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When I was eleven or twelve, I fell madly in love with The Hardy Boys!
I was an avid fan of the television series starring Parker Stevenson
and Shaun Cassidy. Recently, I have been able to enjoy the series again
on American video.
The series was based on the 'Hardy Boys' books by Franklin W. Dixon, although was largely updated for the 1970s. Frank and Joe Hardy were the eighteen- and seventeen-year-old sons of Detective Fenton Hardy (Edmund Gilbert). They lived in the fictional coastal town of Bayport in Massachusetts. Although both their parents featured in the books, in the t.v. series they had no mother and were cared for by their stern but loving Aunt Gertrude (Edith Atwater), their father's sister. In the first season of the series, the boys were still at school and most of the action took place in Bayport.(Also, their hair was shortest in this series and suited them best!) In the second season, the mysteries took them to more exotic locations such as Hong Kong, Acapulco and Africa. By the third series, the boys were in their early twenties and working for the F.B.I. They were joined on some mysteries by girl detective Nancy Drew (almost certainly the future Mrs. Frank Hardy), played first by Pamela Sue Martin, then by Janet Louise Johnson (whom I preferred).
The casting of Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy as Frank and Joe was near-perfect as they complemented each other handsomely (pun certainly intended!) Parker Stevenson as blue-eyed Frank was very much the leader, taking the initiative and making the decisions most of the time. He tended to be headstrong but was more reserved emotionally than his younger brother. Shaun Cassidy played Joe as tending to be in his elder brother's shadow and adopting a rather cynical view of matters. Although Joe generally conceded to Frank, he was more than capable of taking initiative and working independently (one example being his selfless rescue of a little girl from a fire in 'Arson and Old Lace'). He showed emotion more readily than Frank (such as in 'Dracula' when their father was seriously injured).
Edmund Gilbert's role as Fenton Hardy tends to be overlooked although he was a real sweetie. He was dedicated to his work but always found time for his sons. Firm but benevolent, he admonished Frank and Joe when necessary but was equally ready to console them. The Hardy men made a very close family unit and I think this is what I liked most about the series. Most of the adventures featured Frank and Joe becoming involved in one of their father's cases. The Hardys were intensely loyal and were always there for each other. This was perhaps best shown by their mutual devastation and subsequent joy in the episode 'Sole Survivor' from the second season. (It made me cry. Watch it to find out what happened!)
After 'The Hardy Boys', Edmund Gilbert tended to be heard rather than seen in his acting career. During the 1980s and 1990s, he voiced dozens of films and t.v. programmes. He died from lung cancer in May 1999 aged sixty-seven. Parker Stevenson has continued to appear in films and t.v. series, including as Craig Pomeroy in 'Baywatch'. He was married to Kirstie Alley and they had two children. Shaun Cassidy acted and sang for a while before turning to producing and writing. He has married three times and has four children.
Although it looks rather dated now, 'The Hardy Boys' is still a most enjoyable adventure series to watch. The plots were well thought out, combining action, mystery, emotion, a little romance, good supporting roles and, often, twists at the end. And - Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy had such lovely smiles and were just so CUTE!
I remember seeing this on TV in the early 90`s. This is a great show. In the beginning they where just hobby detectives, but in the last season they worked full time as detectives. I love the stories, the clothes and hair, and most of all the title theme. This show should be made into a complete dvd collection! One of the best shows of the 70`s! I give this 9 out of 10!
Finally! Quite nearly three decades after this show appeared, it's
BACK! This series starred Shaun Cassidy, Pamela Sue Martin/Janet Louise
Johnson, and Parker Stevenson, and was shown on ABC from January 1977
to to January 1979. The Hardys alternated with Nancy Drew once a week
in the first season. By 1978 the Nancy Drew series was failing. In a
last ditch attempt to save the series, ABC combined the Hardys and
Nancy for a few episodes. This didn't work and Ms. Drew was canceled in
the fall of '78. The Hardys followed this fate early in 1979. Thus
season two is the only FULL season out there.
If you enjoy Hart to Hart, Magnum PI, or even Murder She Wrote, this classic DVD set is for you -- and they'll even throw in a poster of Shaun!
I love reading "The Hardy Boys" books and I really enjoy the series, not so much of "Nancy Drew" though but then again, I never liked reading Nancy Drew in the first place. The series is very much like the books with similar plots. My favourite episode is the 2-part "The Last Kiss of Summer" as it was very touching. I enjoy Shaun Cassidy's music and it was great that he belted out some songs in the show as well. Many celebrity stars guested in the show like Melanie Griffith, Marj Dusay, Jamie Lee Curtis, Robert Englund, Stuart Whitman, June Lockhart, Terry Kiser, Lorne Greene and Ricky Nelson. The plots in this show is very similar to other shows during this era like "The Six Million Dollar Man", "Bionic Woman", "Starsky & Hutch", "Charlie's Angels" and "Rockford Files" I'd recommend this show to anyone who likes the shows I mentioned.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just finished watching "The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries" Season
One DVD set. I must admit that I had a great time with the series.
Sure, this stuff is pretty simplistic, but it's fun. The show is really
pretty tame and the mysteries aren't very involved. It would probably
be a good watch for the whole family.
