorts were too tight. Not making that up. I got a good laugh out of that exchange between Frank and his father.

I have to say, the Hardy Boys episodes are just a lot of fun. This was a well crafted story with some nice laughs that kept me entertained.

What I really liked is that the brothers struggled in the episode because everything they found seemed so preposterous. They’re tailing a person for their dad and end up almost getting hit by a UFO. Then they find a house full of crazy rooms and antique furniture but when they take their dad there it’s just a simple abandoned house. Then they make themselves look worse by getting lost in the company’s building and wandering around areas that are top secret. They really do not make a good impression on anyone here, at least not at first.

The mystery revolves around a scientist who went missing while in Europe, and the company he works for wants him found pronto. Fenton fears he may have defected but he’s not sure since the company refuses to say what the scientist was working on. It doesn’t help that two Russians are skulking about and spying on the brothers.

The episode kept me guessing as to what was really going on. It turns out the company was working on really advanced holograms that might have military applications. I mean, I guess holograms would be a good way to fake an enemy out for a while but eventually they’re going to learn that the approaching army or planes or what have you are fake.

There were a few twists to the mystery as well. It wasn’t just a straight forward defection story.

Joe gets himself a girlfriend here or at least a girl that’s interested in him and his science lab. I doubt she will ever show up again but that’s fine. She didn’t have much of a personality.

I’m trying not to rush through the episodes but it’s hard because I find myself liking the series so much.

The Secret of the Whispering Walls

This episode sees Nancy and George investigating why someone is trying to mess up the sale of Nancy’s aunts’ house and property. Someone broke into her father’s office in their house and stole the paperwork relating to the sale, and then drove Carson and Ned off the road and put Carson in the hospital.

At the aunts’ house, Nancy and George have to deal with an upset buyer who threatens to harm Nancy since the sale is delayed, an apparently haunted house, and a mysterious cave system that exists beneath the house.

I thought I had the mystery figured out early on in the episode. It was easy enough to guess who the villain was; there simply weren’t that many people to choose from. Still, I thought I had the culprit and motive figured out. While the culprit was right, the motive was wrong. Oh, well.

If I was a character from the show, it would be George. She’s the sensible one who doesn’t want to sleep in rooms that are haunted, especially after hearing terrible sounds coming from the walls. She also thinks it’s dumb of Nancy to go exploring a cave system alone at night.

A lot of the episodes from season 1 have a haunted house/supernatural theme to them. There are no supernatural elements, obviously, but its strange how many episodes have implied that or used the trappings of the supernatural. The first Hardy Boys episode featured a club called the Haunted House, the second had a forest that was supposedly cursed by a witch, the third had UFOs and a supposedly magic house. The first Nancy Drew episode dealt with a lighthouse that was supposed to be haunted. Kind of strange. It’s like the writers wanted every episode to have a Halloween feel to it.

Ned doesn’t have much to do this episode as he’s away from the action for most of the episode, arriving only to offer help at the end.
I’m finding myself with not much to say about the episode. It wasn’t bad by any means but it didn’t really stand out to me.

The Flickering Torch Mystery

I’m a little disappointed. I thought this episode would be the one where Joe would sing. The episode had the set-up for it. The mystery revolves around a popular singer and the sound engineer who worked for him disappearing.

Looks like the Hardy Boys can fly a plane just like Nancy. Well, Frank can anyways. Joe is still learning.

Not too much of a mystery to this episode. It was easy to guess who the bad guys were. They might as well have been wearing black hats. There wasn’t even much of a mystery as to why they were trying to kill the musician. It didn’t make it a bad episode but it sucks when the mystery isn’t much of a mystery.

Like the previous HB episode, the brothers hurt their credibility when they guess the method being used to kill the musician (a bomb) but not the placement, causing them to disrupt a sold out concert thinking that it’s about to be blown up.

The crime lab gets used again as Joe looks for fingerprints. That was a nice call back to the pilot, establishing Joe as a finger print expert.

Chief Collig shows up here and seems to know all about the Hardy Boys and what they can do. I wasn’t sure if the police were fully aware of Frank and Joe considering how the two officers acted in the pilot episode.

I did like how the two mysteries of the episode (who’s trying to kill the musician and what happened to the sound engineer) dovetailed together quite nicely.

All in all, another good HB episode.
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It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#12 RJDiogenes

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 06:15 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 07 May 2017 - 07:22 PM, said:

Also, apparently Frank failed a gym class because his shorts were too tight. Not making that up. I got a good laugh out of that exchange between Frank and his father.  

