It’s been almost a hundred years since the Hardy Boys’ first book. Why do you think the characters and stories have been so enduring?
Alex: It’s the way they were written; it’s such an intriguing storyline with kid detectives. It makes kids who read it feel like they can do anything, empowering the kids of a generation or whoever reads it. It tells them: “Hey, you want to be like an adult? You want to have all these crazy experiences? You can do it. If these kids can do it, so can you.” And I feel like we brought that to the show, and there’s a real sense of family as well. Family is so important. I mean, the whole show is basically about family, if you really think about it. So I feel like that’s really one of the main reasons why it’s still popular even a hundred years later.
Rohan: I think the books have been around for this long because every time you pick one up, you escape. These boys take you on an adventure every time, and it’s so easy to get sucked in with them. And it’s cool to be visiting it a hundred years later — it’s insane, the legacy is still growing.
The show puts a modern spin on the story, including some changes like the death of the mother, making it kind of dark and gritty. Why is it important to update the series?
Alex: Well, the main thing is that it’s new — it’s not the same exact story from the books put onscreen. It is a new generation of Hardy Boys, and I think that’s what we were going for. It’s catering to old fans, but it’s also creating new fans, and after they watch this, they’re going to go back and read the books and watch the show from the ’70s. It’s really just bringing a whole new fanbase for this. And I feel like that modern spin, and that dark and gritty version, is also there to help that, because a lot of [TV shows] like that are pretty popular right now. And it also adds more depth to the Hardy Boys. It makes it more than just mystery. It’ll always be about mystery, but now there’s more.
Rohan: We’re also taking a new approach to long-form storytelling. What attracted me when I first read the script and talked to Jason our director and the showrunners, one of the first conversations we had is that we wanted people to be engaged for the long haul. So we needed to make a choice as to what was going to happen to the boys, that this origin story would feel like they had no other choice than to become the boys that we know and love from the books. And say we move on to a season two or three, whatever that looks like, I think that’s when you start to approach the old story of the boys. But as far as the mother and the grittiness goes, we wanted to have something that made the boys become the boys that we know from the books. And that specific event, obviously, is dark and gritty but necessary for long-form storytelling.