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🕵️♀️ Nancy Drew is, potentially, one of the most underrated shows on TV right now. The CW has created MANY obsession-worthy shows (The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, Riverdale), and Nancy Drew may just be their best work to date. It’s certainly my favorite CW show of all time. So, let’s dig in and talk about why I think you should give it a chance!
Allow me — as a lifelong Nancy Drew fan, avid reader, and author — to share my top 15 reasons to watch and obsess over The CW’s Nancy Drew. Let’s dive in!
1. It features a flawed, genuinely human protagonist with potential for a REAL character arc.
At the show’s outset, Nancy has plenty of room to grow. Personally, I love that. Perfect characters with perfect lives are — quite frankly — boring, in my humble opinion. At the show’s outset, Nancy Drew is anything but perfect. As a matter of fact, her life is in shambles and nowhere near what she expected it would be like, and she has plenty of intriguing wounds to explore.
I love wounded heroines, personally, and I identified with Nancy’s trauma responses on an extremely deep level. I’m doing my best to keep things vague and avoid spoilers for those of you who haven’t started watching this incredible show yet, but that’s a little difficult regarding certain things. Still, I’ll do my best.
Let me just say that, as a person who’s experienced the traumatic loss of a close loved one, Nancy’s mindset and behaviors at the outset of the show are very realistic. I immediately saw a lot of myself in how closed-off she is and how stuck she feels in the beginning of season 1, episode 1. The writers did a great job of depicting that particular emotional space with a great deal of accuracy, and that instantly made me fall in love with the show.
2. The show has a complex, layered, well-written plot.
3. Our protagonist isn’t the only character with depth!
There’s nothing I hate more than a one-dimensional character, but that’s not a problem with the Nancy Drew series. There are so many absolutely lovable (and hateable) supporting characters beyond Nancy who are complex characters with room for their own growth arcs that also support the overall series arc. I’m reluctant to give too much away, because I don’t want to spoil things for those of you who haven’t watched yet, but seeing the heroes and baddies develop over the course of the first three seasons has been an absolute privilege.
Also, I don’t think it gives too much away to say that I adore Bess and George just as much as I love Nancy. Those of us who grew up reading the Nancy Drew books and playing the HeR Interactive Nancy Drew adventure games knew that was going to be a thing.
4. The cast’s on-screen chemistry is organic, absolutely electrifying, and 100% top-tier.
It’s so easy to suspend disbelief while watching them on-screen together.
Sometimes, shows or movies have moments where the cast’s energy is just… off during filming, and that undercurrent translates into the story on the screen, even though they certainly don’t mean it to. Whenever that happens, it pulls me out of the flow of the story in a really jarring and unpleasant way.
I’m happy to report that I haven’t ever experienced that feeling while watching Nancy Drew. The cast’s chemistry is very natural and it translates well to the characters as we get to experience them on-screen.
5. Speaking of Chemistry… the amount of chemistry and “Couple Goals” potential between Nancy and Ace is breathtaking. (Yes, I, too, ship them so hard it hurts.)
With apologies to Nick, I’ve wanted Nancy and Ace to be a thing ever since this little exchange in season one, episode one:
Ace: “I’m growing on her.”
Nancy: “Like a fungus, Ace.”
Call me weird, but at that exact moment, I started shipping Nace, and I don’t see myself ever not shipping them because as the show goes on, the chemistry between them grows and takes on a life all its own.
I’ll do an in-depth rundown of my obsession with shipping Nace in another post, one with a spoiler warning at the beginning because I will be supporting the evolution of me shipping Nace with evidence and references that will definitely contain spoilers that those who haven’t watched yet may want to avoid.
(Yes, my soul will, in fact, be crushed beyond repair if they aren’t actually endgame. Whether or not they are going to go the distance remains to be seen. If you watch the first three seasons before season four drops, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on this in the comments before season four starts!)
6. And speaking of goals, Nancy Drew is full of peak friendship goals…
Speaking of goals, Nancy Drew if full of peak friendship goals, even if things do get off to a bit of a rocky start for the Drew Crew in season 1. (That’s what I want, though. I want imperfect but lovable characters in tense, high-stakes conflict and Nancy Drew delivers.)
First of all, I absolutely adore the platonic anchors, affectionately known as platanchors, dynamic. If you’ve watched the show, you know what I mean and who I’m referring to. If you haven’t watched yet, it’s worth it for this dynamic alone. You’re going to love it.
Second, Nancy has a bad (but very familiar to some of us) habit of self-isolating and pushing people away. I adore how the rest of the crew is learning her behaviors, and how they reach out to her even when she’s withdrawn. I’ve enjoyed watching the character interactions and dynamics shift over the course of the first three seasons of the show, and I absolutely cannot wait to see where they go with it in season four.
7. This one might be a little bit niche, but watching Nancy Drew has taught me a lot about how to be a better writer.
The Drew Crew Writers set such a fantastic example, even for those of us who write fiction books instead of TV or movie scripts, and every episode is a learning experience for me as a writer.
When it comes to writing, there are certain things I’ve struggled with in the past, and one of those things was episodic writing (in the bad way, not the writing for TV way). If you’re a writer and you’d like to learn more about why authors should avoid episodic writing, I learned about it in Author Grow’s Publishing Mastermind Course.
Watching Nancy Drew through an author’s lens — keeping the concepts I’m learning at Author Grow and Six Figure Author Coach in mind, and seeing how my favorite show aligns with those concepts — has helped me immensely. Honestly, I think that one of the best ways to learn is by applying concepts we’re learning to the things we love and are passionate about.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m VERY passionate about Nancy Drew. The show really is THAT good, and I will literally never stop singing its praises.