Nice.  :laughtears:

Ravines, mysterious houses, hidden cave systems, cursed forests, haunted lighthouses-- this is all sounding quite good.  :D
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#13 Virgil Vox

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 12:01 AM

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Ravines, mysterious houses, hidden cave systems, cursed forests, haunted lighthouses-- this is all sounding quite good.  :D

It's been a lot better  show than I thought it would be, in all honesty. I am really glad I gave it a chance. I've already bought the second season. The sad thing is that I found out Pamela Sue Martin is replaced half way through season 2 as Nancy, and that in season 3 Nancy is dropped completely. Not only that, but apparently season 3 ditches the lighter, fun tone of the first two seasons and tries for a more adult and darker take on the Hardy Boys. I'll probably still end up buying it just to complete the show but it does make me sad.

A Haunting We Will Go

This episode sees Nancy, Ned, and George putting on a play at an old theater to raise money to tear the theater down and replace it with a center for troubled youth. They get a big surprise when the five main cast members who first performed the play 20 years ago all return to play their parts again. Nancy starts to suspect something is up because all five of the original cast members seem to hate each other and seem to be keeping a secret. Meanwhile, mysterious accidents keep happening on the set, leading people to suspect that the theater is haunted by a phantom.

I loved this episode, and a lot of that is due to the five bickering cast members. They throw epic shade at each other and it really is a joy to watch. It provides a lot of entertainment. They also provide a good mystery, as Nancy wants to know why five successful people who made it out of River Heights (well, four anyways; one still lives in the city) would come back just to do one play. Eventually it’s revealed that the five are being blackmailed because of something they did 20 years ago, but none of them know who the blackmailer is.

Ned, meanwhile, is the producer of the play and he is letting it go to his head, especially now since the play will be aired on network television. He really wants to make sure it will go off without a hitch so he doesn’t want Nancy to be right that there’s something going on with his main stars.

The mystery kept me guessing as it didn’t go exactly in the direction I thought it would. I also wasn't sure what secret the five actors had. I guessed wrong on that one.

The phantom of the theater aspect isn’t as strong as I thought it would be. Sure, the phantom exists and is causing accidents but the main focus is on the group of five and Nancy’s determination to figure out their secret. Most everyone believes the accidents the phantom causes are just due to the theater being old and run down; only Nancy thinks something more is going on.

I did have to shake my head a little at the ending. Without spoiling things too much I thought certain people got off too light even though they didn’t exactly do what they thought they had.

This was probably the strongest ND episode so far, IMO. Everything just worked really well here.

The Mystery of the Flying Courier

This is finally the episode where Joe sings. His band gets a slot at an open mike night at a club near an airport, and Frank, Callie, Chet, and several other friends go to support him. Frank spots a woman who went missing three years earlier but she denies it. Frank pursues her anyways, which leads to a case involving vinyl disc piracy of all things.

I have to admit that the songs Joe sings (which are the songs that made Shaun Cassidy a teen idol) were catchy. I found them stuck in my head the next day.
What surprised me is that the songs didn’t feel shoehorned in. While Joe is singing at the start of the episode we also see Frank recognizing the woman and trying to talk to her. This also leads to Joe noticing Frank leaving and feeling hurt that his brother left during his singing debut. At the end, when Joe sings the entirety of “That’s Rock ‘N Roll” they at least add in some little character moments, like Fenton Hardy and Callie dancing and Joe making sure Frank is watching.

Not really about the episode but it’s funny that vinyl discs went basically extinct once tapes and then CDs and then digital media became prevalent but they’re now making a comeback. My friend bought a record player and loves to buy vinyl discs of her favorite indie bands.

The episode did a good job of making me guess just what the heck was going on. Even when it was revealed to be about piracy I still wasn’t sure what the woman’s role in it was or what, if anything, the piracy had to do with her going missing three years earlier.

The ending was a little silly as Frank and Joe get into a “fight” with several thugs that consist of both sides throwing sand bags at one another. The club they are in has a war theme and the sand bags are part of that. I’m sure it was supposed to be dramatic but it came across as cheesy.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#14 RJDiogenes

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:27 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 10 May 2017 - 12:01 AM, said:

The sad thing is that I found out Pamela Sue Martin is replaced half way through season 2 as Nancy,  
I actually thought she was more appropriate in the role, but she didn't turn out to be very popular.

