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Two girls holding hands and grinning in this image from CBS Television Studios
George (Leah Lewis) and Bess (Maddison Jaizani) constantly fight for the top spot on my list of favorite characters. (Image: CBS Television Studios)

It’s a challenge to pick a favorite character on the CW show, “Nancy Drew,” as each one has a list of attributes and quirks that make them so loveable. For instance, I love how George (Leah Lewis) takes care of her younger sisters, showing a softer side instead of her usual tough demeanor. I also love Ace’s (Alex Saxon) endless amount of patience. However, I think Bess (Maddison Jaizani) is the most underrated character — here’s why.

Came From Nothing

Two women stand in the street talking in this image from CBS Television Studios.
Bess (Maddison Jaizani) is fiercely independent and knows what she wants to achieve. (Image: CBS Television Studios)

New to town, Bess portrays herself as collected and put together — a posh Londoner. On closer inspection, or rather, investigation from Nancy (Kennedy McMann), the audience learns that Bess is living in her van. Nancy asks Bess to stay with her upon learning this news. Bess’ background in London also turned out to be rougher than she let on. I love that Bess doesn’t let her background weigh her down. Instead, she uses it to propel herself forward to obtain what she wants for her life.

Tracked Down and Fit in With the Hudsons

Two women, one younger and one older, sit together at a gathering in this image from CBS Television Studios.
Bess (Maddison Jaizani) set her sights on finding her family. (Image: CBS Television Studios)

When Bess was a young girl, her mother told her about a wealthy American family called the Marvins and that she was a disowned daughter of the Marvin matriarch. At 18 years old, Bess leaves London and comes searching for her long-lost family, which is how she came to be in Horseshoe Bay. As someone with no skills in tracking people down or experience in research, Bess impressed me by showing that she could track down the Marvins. She’s then able to ingratiate herself with Diana (Judith Maxie) and fit in with her newfound family — at least for a couple of seasons.

Loves Freely

Two girls at a cocktail party holding lit candles in this image from CBS Television Studios.
Bess (Maddison Jaizani) isn’t without her share of love interests. (Image: CBS Television Studios)

We learn in Season 2 that Bess felt the need to hide her sexuality when she lived in London. She had a fake relationship with Stephen Dowd (Oliver Rice), and in return, she helped him with scams and stealing. Now that she’s in America, she’s no longer thieving and is turning a new leaf in her love life, too. She doesn’t hide her true self from anyone and allows herself to love those she wants (even when it’s a century-old ghost trapped in George’s body).

Discovers Magic

A girl kneels at a table and fiddles with a contraption in this image from CBS Television Studios.
Bess (Maddison Jaizani) has an aptitude for magic. (Image: CBS Television Studios)

I was so excited when someone else took notice of Bess’ special talents in Season 3. Sure, it was a generations-old psychopath, but it was the start of something wonderful. Temperance (Bo Martynowska) sees a spark in Bess and decides to cultivate it. Thankfully, even when her evil tutelage disappears, Bess continues to grow and blossom. She proves her skills in researching and enacting all kinds of spells and reversal curses. Out of everyone in the Drew Crew, Bess is the only one with magical aptitude.

Keeper of the Historical Society

Two girls stand in a doorway and read from a book together in this image from CBS Television Studios
Bess (Maddison Jaizani) has the role of someone who’s attuned to magic and the supernatural. (Image: CBS Television Studios)

From her soiree in the magical realm, Bess attracts the attention of the Keeper of the Historical Society. At the end of Season 3, the Keeper decides to step down from her position but needs to choose a successor. Of course, Bess is her number-one choice. Not only is it her job to take care of the Historical Society but also to protect all the magical objects and help those in supernatural need. She is the ideal Keeper, and even when she’s forcibly removed in Season 4, she continues to show up for anyone who requires assistance.

Does What’s Right

Two girls in waitress uniforms in a restaurant in this image from CBS Television Studios
Bess (Maddison Jaizani) and George (Leah Lewis) grow close, but only because the latter is possessed by a spirit. (CBS Television Studios)

With a background in the unsavory London, Bess strives to do what’s always right. Her main objective in life is helping people. From the beginning, she made herself available anytime Nancy and the Drew Crew needed assistance. Her love of helping others grows through the seasons, and it's ingrained into her by the time she’s made Keeper of the Historical Society. She works so hard to help the citizens of Horseshoe Bay that she’s personally targeted.

Sharp Dresser

A girl all dressed up at a classy party in this image from CBS Television Studios.
Bess (Maddison Jaizani) never fails to look the part. (Image: CSB Television Studios)

Bess has an incredible fashion sense. She’s always dressed impeccably and even makes her Claw uniform look snazzy. Her style is effortless and chic. Whether she’s wearing a basic outfit like jeans and a sweater or dressed to the nines, she always looks flawless. As a fellow fashionista, I’m envious of Bess’ closet.

One thought on “Why Bess Has the Best Character Development in ‘Nancy Drew’

  1. Cheryl72 says:

    Bess is my all-time fave!

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