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Team RWBY is finally coming together again! They spent last season apart, growing in their own ways and grieving over the loss of friends and Beacon Academy. In Season Five, Ruby, Weiss, Yang, Ren, Jaune, and Nora finally get to share their stories over a pot of piping hot ramen, and we got to see Yang and Ruby embrace after months of estrangement and uncertainty. Since its first season, RWBY has touched me with its creativity, sincerity, and unique characters. —Victoria Grace Howell
2. Attack on Titan
Like the titan-slaying Scouts, I let my guard down during the anime’s four-year hiatus—and Attack on Titan Season 2 wasted no time reawakening the gnawing fear I felt when first experiencing the series. The manga literally roars into life, and more than one sacrificial soul grabs the narrative (and me) by the jugular and wrings it for every last drop of blood, sweat, and tears. With powerhouse plot twists matched only by numerous developed characters, Season 2 finds a way to simultaneously scare and swell the heart with its poignant and persuasive performances. In a world where might is often equated with right, unassuming acts of selflessness subtly sway the tides of war and tame the savage beast—but with what consequence, only Season Three can tell. —Casey Covel
3. Black Mirror
Science fiction traces its roots to moral tales told by futurists about how humanity would eventually fail. Black Mirror grabs the torch last held aloft by The Twilight Zone and examines how technology has altered humanity (usually for the worse). This show can be dark. Real dark. But that’s why it’s so remarkable. In our era of science fiction where the heroes always win, Black Mirror takes us to a different place where our gross, failure-prone humanity is on full display. Side note—S3E4: “San Junipero” is the most beautiful self-contained story I’ve ever witnessed, and it’s one of the few episodes that I can safely recommend to anyone. Do yourself a favour and go in totally blind—you’ll thank me later. —Jason Dueck
4. Star Trek: Discovery
Star Trek is back! And may we all live long and prosper for it. This latest incarnation of Trek is nestled between Enterprise and The Original Series and boy-oh-boy, is it dark. Following in the footsteps of almost every sci-fi show since the new Battlestar Galactica, this show has embraced the gritty and ambiguous morality of exploration and war. Though previously, the Federation always served as the moral right and good force in the galaxy, the name of the ship, Discovery, is less a nod to the scientific exploration the Federation is known for and more to the testing and pushing the limits of what truly is good. Someone has to pave the way of morality for the utopian society we see in TOS, TNG, DS9, and Voyager, and so far it appears that an orphaned mutineer named Michael Burnham is the one to take us all there. May we all live long and prosper. —Kyle Rudge
I have to admit, when I heard Rob Thomas (creator of Veronica Mars, one of my favourite shows of all time) was co-creating a zombie show for The CW, my expectations were low. The show is almost comically high concept: Liv, a promising medical student becomes a zombie, which ruins her relationship. She starts working in a morgue to access brains… oh, and when she eats brains, she takes on the personality of the original owners and uses that ability to solve crimes! In Thomas’s hands, what could be laughable becomes intriguing. Each season unveils a richer and more complex perspective on sacrifice, morality, and what it means to be human.
Season 3 continues to build on and explore these nuances as Liv’s detective partner (with whom she solves crimes) learns of her secret and the possibility of a cure, challenging issues of self and identity. —Michael Boyce
Kara’s struggle to balance her idea of a normal human life with her superhero persona has been really compelling this season. She is still reeling from a decision she made at the end of last season, wherein she saved the Earth from an alien threat but lost her love at the same time. As a result, she’s come to believe that, as much as she wants it, she can’t have love in her life.
Supergirl has also been slowly revealing this season’s villain: Reign, a Worldkiller built by Kryptonian scientists, sent away as an infant, and now living as Samantha, a human on Earth. This is something new for Supergirl, as we viewers have become attached to Samantha and will be all the more devastated when she comes into her own as Reign. I can’t wait to see how the rest of this season plays out!
7. Stranger Things 2
Watching Stranger Things feels like coming home to me. The earnest way the kids treat their friendships and responsibilities is an antidote to the cynicism that threatens to pull me into the Upside Down. It’s often easy to dismiss the simple virtues on display in Hawkins, but the kids take them seriously: Friends don’t lie and a promise is something you can’t break. In the sequel, the kids (and adults) relationships are put the test by trauma and disappointment. But Stranger Things 2 wears its heart on its sleeve, and I can’t help but make the characters’ longing for good, simple things like good friends and happy homes my own. —Matt Civico
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