Quote

Not really about the episode but it’s funny that vinyl discs went basically extinct once tapes and then CDs and then digital media became prevalent but they’re now making a comeback. My friend bought a record player and loves to buy vinyl discs of her favorite indie bands.
In the early 80s, vinyl had a bit of a renaissance with stuff like picture discs, colored discs, and oddly shaped (and misnamed) discs. Then they vanished.  Now they're back in a fairly big way.  My Brother (who is a musician) collects them, and I've been getting him classic stuff like The Who and Moody Blues for his birthday the past several years.
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#15 Virgil Vox

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 05:22 PM

The Mystery of the Fallen Angels


Nancy goes undercover (badly) at a carnival to uncover who stole jewels and other items from the house of a rich couple in town.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robert Englund both have small parts in this episode as members of the gang of thieves. That brought a smile to my face.

You’d think that Nancy would be better at going undercover. She goes to the new town that the carnival is in and is immediately recognized from the previous town by the thieves, who rightly suspect she’s there to bust them. It’s only because one of the thieves is questioning joining the gang in the first place and decides to make up a lie about who Nancy is that the thieves let Nancy go.

I will say that the episode throws a lot of red herrings at the mystery. There’s Henry, a young man who has been accused of stealing before who was seen in the house that was robbed but gives his excuse as simply being lost. He was actually there to see the young maid, but won’t say anything about it. Then there’s the fact that the thieves seem to be more focused on robbing electronics than jewelry which makes Nancy suspect there were multiple thieves at work the night of the carnival.

Ned and George don’t get a lot to do here. They are mainly sidelined. I did love the bit where Ned goes to see a fortune teller and she says that the reason he has bad luck with women is because he’s too forceful which is the furthest thing from the truth but of course Ned believes it. That leads to some funny moments.
In the end Nancy cracks both robberies and her father gets four new clients, none of whom can pay him.

This was an enjoyable episode, but I’d put it as one of the weaker ones of the season. It's not bad but not memorable either.

Wipe Out

This was another enjoyable episode. It’s also one that had me scratching my head because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the brothers were up to.

Frank and Joe have gone to Hawaii so that Frank can enter into a surfing contest. While they are at the competition their hotel room gets broken into and all of their things are stolen. When they report it to the police they are informed that there has been a string of robberies at hotels that have left the police clueless. Of course the boys want to get to the bottom of it.

What had me clueless was that the boys break into a hotel room belonging to a couple and they steal their stuff so they can have money. For about half the episode I wasn’t sure what was going on. At first I thought maybe the brothers did it to attract the attention of the real thieves or maybe we were watching evil twins of the Hardy Boys. Finally the episode lets us in on the fact that the boys are helping the police and that the couple they stole from are actually undercover cops. The boys do eventually get themselves invited to help out the thieves.

Even though the brothers want to help, they express fear about getting in too deep or getting discovered. They know that they are dealing with dangerous crooks and that anything can happen before the police are able to come help them.

Right before the boys are set to meet up with the thieves Frank tells Joe that if the meeting goes sideways Frank will try to hold them off so Joe can get away. It was a nice little moment of brotherly bonding.

I laughed when a detective asked the boys if they were smart and Joe replied, “He’s the smart one. I’m the cute one.”

Joe sings again here. In a nice nod to the last episode Joe asks a girl to record him singing since Frank has a habit of leaving right as Joe starts to sing. Sure enough, Frank leaves before Joe can start. Later, the tape recording is used to help the brothers out of a jam.

The Mystery of the Ghostwriter’s Cruise

I was excited to watch this one since it was set on a boat. I’ve always liked mysteries that are set in a location where people can’t easily leave (a boat or train or mysteriously locked house). Nancy and George are going on a cruise with a famous mystery author who has announced his retirement. However, none of them get to enjoy their vacation as it becomes apparent that someone is trying to kill the author using plots from his own book.

While I liked the episode, it didn’t live up to expectations. There was some good stuff here but the episode didn’t wow me.

I liked the plot of George meeting a guy named George who is the activity planner. He takes a shine to her but she’s not exactly thrilled with him, especially since he keeps roping her into doing a lot of activities she doesn’t want to do.

I almost felt like I was watching an episode of Murder, She Wrote considering a famous mystery author is at the heart of the episode and is helping Nancy to catch his would be killer.

Ned and Carson are sidelined this episode as they don’t go on the voyage and basically just have a few scenes where they do research for Nancy.

