8. Supergirl In its transfer from CBS to The CW, Supergirl has remained a bright, zippy, entirely enjoyable series fronted by one of TV’s most effortlessly charming actors: Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers/Supergirl. Fans were also gifted with a second, perfectly cast superhero this year when Tyler Hoechlin stepped into the iconic boots of Kara’s cousin, Clark Kent/Superman. It’s a truly inspired pairing of actor and character that has me clamoring for a spin-off.
But the real reason Supergirl earned a spot on this list is because it has, in Season 2, delved into storytelling with real-world implications. There’s been lots of attention — and rightly so — paid to Alex Danvers’ nuanced coming-out story, and actor Chyler Leigh is delivering career-best work through her character’s storyline. Then there’s this year’s sadly prophetic big bad: Project Cadmus, a nefarious organization that aims to eliminate the alien presence from Earth. While racism and xenophobia are particularly problematic right now, it is an indescribable joy to watch so many people, from all walks of life, stand up for what’s right and say, “Not on my watch.” —J.W.
“What boy?” asked Kara, sucking on the end of her pen while studying her notes. Her eyes narrowed as she focused on a problem and she jumped, steadying her books as Sara kicked out and hit her leg. “Hey! What?!”
“That boy,” said Sara, pointing to a boy who looked older leaning against the lockers. He had on a black hoodie, black jeans, and boots. Kara sighed while Sara eyed him up and down. He was definitely Sara’s type. He just screamed bad boy. “I’ve never seen him before.”
“It’s because he comes when he feels like it,” said Kara, adjusting her glasses before looking back down at her math problem. “That’s Leonard Snart.”
“I’m going to go say hi,” said Sara.
“Please don’t. Many girls have tried and many have failed. Some boys, too, from what I hear.”
“Well, they aren’t me,” said Sara, flicking her hair over her shoulder. She stuffed her books into her bag and was about to go talk to him when she noticed her sister squaring off to Nancy. Ugh. The girl had been sniffing around Oliver, her sister’s boyfriend. Oliver, the pig, ate the attention all up. Now her sister was paying the price. Going away from her mission, Sara saddled up to her sister and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Hey there, Nancy, looking as slutty as ever.”
“Sara. How nice of you to butt into our private conversation.”
“It’s what little sisters do.” Sara tilted her head to the side. “Don’t you have a football or basketball player to go bug? You can’t expect to get those much-needed breast implants on the salary of whatever business would want to hire someone with your pea-sized brain.”
“UGH! Sara Lance! You’re such a cow!”
“Moo,” called out Sara as Nancy trounced away. She then faced Laurel and hugged her tightly when seeing her unshed tears.
“Thanks,” said Laurel softly. “I had her handled though.”
“When are you going to break up with Oliver? He started off sweet, but he’s just not worth this, Laurel. Every day it’s someone new who is flirting with him and he still doesn’t say no. Even if you’re standing right there!”
“He…” Laurel sighed. “Can we talk about this later? I’m late.”
“Sure.” Sara watched as her sister headed off toward her cheerleading practice, her ponytail bobbing behind her as she rushed to the gym. Sighing, Sara turned on the heel of her boot and paused when seeing someone staring at her.
It was Leonard.
She offered him a wink before going to her locker, all while ignoring all the butterflies that were suddenly fluttering in the pit of her stomach. He was even hotter up close. And his eyes. Jesus! When she got to her locker she looked back over her shoulder and sighed in slight disappointment when seeing that he was gone. She gathered the rest of her things then headed outside. While Laurel liked to participate in extra circulars, Sara had much better things to do. Well, except she had to wait for Laurel to be done with practice. Since she drove them to school that day. She blinked when the sun hit her eyes as she exited the school then headed down the steps. She stopped when Leonard stood beside her, bag over his shoulder.
“Hey,” said Sara as someone else, someone taller and bulkier, stood on her other side. “Um…”
“We overheard some punks talking about getting back at you for mouthing off to Nancy,” said the larger guy. “Len here decided to play bodyguard.”
“Really?” asked Sara, turning to look at Leonard, who only rolled his eyes and shrugged.
“Anyone willing to stick up for their sister deserves to not get jumped by a group of cowardly girls,” he said, pointing to the said group of girls. At the front of the group was Nancy who was looking more than a little put out.
“Trust me when I say I could handle them,” said Sara.
“We don’t doubt it,” said Leonard, gesturing toward a bench. “But considering we both have to wait for our sisters to get out of cheerleading practice, and Mick here has nothing better to do since he was kicked off the football team— How about we keep each other company?”