Friday, August 12, 2016

Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers

I'm starting to read the Hardy Boys: Undercover Brothers series. That's the 2005 reboot, coming on the heels of the 2004 Nancy Drew: Girl Detective reboot.

The Nancy Drew reboot didn't change much. All it did was give the three girls a new personality trait--clumsy, mechanic and tech guru. Nancy's father, boyfriend and housekeeper were all left the same.

By contrast, Undercover Brothers changes a LOT of things. Frank and Joe are now secret agents, instead of freelance amateur detectives. Their friend Chet is now a buff fitness expert. Their girlfriends (and all their other friends) don't seem to exist anymore. Aunt Gertrude has been replaced with Aunt Trudy, who is a doddering old lady instead of an awesome crime-fighting spinster.

Mom is also no longer a crimefighter, but a somewhat clueless librarian. It seems like every book has a scene where Mom almost finds out about their double life as secret agents, but then she doesn't. Ha ha, silly Mom! Dad is semi-retired now, which is probably the best of the character retools. It kind of explains why Dad flip-flops so much between "guy who's intimately involved with his son's mysteries" and "hands-off guy who never gets involved in his son's mysteries, yet has no problem buying them new motorcycles and chemistry sets all the time".

The secret agency that the Hardys work for is ATAC, American Teens Against Crime. It's founded on the idea that unprepared teenagers are better crime solvers than professionals.

I'm still working on the first book. The first chapter made me groan, when it said the culprit was pirating DVDs of Spider-man 6. Even I know that movie doesn't exist. Also, the chapter introduced the male version of Deirdre Shannon. I have a feeling this Brian Conrad guy is going to show up in every single book from now on...

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