The Secret of the Jade Kwan Yin

The final Hardy Boys episode of the season doesn’t disappoint. The brothers have a good case to solve with a couple of twists (one I didn’t see coming) and a more personal stake in the matter since they bungle things at first which gives the bad guys the opportunity to steal the Kwan Yin again.

The brothers are snorkeling in a secluded cove when a passing ship drops off a container. The boys take it back home and open it up to find a jade statue. They’re not sure if it’s genuine or not but Callie says she seen something similar in Bayport’s Chinatown. There the boys learn that the original jade statue is priceless, and that it was being brought to Bayport to be the centerpiece of an upcoming celebration. Unfortunately, it gets stolen from the boys before they can hand it over.

What’s nice about this episode is that the brothers do screw up. Instead of reporting that they found the statue they decide to investigate it first, which is what leads to it being stolen. Chief Collig informs them that he knew about the statue and if the boys had done the right thing from the start it would be in the proper hands already. This gives the boys more motive to find the statue and fix their mistake.

Other than Chet, all the supporting character show up here. Callie helps the boys in their investigation and gives them several helpful clues. Mr. Hardy comes through in a big way at the end. Even Aunt Gertrude gives a few nice moments.

The bond between the brothers is on full display here and it’s really what makes the HB episodes so good. Joe promises to follow Frank’s lead because he trusts Frank and they both want to make up for their mistake.

There’s a nice chase sequence as the brothers arrive at their house right after the thieves get their hands on the statue. It reminded me a little of the first episode, where Frank chased after the men who had broken into their house. This time though he’s not in his underwear.

The boys love to check for fingerprints. Seriously, there are at least three or four scenes where they dust for fingerprints.

I thought this was a really good episode, and a strong one to end the season (at least the Hardy Boys portion of it) on.

The Mystery of the Solid Gold Kicker

The last Nancy Drew episode sees Nancy trying to prove that a murder had taken place, and then trying to prove that there actually wasn’t a murder.

Nancy and George are at a party thrown by a wealthy man named Ben, in honor of college football star Chip who is about to help win his team a championship. However, things aren’t what they seem when Ben and a woman who briefly dated Chip set it up to make it look like Chip murdered his girlfriend in an alcohol fueled rage. This is an attempt to get Chip to throw the championship game so Ben and his partners can rake in a lot of cash.

What Ben doesn’t count on is George going back to the party to retrieve her purse, and seeing the “dead” woman on the floor. This gets Nancy involved, and she finally figures out that the murder isn’t a murder at all.

Chip is played by Mark Harmon which was a surprise. I’m so used to seeing him as Gibbs on NCIS that it was strange to see him here.

Chip is a nice guy and only goes along with the scheme (he wants to call the police at first and accept whatever consequences he has coming his way) when his mother and younger brother are threatened.

Score one for guys liking to look at attractive women. At the start of the episode Nancy is getting an inside look at how a TV station films the football game, with the man in charge focusing the camera on attractive women in the audience during time-outs. Nancy calls him out on this, but it works to her benefit later when she uses the tapes to see that the “dead” girl isn’t dead and to indentify Ben as her accomplice.

Ned has a small role here. He doesn’t really factor into the episode at all. George has a good role though since she’s the one who sees the set-up and tries to convince the police it really happened even though Ben cleaned up really well.

Much like the final episode of the Hardy Boys, this was a good episode to end the season on. It’s a case with a few twists and turns that isn’t easy for Nancy to solve. There’s a decent amount of suspense, and the villains are quite good and it’s really great when Nancy catches them.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#16 RJDiogenes

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 06:25 PM

A carnival, a cruise ship, a Chinese jade statue-- they're still hitting the classic mystery notes. Maybe not the surfboarding and the football, but what the hell. :lol:
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#17 Virgil Vox

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 04:10 PM

The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, Part 1

The episode I’ve been waiting for is finally here (here in the sense that I’ve now gotten around to watching it). The Hardy Boys meet Nancy Drew in the first part of the two part premiere of season 2.

The brothers have come to Paris because their father, Fenton Hardy, disappeared two weeks ago. While in Paris they meet a Romanian inspector who says he was working with Fenton on a case concerning artwork being stolen from museums throughout Europe. The boys find their father’s notebook and see that he has an appointment with someone named Fredericks in Munich.

