The Hardy Boys? Hardly.
ABC's "Hardy Boys - Nancy Drew Mystery Hour," which premieres at 7 p.m. Sunday on Channel 7, consists largely of young Frank and Joe Hardy wandering around in the dark calling out for each other and for a man named Will who also goes by the name of Sony.
"Frank!" calls Joe. "Joe!" calls Frank. "Sonny!" calls Joe. "Will!" calls Frank.
They should have called this "Shot in the Dark," because most of it was. Almost every scene takes place within the flat blue fog or TV day-for-night, but the story isn't hard to follow because it boils down to about one sentence.
There is little sense of mystery or adventure here. The characters were taken from the long-popular Franklin W. Dixon books, but the stories are Hollywood factory jobs, though the opener ends with a hall-of-mirrors sequence that is almost an homage to Orson Welles' finale for "Lady from Shanghai."
Parker Stevenson as Frank and Shaun Cassidy as Joe will probably impress some as cute, but they're essentially humorless and dim. The Hardy's little world had been updated to include CB radios, motorbike, a discotheque, and talk of NATO, Naval intelligence and the CIA. Not one of these alterations could possibly be taken as an improvement.
"Nancy Drew" will be seen in alternate weeks with Pamela Sue Martin as Nancy. Martin was seen in "The Poseidon Adventure" "Buster and Billie" and other films.