“Fate: The Winx Saga” is another example of why we don’t need reboots. Who asked for a dull “Shadow hunters” meets “Harry Potter” reboot of “Winx Club?” I tried to begin this series without any bias. The version of “Winx Club” I remember was not the Nickelodeon one, but instead the 4Kids one when I was a child.
However, no matter what version you watched before the live-action, you remember “Winx Club” being colorful, all about girl power and friendship first. “Fate” was boring and flat. The show’s characters personify typical show tropes for young adults. None of the characters are their bubbly, fun selves from the original.
Bloom (Abigail Cowen), the show’s main character, takes a rebellious, “I’m-not-like-other-girls” façade mixed with an unhealthy dosage of angst. Meanwhile, Stella has mommy issues and is a passive aggressive mean girl for most of the season. Aisha is a rigid overachiever, who is reduced to Bloom’s sidekick. Flora, sorry, I mean Terra, has only one personality trait: annoyingly awkward. Musa is standoffish and surprisingly the only tolerable character. The girls’ friendship is empty. They are only suite mates. There is not much villain fighting and coming together. It’s the Bloom show while everyone else is a sidekick.
Twitter already roasted the show enough months ago. I don’t have much else to add, but to ask one question: How do you have such woke characters but whitewashed a whole cast and gives the minority characters crumbs related to development? One of the things that made “Winx Club” great to watch as a child was seeing the diverse characters. Flora was a Latina. In Fate, Terra is her “cousin.” Then, Musa was Asian and has music powers. In Fate, she has mind powers. Aisha is another example of the token black friend trope who doesn’t get any backstory or development.
Also, the only LGBTQ character and black male, Dane, turns from a sweet, nice guy to befriending the same bigot who constantly taunts him about his sexuality. Finally, the Trix, aka the original series villains, aren’t there. Instead, we get Beatrix, the prime example of the up-and-coming “I’m woke but that justifies my evil behavior” trope. All I’m saying is if the original Trix were there, “Fate” might have been a little better. Next, the plotline is decent. The story of Bloom attending Alfea is the closest thing to the original. The Burned Ones and the school’s mysteries were the only real, interesting elements of the show.
However, the Burned Ones, aka Fire White Walkers, are so difficult to fight. Yet Bloom takes them out within 2-3 minutes in the last episode. The whole history of Bloom is fleshed out terribly. I had to rewatch several scenes to understand Aster Dell and her origins. Honestly, six episodes were not enough. The ending was rushed. Within the last 10 minutes, you get a boatload of confusing plot twists and many plot holes.
I truly like the mix of technology and fantasy. But how is there Instagram, but there is not a single security camera at Alfea? They have to cook up a whole potion to see who used magic to murder Farah’s assistant. How fairies have social media, but Alfea’s electricity still runs on some rocks outside that anyone can touch? There also is a concerning faculty-student ratio problem at Alfea. There are only three faculty members, which result in angsty teens with powers unsupervised. Want to choke someone with some vines? Want to run to the dangerous forest and nearly burn or drown your roommate? At Alfea, you can use your powers anytime freely without any supervision.
We also have a boring love triangle, a cage scene that mimics “You” used on a student, and dialogue that only a 40-year-old thinks teenagers would say. The only thing that is truly nice was the music. What’s wrong with this reboot is not the fact that it is different from the original “Winx Club” It’s taking the “Winx Club’s” name and slapping it onto something far from the versions the target audience, “20-year-olds who still like to watch Winx” saw before.
I don’t want the same story over and over. Instead, just write a new story with the same characters, aesthetics, and values as the original. “Fate” had the perfect opportunity to embrace the Winx Club’s origins and be unique in a time of somber dramas. Instead of giving us another gloomy teen melodrama, Netflix could have given y2k clothing, modern technology, magic, girl power, and friendship. Honestly, if this reboot was not associated with the Winx Club, it might have been decent. If you need some background noise, then “Fate: The Winx Saga” is right up your alley.