8. The costumes are absolutely gorgeous and inspiring.
I’m a fashion illiterate chaos goblin who can usually be found in stretchy leggings — they MUST have pockets, though — and oversized t-shirts, but the costuming in this show makes me want to overhaul my closet and maybe try to put together a real, flattering outfit every now and again. Nancy Drew also makes me wish I could wear neckerchiefs, but anything more substantial than a lightweight necklace touching my neck makes me feel like I’m being choked half to death.
I love how the costuming speaks to the characters and vice versa. I also love how the characters’ wardrobes sometimes complement one another’s. (If you know, you know.) It’s also very interesting to me how the costume designers use what the characters are wearing as visual clues to things that may be going on in their emotional arcs.
9. The cast’s behind-the-scenes camaraderie is a whole sunshine-filled vibe, and I’m 100% here for it.
Seeing the recent Twitter and Instagram pictures of Kennedy, Leah, and Maddison all back together on set put the BIGGEST smile on my face. The cast’s behind the scenes social media posts have a definite big, chaotic happy family vibe to them, and I love it. Speaking of chaos, can I just say that I absolutely adore how Kennedy interacts with the fandom, particularly on Twitter? She knows exactly what to post to make us all lose our ever-loving minds, and we love her for it.
I love seeing the cast members’ behind the scenes clips, tweets, Instagram pics, etc. Seeing how much fun they’re having, even when the cameras aren’t rolling, just makes you love the show that much more.
10. The way the writers have blended no-nonsense “there is a perfectly logical scientific explanation for this” Nancy into a world where the supernatural is absolutely real (even though she might not believe in it at first) is nothing short of spectacular.
I’ve loved Nancy Drew for as long as I can remember. When I was in intermediate school, I checked out and read every single Nancy Drew book the school library possessed. At the time, it was comforting to know that there would always be a rational explanation for everything by the end of the book.
However, I’ve also been fascinated by the supernatural and paranormal for as long as I can remember. (More likely than not, that obsession has a lot to do with the fact that, for as long as I can remember, I’ve never quite felt like I belong, and the idea that I might secretly be a fairy changeling was a hell of a lot more appealing when I was growing up than the idea that I’m just so socially awkward it’s semi-impossible for me to fit in anywhere.) I so desperately wanted, just once, for the supernatural to be the only explanation for the events that played out in the book. (This is why I write supernatural mysteries. That’s another story for another time, though.)
What I’m trying to say is that I love that the show honored Nancy Drew’s roots while also taking an exciting new direction by putting the Nancy we think we know into a world that she’s going to have to learn to understand and navigate, rather than being unrealistically well-equipped to deal with the supernatural. She has to adapt and grow into this world, and I absolutely love that.
11. I absolutely love the way that each individual character’s growth affects the group as a whole, and also plays into the over-arching series arc.
I love it when the characters and plot in a book, TV show, or movie coexist in this really synergistic, organic way. The symbiotic relationship between characters and plot should never feel forced, and I’m so glad the show’s creators were careful to strike the perfect balance between them in Nancy Drew.
12. The creatures and supernatural elements are absolutely stunning and incredibly well executed, both by the actors, VFX, practical effects, etc.
In Nancy Drew, all of the above elements blend perfectly, so the show delivers genuinely adrenaline-pumping scenes along with its more tender, deeply emotional moments.
When you watch the show, you can tell by the quality that everyone in the cast and crew really cares about the world they’ve created and are portraying.
13. The mysteries suck you in and don’t let go.
I love that they’ve managed to make every single episode engaging, and that they’ve made them carry their own weight. Every episode matters, and I love that. It feels like you’re solving the mysteries right alongside Nancy and the rest of the Drew Crew.
Every episode is satisfying in some way, but every single one also hooks you and keeps you interested. Every season is satisfying, but still leaves you intrigued and hungry for the next season.
I think it’s safe to say that the writers for Nancy Drew have a really firm grasp on addictive writing, and that’s a big part of what makes the show so binge-worthy. It’s also so engaging that it’s basically impossible for me to wait to binge the entire series at once. I have to watch episodes as they release.
10/10 Highly Recommend
14. The re-watchability of this show is absolutely off the charts.
My husband and I have binged the first three seasons together multiple times, and we still find new clues, hints, and nuances to appreciate in every single episode, on every re-watch.
Nancy Drew is THE comfort show for my husband and me. We both have anxiety and like to re-watch things we know we like because it’s comforting. And while, in general, we know what’s going to happen, re-watching Nancy Drew is different from our usual comfort rewatches, which is fantastic. No matter how many times we’ve watched each episode, we still find new connections and clues. It feels good to notice the small things you may have missed before the additional context of the more recent seasons comes along.
15. It’s the perfect show to watch with your besties and/or significant other.
I have several people I watch this show with — including my husband, who didn’t think he’d like Nancy Drew at all, but ended up loving it and being just as obsessed with it as I am — and we compare notes after each episode to see who picked up on what and discuss our theories.
It’s SO much fun to theorize and see who figures things out before they’re actually revealed/confirmed on screen!
If you haven’t watched Nancy Drew yet, I hope that I’ve convinced you to give it a chance. It’s an incredible show inside and out.
If you HAVE watched Nancy Drew, I’d love to hear what you think and your favorite Nancy Drew moments and/or fan theories in the comments!
I’m SO ready for season four to release!
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