Fredericks turns out to be Nancy, who has been helping Fenton on his investigation since her dad has a stake in the missing paintings. The case leads all three teen detectives to Dracula’s castle, where an American musician is throwing a rock concert and where a certain vampire may still be lurking.

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. It was a smart way to bring the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew together for the very first time (apparently they hadn’t teamed up in the novels yet). What I like is that it’s a meeting of equals. Both the Hardy Boys and Nancy have a good reason to be investigating the case and none of them come across as incompetent. In fact, Nancy gets the upper hand on Frank when she flips him on his back when he tries to kick her out of the hotel room. Still, the episode focuses more on the brothers than on Nancy and Bess.

Speaking of, while I liked seeing another of Nancy’s friends make an appearance on the show I’d much rather it have been George or Ned, since they are already established characters and I think would have worked better here.

They haven’t teamed up officially yet. The brothers don’t think much of Nancy, and she thinks they’re amateurs who will get in her way.

It seems like a good mystery to have the three super sleuths work on together. There’s Fenton missing, paintings stolen, a possibly haunted castle with Dracula roaming around, and a televised rock concert that may be involved in the thefts going on all at the same time.

I got some déjà vu with all the people dressed up in monster costumes in this episode, just like a lot of people in “The Mystery of the Haunted House” from season 1. Heck, the brothers are trying to find their father here just like they were in that episode as well.

I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or shake my head at the old man bellhop in Munich who threw off a Nazi salute and kept saying he was just following orders as Nancy and the Hardy Boys tell him to remove the other’s luggage from the room they ended up sharing.

The episode took advantage of Shaun Cassidy’s singing career again as Frank and Joe join a struggling rock band who are invited to the concert at Dracula’s castle so they can snoop around. Of course Joe has to sing first while Frank snoops, and he ends up getting captured by the mysterious caped villain that has been roaming the catacombs.

Teaming up the Hardy Boys with Nancy Drew was a smart idea that should have happened in the first season but better late than never. Seeing all of them (kind of) working together brought a smile to my face.

Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, Part 2

Part 2 feels like the stronger of the two episodes. Part of that is probably due to having the set-up out of the way, so all of our teen detectives can team up and solve the crime, which is exactly what they do.

The drama is also elevated, as Fenton Hardy is located but he’s in a coma. This leads to a scene where Joe almost breaks down talking to his comatose father, saying that he still needs him in his life. There’s also another attack, which ups the stakes because the trio need to solve the case before anyone else is hurt.

Everything comes together rather well. The two seemingly separate cases (the museum thefts and the Dracula-like attacks on people) are of course connected and that’s what leads Frank, Joe, and Nancy to identify the real culprit. Honestly, it’s pretty easy to guess who the real villain is but the episode still does a good job of keeping his motivations a secret.

Nancy, who felt underused in Part 1, steps up rather well here. She and Frank team up while Joe continues to sing with the band and it is Nancy who comes to the conclusion that the clues they’re finding feel like they’ve been planted to point towards one suspect. She also bursts in at the last minute and saves the brothers from the villain.

There does seem to be some romantic tension between Frank and Nancy, though it’s not acted upon here. Instead they seem a little awkward with one another. That’s not the case for Joe and Bess, who share a romantic kiss at the end of the episode.

The humor is strong in the episode, especially when it comes to the interaction between the brothers.

I have to say, this was a wonderful way to bring the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew together. The mystery was nice and complex and all three characters were handled well. It never truly felt like any of them got the short end of the stick. I know that the three don’t team up in every episode of the season but at least I know that when they do it will be worth the wait.

The Mystery of King Tut’s Tomb

The Hardy Boys are in Egypt when Frank sees a young American woman get her purse grabbed. He gets the purse back, but the woman refuses to take it and instead asks him to meet her at her hotel later. This gets the boys involved in a case that deals with tomb robbers, conmen, and plenty of double crosses.

This was another fine episode. The mystery was intriguing and involved lots of moving parts that kept it interesting throughout the episode.

There’s a hilarious bit at the end, when the boys are trying to escape from the bad guys in a bar/disco populated by Americans, most of them from Texas. Frank and Joe decide to try and get them on their side by singing Texan songs and when that doesn’t work they insult the crowd, hoping to escape the real bad guys in the confusion and also hoping the Texans don’t beat them up too badly.

Of course the boys have to find themselves trapped in a pyramid and of course the pyramid will have a secret tunnel to the disco for the boys to use. What pyramid doesn’t?

