Hey! You know what sounds like fun? A battle of teenaged blonde detectives sounds like fun!
In this corner, we have Nancy Drew, the first teen crime-solver known to adolescent girl. She’s “as immaculate and self-possessed as a Miss America on tour. She is as cool as a Mata Hari and as sweet as Betty Crocker,” according to some random character that I never heard of. I’m having trouble reconciling all those different things she’s like, but maybe that’s just me. I’m sure, if anyone can be a Miss American spy/baker, it’s Nancy Frakkin’ Drew. (On a related note, she’s also described as being able to dance like Ginger Rogers and give first aid like the Mayo Brothers, which leads me to believe she actually suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder.)
In the other corner, we have Veronica Mars. On television, she’s portrayed by Kristen Bell.
Let’s get to the battle, here, people!
Physicality. They’re both teenaged blonde detectives. I’m sure, in addition to being composed like a Miss America, Nancy Drew also looks like one, because who wants to read about dumpy teens solving crimes? Fat kids, that’s who. On the other hand, that thing I said earlier: “In the other corner, we have Veronica Mars. On television, she’s portrayed by Kristen Bell.” Winner? I think we can safely say that the girl who launched thousands of nerd fantasies wins. That’s Veronica Mars, for those of you keeping score at home.
Solves her best friend’s murder? So, the first (and best) season of Veronica Mars had a bunch of little mysteries for our titular (hee!) detective to solve, and one mystery that lasted the whole season. (Is an over-arcing mystery the correct phrase for that? It seems wrong.) That mystery was: Who killed Lilly Kane? Lilly Kane was, in addition to being Amanda Seyfried, Veronica Mars’ best friend.
And was her murder solved? Yes! And by Veronica Mars? Yes again! On the other hand, Nancy Drew’s friends never got murdered, even though I’m sure they got kidnapped with some frequency, because you have to have peril in these sorts of books or the kids are going to tune out. Winner? Veronica Mars.
Has a hot boyfriend? Nancy Drew has longtime boyfriend Ned Nickerson at her side and helping solve mysteries or grunting and saying “Me protect you” a lot. I don’t know. What did he contribute to the story? Anyone? Veronica Mars, on the other hand, hooked up with Logan Echolls, who is tall, thin and has a Roman nose, which makes him exactly my type. Winner? Veronica Mars.
Traveled to all sorts of exotic locales to solve mysteries? Veronica Mars was so poor, a plot point in one episode was how she and her father couldn’t afford to fix the water heater, so she kept having to take cold showers. She probably would have showered at school instead, but since a lot of people hated her, that probably would have been unwise. Unless the creators wanted an episode where Kristen Bell has to solve the mystery of the missing clothes while wrapped in a scant towel (I am copywriting this idea even as you read this so don’t even think of stealing it), that is. So she couldn’t really afford to travel to exotic locales, is what I’m saying, but I think she went to Mexico once. Nancy Drew had money coming out her ears or some other orifice. She went to Japan for a mystery, and also Austria and Costa Rica. Winner? Nancy Drew.
Sweeter ride? In most books, Nancy Drew drives a blue convertible. Since these are books for girls, who don’t care about cars or whatever, it’s not really indentified any further than that, which kind of pisses me off. Veronica drove a Chrysler LeBaron and, in that season I stopped watching the show, a Saturn of some sort. That’s pretty specific, but unfortunately, not particularly convertible. Winner? Nancy Drew and her mysterious blue convertible.
Better living best friend? Nancy’s best friends are Bess Marvin and Georgia “George” Fayne, whom I can’t remember anything about except that they thought Nancy was great and sometimes gave her boy advice. Veronica’s best friend is the very excellent Wallace Fennel, who befriends her despite her marked lack of popularity. I hope, in the future, they end up together, because, no matter how hot Logan Echolls is, Wallace was the perfect boy. Winner? Veronica Mars.
Was actually in serious peril at some point in her mystery-solving career? Being that the ladies are stars of their own series that feature their names in the titles, you don’t ever totally fear for their safety. But you feared even less for Nancy Drew, who was never locked in a refrigerator that was set on fire, nor made enemies of drug dealers and hired goons. Winner? Veronica “Danger is my middle name” Mars.
Overall winner? It didn’t even go to a tie this time! I guess that’s just because Veronica Mars is so awesome. I wish I had been Veronica Mars when I was in high school, what with the crime-solving and the snarkiness and the really cute haircut. Veronica Mars for the win.