Hulu’s The Hardy Boys is a satisfactory viewing, and while it is not binge-worthy, it ensures that the adaptations remain strong in our pop culture.
This review of Hulu’s The Hardy Boys (2020) season 1 contains no spoilers. The Hulu series will be released on the platform on December 4, 2020.
From the first few scenes, The Hardy Boys sells harmony and rivalry between two brothers (played by Alexander Elliot and Rohan Campbell). There’s an age gap, but there’s also a charm that encompasses their sibling relationship. And then you see their mother; joyous and just as mischievous as her two children. These opening scenes stay with the audience and then the chemistry between both brothers remains and transcends for the rest of the series. The Hulu series gets the tone and balance between both boys very well, which is highly important for a rebooted story in modern times.
The Hardy Boys rebirths with a tragedy; a devastating event that changes the course of the family forever — from city living to living it up in the suburbs of Bridgeport, the Hulu series gives a kind of whiplash to the family that drastically changes their path. But within the story, there’s always something lingering; there’s this need to search for the truth after the death of a loved one that sparks suspicions — there’s something large at play, and that’s the overriding plot of the story.
And while the drama itself is a mystery, it’s the characters that work. There’s a family feel that shines through the sinister plot. A little like Virgin River but darker in many ways — the creators have tried their earnest best to keep it ominous while also ensuring that there’s a little light to keep it charming.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been blessed with the past iterations of The Hardy Boys so for a beat to beat comparison, I cannot offer that. However, Hulu has decided to betray the now popular 8-10 episode format by giving this series 13 chapters. If it does meet the expectations of the fans, then they are in for a long, enjoyable journey.
But it does bring that question on whether we are riding a new cycle of nostalgia in TV series, and whether remakes are even necessary. While The Baby-Sitters Club gave a modern approach and a fresh perspective, while also resurfacing the importance of representation, The Hardy Boys does not seem to offer anything remarkably thematic in today’s world. I do believe it’s important with a refresh of unoriginal content that something new is brought to the table.
But putting that aside, Hulu’s The Hardy Boys season 1 is a satisfactory viewing, and while it is not binge-worthy, it ensures that the adaptations remain strong in our pop culture.