Monday, January 28, 2013

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries - The Mystery of the Flying Courier (1977)

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
The Mystery of the Flying Courier

The Mystery of the Flying Courier is the fifth Hardy Boys episode of the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mysteries.  The plot of this one seems conceived primarily to take advantage of Shaun Cassidy's growing popularity as a teen idol / bubblegum rock star.  He performs, like, 100 songs in this episode (I might be exaggerating a smidge).  I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy an episode centering on Shaun Cassidy singing... I mean, I thought it was pretty awesome when I was 5 years old, but my other favorite band back then was probably the Chipmunks or something, so I didn't expect to actually like it as a grown man.

Clap Your Hands and Say "Hardy Boys - Ho!"
Surprisingly, Shaun Cassidy's singing went down pretty easy.  I guess he was reasonably talented as far as teen idol pop stars go.  The music was silly bubblegum with just a touch of glam rock to it, sort of like the Bay City Rollers, and it was fairly well done for what it was.  I mean, I'm not planning on rushing out and picking up any of his CD's, but I'd still listen to it over 99 percent of the stuff they play on the pop radio stations these days.

Joe Watches Frank Sneak Out of the Concert
The plot of the episode has Shaun Cassidy's character Joe Hardy fronting a rock band that is playing a series of gigs at a nightclub near an airport, while his brother Frank stumbles on to a case involving a runaway girl from their high school and a vinyl record counterfeiting ring.  There are lots of random coincidences and plot holes in this episode, but I'm starting to expect that, so it doesn't really bother me that much.

Junkyard Spies
The thing that stood out to me the most regarded the crooked owner of the night club, who continued to let Joe's band perform at the club, even after the boys trespass on his property, set off his alarm system, and get him involved with the police.  If you are involved in criminal activity, and you KNOW the Hardy Boys are investigating it, why do you continue to book their band at your club?  Stranger still, the episode ends with Joe performing at the club AFTER they get the owner sent to jail!  I think it's mainly a question of producer Glen A. Larson saying, "we've paid for this nightclub set for a full week, and we're going to get our money's worth, or my name isn't Glen Aphrodisiomania Larson!"

Editor's Note: Glen A. Larson's middle name is not actually Aphrodisiomania.

Author's Note:  Since when the hell do I have an editor?

Editor's Note: Since you started staying up in the wee hours of the morning typing up reviews of 30 year old TV shows until your brain was getting loopy.

Author's Note: Oh, okay.  Cool.
Van Chase Past Pizzaria the Pizzeria
Another fun thing about this is the big van chase scene, as Frank is pursued by a creepy thug.  If you watch closely, you'll notice that they keep passing the same buildings over and over, like they are just driving in circles.  Also, even though they are supposed to be in a different town, they are the same exact buildings we see every week in Bayport, including the Pizzeria named "Pizzaria" that the gang dined at in last week's episode.  Unless I'm mistaken, and "Pizzaria" was a chain of restaurants that was super-popular in the seventies, and was on every street corner like Starbucks or something is today.

Author's Note:  If I really have an "editor," why do you always let me write goofy slang stuff such as using the word "like" to make pointless pauses, or writing "or something" for no legitimate reason?

Editor's Note:  Uh...

Author's Note:  Ah-hah!  I caught you!  You don't really exist!

Editor's Note:  Alright, you got me.  Like, congratulations, or something.
Frank is Covered in Sand
All in all, this was not a classic episode of the series, but was still fun to watch.  Join me next week, as the Boys go to Hawaii, where Frank joins a surfing contest, Joe sings a Beach Boys song, and the duo uncover a mystery involving Vincent Price and a cursed Tiki idol (or something like that)!

Rating 2½ Robots (out of 5)

Shaun Cassidy - Da Do Ron Ron

More screencaps after the jump...

Tailgunner Spins Some Wax

A Back Room Meeting

Singing Joe Hardy

Frank Hardy Makes a Point to Callie

Phenton on the Fone

Frank is in Danger!

Family Meeting

Creepy Criminal Makes a Point


Remote.  Alarm.

Nightclub Trespassers

Frank Hardy is Quite Pretty for a Boy

Tailgunner: The Novelty Costume Nightclub DJ

The Disco Alarm

The Hardy Boys Get Into a Sand Bag Battle With Fake Cops

Police Make the Scene

Return of the Hand Clapper

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