Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries - The Secret of the Jade Kwan Yin (1977)

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries

The Secret of the Jade Kwan Yin
This episode begins in Hong Kong... or does it?  The show starts with "Hong Kong" superimposed on the screen, leading the viewer to think the episode is taking place there.  But then the shot changes to Fenton Hardy looking VERY concerned while watching a report about Hong Kong smugglers on TV.  Was the "Hong Kong" graphic just what Fenton was watching on TV?  Or is Fenton in Hong Kong, watching the local Hong Kong newscast?  It's not clear.  The news is being read with a British accent, and they refer to the United States as "that country," which leads me to believe that Fenton is in Hong Kong.  But later, when the Hardy Boys and Callie arrive at the Hardy residence, they are told by Aunt Gertrude that Fenton is on a missing person's case.  So I guess he's not in Hong Kong?  But if not, why is he sitting around watching TV when he is supposedly out on a case? Wait a minute!  If, when Fenton claims to be on a case, he's really just in some OTHER house, hanging out and watching TV, he must be leading a double life!  He's probably a polygamist or something, with a dozen other Hardy Boys running around!  Holy crap!  THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!   Or... maybe I'm overthinking this just a tad.  I mean, this is the Hardy Boys Mysteries we're talking about, the scripts usually don't make a lot of sense if you think about them too much.  Now my brain hurts.

Hong Kong?
So anyhoo... the Hardy Boys are out snorkeling on the "New England Coast" (totally not Southern California, no sir) when some smuggler's cruise by in a boat, and drop some contraband package into the water, where it conveniently lands DIRECTLY ON FRANK'S BACK, while he is swimming on the bottom.  Because that's the way the Hardy Boys roll.  Mysteries just fall right into their laps (or in this case, their backs).  So, HOORAY!  The Boys have a mystery to solve!  Meanwhile, two Chinese men in scuba gear watch from the beach, and vow to get the package back.  Think it will have something to do with the news reports that Fenton was watching on TV while he was on his "missing person's case?"  Will that would be TOO much of a coincidence, even for this show, right?

Joe Hardy is Under the Sea
The Boys take the package home and find that it contains a jade statue, which Callie conveniently recognizes as one she has seen copies of in Bayport's Chinatown.   The trio leave the statue at home, and visit Bayport's Chinatown (which looks suspiciously like stock footage of San Fransisco's Chinatown).  There they meet a pretty girl who works at a Chinese Art store, and her uncle, who trains Kung-fu fighters across the street.  They learn that the statue is thousands of years old and is a precious artifact to the local people of Bayport Chinatown.  But before the Boys can return it, their house gets broken into, and the statue is stolen!  Police Chief Collig warns the Boys  to stay away and let the police handle it, but the Hardy Boys ignore him, as usual.

The Jade Kwan Yin
This leads the boys into an exciting adventure full of danger!  They get in a motorcycle chase through the streets of Bayport (which looks suspiciously like the streets of Los Angeles)!  The get caught in a boat rigged with explosives!  They do battle with Kung-fu fighters!

Acme Fishing Boat Rentals?  No wonder it blew up, this boat was meant for Wile E. Coyote!
Finally, they CRACK The Secret of the Jade Kwan Yin wide open!  And I mean that literally.  At the end of the episode, the Hardy Boys have regained the statue, and are being chased by the smugglers through the streets of Chinatown during a parade.  They try to hide under the dragon of some Dragon Dancers, but the smugglers recognize the matching pairs of white Adidas tennis shoes they are both wearing.  Yes, the Hardy Boys wear matching pairs of Adidas, just like Run-DMC, because they are BOMB like that. 

Run-DMC - My Addidas

Were RUN-DMC inspired by the Hardy Boys?

So, to evade the smugglers, the Boys run across the streets, tossing the precious statue back and forth to each other like a football!  Seriously, how crazy is that?  Can you imagine what would happen if they dropped it?  Well, guess what, you don't have to imagine it, because they do!  But it turns out to be okay, because the statue our boy geniuses drop and shatter turns out to be a fake, full of stolen gems!  Everyone has a good laugh at this, including both Fenton Hardy and Police Chief Collig, who were lurking around the parade undercover.  Collig has apparently forgotten that he warned the Boys to stay away earlier in the episode.  HOORAY FOR THE HARDY BOYS!

Rating 2½ Robots (out of 5)

Well, that does it for season one of the Hardy Boys!  Hope you enjoyed reading my write-ups of the show, so far.  I wrote about the two-part season 2 premiere episodes, "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula," last Halloween.  Click on the link if you want to read about that.  I'll be returning to write about the rest of the 1977-1978 season 2 episodes of this series later... but next, I'll be jumping forward two years to 1979, and turning my attention to another Glen A. Larson produced show.  So join me next week as I begin my reviews of Battlestar Galactica!  Hope to see you here!

More screencaps after the jump...

New England Coast

Scuba Criminals

Hong Kong TV

Joe Hardy and a Buoy

Who Wears Short Shorts?

These Guys Wear Their Scuba Gear in the Car

Frank Says The Burlap Sack is a Clue That They Can Use to Trace the Origin of the Package.  This is Never Mentioned Again.

Metal Detector

Green Chinese Box

Chinese Inscription

"Let's Make a Rubbing!"

Rubbing One Out

Bayport Chinatown is Remarkably Similar to San Francisco

The Name of this Chinese Art Shop is "Chinese Art"

The Boys and Callie

Everybody Was Kung-fu Fighting

A Spy in the House of Kung-Fu

Bad Guy Kung-fus a Hole in the Door

Unlocking a File Cabinet with the Power of Kung-fu

Filed Under "M" for "MacGuffin"

It's Dark in the Basement, Because the Bad Guys Used Kung-fu on the Light Switch.  Seriously.

Stair Tumble

Oh Shazbot, We Gots Hardys on Our Tail!

Danger in the Von's Parking Lot

The Boys Chase the Bad Guys through the Streets of Los Angeles... err, I mean Bayport.  Yeah, That's the Ticket.  Bayport.

Fenton's Like, "WTF Did You Boys Do This Time?"

Police HQ

Dockyard Spies

Time Bomb

Joe Looks For Clues

Dusting for Prints

Hey Look.  A Bomb.

Scream, Callie, Scream!

The Flaming Sea

Frank Emerges from the Depths

Whazzup, Homes?

Matching Fingerprints

Looking for Clues

Joe Hardy is a Master of the Forensic Sciences

Frank Hardy's Kung-fu Flip

 Stock Footage of a Chinese Parade in the 1950s.  Seriously, Those Haircuts are SO NOT 1978.

The Name of this Restaurant is "Restaurant"

Escape From the House of Kung-fu

Firecracker Funk

Happy Fourth of July, Everybody!

Soapu's Bar

Girls Stand Around While Boys Do Stuff

Blackmail, or Ransom, or Something

The Hardy Boys are Betrayed by their Fly Kicks

Shot on Location

The Boys Drop the Precious Statue

The Boys Laugh at Their Dad's Racist Chinese Joke


  1. Thank you for doing these. I look forward to all the episodes!

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying them. I'm taking a small break from the Hardy Boys right now, but I definitely will be coming back to do season 2 sometime in the not-to-distant future.

    2. An update for anyone who might be reading these comments: My current plan is to start reviewing season 2 of the Hardy Boys in November, after the Countdown to Halloween is finished.