Highlights of the first season include - Richard Kiel in The Mystery of the Haunted House, Shaun Cassidy singing in a couple of the later Hardy Boys episodes, Jamie Lee Curtis and Robert Englund in The Mystery of the Fallen Angels, and the way a couple of the episodes, particularly The Mystery of the Whispering Walls and The Disappearing Floor, were put together. Good stuff!
I'm probably a little more biased in favor of "The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries" than some would be. In 1977, I was 13 and fit perfectly into the shows demographic. Back then, I thought this stuff was better than sliced bread. Ahh, the memories.
Looking back at the Hardy Boys episodes, it is amazing that they could get by with such poor scripts and mediocre acting. But one has to remember that the entire success of these shows was based on the teen idol appeal of Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson. These boys weren't acting; they were performing acts of S & M (standing and modeling). As long as those blow-dried, pouffed-out hair don'ts were perfect with every hair in place, nothing else mattered. It is amusing to note that the boys still had perfect hair after deep sea diving, laying comatose in a hospital, and having the %$# kicked out of them. The vision of Shaun running through a fire engulfed room with soot on his face and perfect hair stretches credibility to the limit. What is even more ridiculous is how the Hardy Boys were crammed into very tight pants, leaving NOTHING to the viewers' imagination. Even the most brain-dead preteen could quickly figure out that Shaun dressed to the left and Parker dressed to the right. (And neither boy had anything to be ashamed of in that department.) The Nancy Drew episodes were less popular in their day, but the acting and writing was far superior to that of the Hardy Boys. Unable to play the teen idol card, Pamela Sue Martin actually had to act, and her talents in that department were almost as sizeable as what the Hardy Boys were not hiding in their pants. Pamela was also much less preoccupied with perfect appearance. She actually allowed her clothes to get dirty and her hair did occasionally get messed up. But Martin's most astounding feat was climbing up ladders, running down alleys, and jumping across rooftops in 3-inch heels. This makes her a much bigger super-heroine than Wonder Woman.
I have really enjoyed reliving my early and mid teen years through this wonderful show.I had forgotten what a crush that I had/have on Parker Stevenson!! I'm so glad that it has been released on DVD and hope that the other two seasons won't be far behind. It's great for teens to have a chance to watch some of the great programs that we grew up with, especially with the shows that they have to watch today. If you haven't bought the first season DVD yet, I strongly recommend it. If you have kids they will love it, if not and you grew up in the 70's it's great to watch and go back just for a while. Not that we're old by any means, we just had good taste !!! Also, it couldn't hurt to let Universal know how much you would like to see the other seasons. Lisa
I loved the show as a child. I purchased season one as soon as it came out on DVD. I want to know when seasons two and three will be out on DVD. I can't wait to purchase them. This show hasn't been available on any of our TV stations for years and years.If your interested in mysteries then this is the show for you. This show is safe for your children to watch with you. You'll love the way they dressed. They always seemed to be getting into some sort of trouble. It's a family show that still interests me today. Some of the episodes even started out a little on the scary side. I look at it as an early version of the X-files but they always had logical reasons for everything by the end. I can't say it any simpler. The show is fun. Give it a try.
My memories of this show when it was on in the late 70's is vague.
LOVED Shaun Cassidy back in the day. Not my type anymore though. Too
pretty boy. But as a show it is fun. More of a Saturday morning view of
detective work than say even Charlie's Angels but it is fun.
Shaun & Parker (who has not aged a bit I must say as seen recently at school events with his children) had great chemistry. Though Frank sometimes comes off as a know it all and Joe comes off a bumbling idiot. Through it all it's campy fun. The pilot episode for the boys has Parker riding a motorcycle in his boxers. Cheeky fun!! Pamela Sue Martin as Nancy Drew was nice. I really liked her stories. But reading that the producers backed off from Nancy stories as the boys proved more popular- she had an uphill battle. Shaun was THE teen idol of the day. Hit records and this show- no one could have equaled that level of popularity. The girls were more interested in Shaun & Parker. Duh!! In all honesty the shows and the supporting characters were one note performances. 99% of all of the cops/sheriffs were beyond stupid. It was the 70's after all and they never set out to make a serious drama/action show. This was not "The Streets of San Francisco" ya know. But if you were once fans of either show or the actors- check it out. It's lighthearted, campy fun for the most part.
I enjoyed the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mystries when they were first released. I was very happy that Seasons 1 and 2 have been released on DVD. I would really love to see Season 3 be released very soon. Shows like these two are very far and few between when you look at a few of the shows in recent years. When do you actually sit down and watch a show that is entertaining and not over violent? I have seen on the net DVD's of the "Hardy Boys mysteries series 1-3" I wonder how authentic they really are? Or is this particular one a fraudulent copy. I would sincerely hope that the 3rd series would be released so that these particular DVD's do not be come popular (if they are not the real item). I feel that most people who have the first two DVD's would love to have the whole set. I am from Australia and do not know how the DVD releasing system works? But I hope that it is not one DVD a year, and am impatient and would prefer to have the 3rd series released before Christmas 2007? How about it? Cathie
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