The CW doesn't have a show called “Supernatural” anymore, but its “Nancy Drew” is ready to make up for it.
Having introduced otherworldly elements into the adventures of the title sleuth – played by Kennedy McMann – in its first year, the mystery series ups that quota as Season 2 starts Wednesday.
Nancy and her friends (including those portrayed by Maddison Jaizani and Alex Saxon) fear for their lives, due to a spirit known as the Agleaca. In a major departure from the iconic Carolyn Keene books, the self-styled detective also must deal with the new information that lawyer Carson Drew (Scott Wolf) isn't her biological father.
While there are those matters to address immediately as the sophomore round gets under way, “As we progress through the season, it's a lot more of a mystery-of-the-week kind of vibe,” the pleasant McMann reports. “Different supernatural entities pop up. There's an incident at the beginning of the season that unleashes a number of elements, and it's not necessarily ghosts all the time.
“It's been quite refreshing and fun,” McMann adds of that somewhat less serialized approach, “and I think it suits the comedy aspect of our show, having these new situations all the time. While we have that, though, there are still consistent through lines. For instance, Nancy has to deal with her new parentage, and that's an underlying pulse of the whole season.”
As for that “Who's your daddy?” issue, McMann attests she didn't know about the big twist during Season 1, though she suspected something might be afoot while making the pilot. “From there on, I was picking up clues along the way, being my own Nancy Drew,” she muses. “I came to that (fatherhood) conclusion myself, and the producers confirmed it for me.”
The daughter of bestselling novelist Lisa McMann (”WAKE”), McMann grew up reading and enjoying not only the exploits of Nancy Drew, but those of other characters also published by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. Some of those figures play into her show this season, with one episode being a backdoor pilot for a “Tom Swift” spinoff series; the Bobbsey Twins also appear along the way.
McMann is satisfied that “Nancy Drew” has set the groundwork for the show it wants to be now. Since production for Season 2 started late, as with so many other series because of the pandemic, the cast and crew worked on the first six new episodes at once ... “which was a bit insane,” McMann allows with a knowing laugh. “We were all working Saturdays for a time, but we're more evened out now. We've caught up, and it's a bit more smooth sailing.”