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‘Idiot: Nancy Drew Will Be “Diverse”‘ (2016)

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When something ain’t broken, don’t fix it!

The good news is that this wretched little scheme fell through before it could be imposed on us. The bad news, of course, is that it was ever thought of in the first place.


I looked it up. You wanna know why the “new Nancy Drew” never made it to the airwaves. According to TV bigwigs, it was because Nancy Drew was… “too female”!

Give me strength.

How badly did we need another TV s**tcom about hard-bitten New York cops?

And what in the world did that mental Lilliputian mean by promising that Nancy Drew herself would be “diverse”? Clearly he does not know what the word means.

There’s a lot of that going around.


Idiot: New Nancy Drew Will Be ‘Diverse’

Vintage Nancy Drew–soon to be demolished by CBS

CBS is planning a new TV series, this one dedicated to making a shambles of the iconic girl detective of kid-lit, Nancy Drew.

According to one of the idiots running CBS, the new Nancy Drew–instead of being a gifted 16-year-old with quick wits, steady nerves, and her own roadster–will be a New York cop in her thirties. Oh, boy. But wait, there’s more!

Whatever else she winds up being, the new Nancy Drew will not be white. Blithered the idiot, “She is diverse.” ( http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/cbs-nancy-drew-will-be-854972 )

Now what the dickens kind of English is that? An individual human being cannot be “diverse.” It’s impossible–unless this unhappy person is able to be several ethnicities at once, change colors like an octopus, and speak every other sentence in a different language. It’d be a great novelty, but it would also wear off fast.

Nancy Drew came along in the 1930s and has been delighting young readers–and some old ones!–ever since. So why can’t they leave her alone?

Because they can’t leave anything alone.

What next? The Hardy Boys as a pair of aging homosexuals? How about Rick Brant the pill-head? Or Tarzan played by Linda Hunt as a Chinese midget living in a gated retirement community in Marlboro, New Jersey?

Will no one defend Nancy Drew from the culture-killers at CBS?

Aging Your Characters

As my Bell Mountain books go on, I find myself forced to acknowledge the fact that my characters are getting older. It just snuck up on me. I remember when the kid who starred in Lassie had to leave the show because he was growing a mustache and talking like Steve Reeves.

Well, I’m stuck with it now, and my two original protagonists, Jack and Ellayne, are just going to have to keep on getting older until they grow up (if the series runs that long). I missed my chance to dodge the issue.

What are my options now?

1. Stay with all the original characters and let them age naturally–at the risk of losing a big part of my small audience. I could let them grow up physically while remaining completely immature, but I don’t think my publisher would like it.

2. Replace these kids with other young protagonists as needed. Yeah, that would work. Only I’m attached to my original characters and would hate to part with them. But yes, new kids are going to have to come along.

I missed my chance to go with characters who never age, no matter how many books wind up being in the series. There are a few ways of doing that.

In his “Rick Brant Science Adventure” series that ran for some 20 years, J.G. Blaine (aka Hal Goodwin) simply ignored the whole issue. Rick, Scotty, and Barbie remain teenagers throughout the entire series. In fact, none of the regular characters ages at all. And readers didn’t seem to mind. Same with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, come to think of it–teens forever.

When Agatha Christie first introduced Hercule Poirot to the reading public in 1920, in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, she presented him as a retiring police detective whose best days were behind him–a man of about 60. Little did she dream that she’d be writing about him for the next 50 years! She is said to have calculated that Poirot must have been some 130 years old when he finally died. While she was writing about him, she had to ignore the age issue. Again, the readers didn’t seem to mind.

Edgar Rice Burroughs tried to explain why his characters never seemed to age, not wanting anyone to remark that ERB’s need for money seemed to be as evergreen as Tarzan. So David Innes didn’t age because there was no means of telling time in Pellucidar, at the earth’s core. It would be hard to get around the treetops in a walker, so Tarzan didn’t age, either, and neither did his wife, Jane–the result of secret immortality pills invented by the Leopard Men. And John Carter of Virginia and Barsoon was just plain immortal: always was, no telling how or why.

I think I could have gotten away with not aging any of the Bell Mountain cast and crew, provided I’d stuck with it from the beginning. But it’s a decision the writer of a series has to make from the git-go.

Once the kids in your story start growing up, you really mustn’t try to make them stop.

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