Having this set in another country did add a little bit of tension because Joe and Frank aren’t known to the local police and they probably can’t get away with their usual shenanigans (though of course they do). They’re just out of their depth here.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#18 RJDiogenes

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 06:23 PM

I guess I don't even need to ask if there was any real vampire activity. I don't think this is the show for that.

But I like the haunted castle and the pyramid with the secret tunnels.  They're maintaining that classic mystery ambiance in season two.
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#19 Virgil Vox

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 04:01 PM

Quote

I guess I don't even need to ask if there was any real vampire activity. I don't think this is the show for that.

They do hint, in a scene played more for laughs, that the man pretending to be a vampire might be an actual vampire. Joe looks into a mirror and sees himself and a police officer but not the culprit even though he should. He tries to get Frank's attention but Frank is too busy talking to Nancy and Fenton.

Quote

But I like the haunted castle and the pyramid with the secret tunnels.  They're maintaining that classic mystery ambiance in season two.

They really are. It's been a really enjoyable season so far.

Mystery of the African Safari

I’m guessing this episode was supposed to air after “The Mystery of King Tut’s Tomb” because it sees the boys heading to Kenya to help their father with a case, which they mentioned they were going to do in the King Tut episode. Their recent case to Europe is also mentioned. I’m guessing it was supposed to form a loose “Hardy Boys abroad” arc and for whatever reason they stuck the Hollywood Phantom episodes in the middle of it.

This season so far has been on a streak of good episodes, and this episode is no different. Fenton, Frank, and Joe are in Kenya to help the government determine who is illegally poaching hundreds of animals. One official, Ngbotu, believes it to be the white hunter Masters, who used to lead hunting safaris until they were outlawed and is now forced to lead safaris where tourists just take pictures.

Masters has a daughter, Sarah, and Frank has a crush on her. Between Nancy, Sarah, and the girl from the King Tut episode Frank has found someone to crush on in every episode of the season so far. Sarah doesn’t believe her dad is the poacher and defends him but eventually even she thinks he might be guilty as the evidence piles up.

Frank and Joe aren’t sure. Masters seems like the likely culprit, but they also think Ngbotu might be the real mastermind behind the poaching. The brothers have to decide whether to trust their instincts or the facts.

The episode also has a message about if Africa is losing part of its identity as it transitions away from the old ways and into modern times. Doing away with hunting safaris (and the hunters like Masters who led them) to attract tourists who just want to take pictures might make better sense economically, but some believe that Africa loses part of its mystique and way of life. The argument reminded me of what happened when the West was finally settled and when people like Frederick Jackson Turner said that American needed land to expand and that without the West America wouldn’t be America.

At the end of the episode Frank and Sarah go off for a romantic walk and Joe complains to his father that he did most of the work so why doesn’t he get the girl? Fenton replies that Frank is the oldest and Joe wants to know when he can be the older sibling. It’s a nice callback to several times Joe didn’t want to do something unpleasant so he made Frank do it because he was the oldest.

Joe also cracks a joke about how he doesn’t get introduced whenever Frank runs into a woman he finds attractive.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#20 RJDiogenes

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:01 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 12 June 2017 - 04:01 PM, said:

I’m guessing this episode was supposed to air after “The Mystery of King Tut’s Tomb” because it sees the boys heading to Kenya to help their father with a case, which they mentioned they were going to do in the King Tut episode. Their recent case to Europe is also mentioned. I’m guessing it was supposed to form a loose “Hardy Boys abroad” arc and for whatever reason they stuck the Hollywood Phantom episodes in the middle of it.  
Probably true.  I thought there was a way on IMDB to compare production order to broadcast order, but I don't see it.

Quote

The episode also has a message about if Africa is losing part of its identity as it transitions away from the old ways and into modern times. Doing away with hunting safaris (and the hunters like Masters who led them) to attract tourists who just want to take pictures might make better sense economically, but some believe that Africa loses part of its mystique and way of life. The argument reminded me of what happened when the West was finally settled and when people like Frederick Jackson Turner said that American needed land to expand and that without the West America wouldn’t be America.  
Yeah, I think that's always a challenge. You can't stand still or else you stagnate, but you don't want to lose the things that brought you to where you are. I'm keenly aware of that, living in a place with such close ties to the American Revolution. I think most places around the world do a decent job of preserving the best of their culture while still stumbling into the future, but I think it's harder for third-world countries because change is hitting them so fast (and progress does not come to them fairly).
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