In late 2020, Netflix said they were releasing Fate: The Winx Saga. The show was described as a reboot of “Winx Club” that aired between 2004 and 2019. And as with all Netflix adaptions, Fate: The Winx Saga was made to be a darker, grittier version of the cartoon that is aimed towards an older audience. As someone who grew up watching Winx as a child, I couldn’t wait to watch the live-action version! And then the trailer dropped…
If like me, you grew up on Winx, then just one look at the trailer would tell you what went wrong. Now, I am not going to be discussing the trailer here. While I was a bit disappointed with the trailer I decided to not judge the show. Because you never know right? Maybe the show would be different. Maybe it would be better.
Well on 22nd January 2021, the show finally released and I just spent the last weekend binging on the show. Were my suspicions confirmed? Unfortunately yes. I forced myself to watch the show beyond episode two with the hope that it gets better. And the show isn’t that bad. It’s just not Winx.
Now before going into the rest of this post, I have to put out this disclaimer. This is in not a “hate post” and I am not bashing/hating on the cast. This post is my personal opinion on the show. You may or may not agree with my points and I request you to please remain civil if you do feel the need the make a comment. Like I said earlier, Fate: The Winx Saga is not a bad show. I would have definitely enjoyed it more if it didn’t have “Winx” attached to its name. The problem that I have with it is that it claims to be a reboot of a show that I loved, but without the elements that made the original iconic. So what went wrong and what did they do right? Read on below to find out.
Also, SPOILER ALERT. If you have not watched the show yet, but plan to, this is where you stop. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
What happened to Flora and Tecna?
The original Winx consisted of six fairies, Bloom, Stella, Flora, Tecna, Musa, and Aisha. Each of these girls was uniquely created with different looks and powers. What I loved about the original show was how there were so many of them. As I child this meant that each of my friends could choose a girl for themselves and as an adult, I can now see the diversity in the group. I cannot believe Netflix thought it was okay to change the original group?
As you can see in the image above, two characters are missing. Flora and Tecna. Tecna was completely left out, while Flora has been replaced with a character called Terra. And all I can ask is why?
Also, Netflix, it is 2021. Was it so hard to cast an Asian or Asian descent actress as Musa? In the show, we get to know that Terra is Flora’s cousin. This somewhat justifies not casting a Hispanic actress for the role as she is a completely different character, but really? REALLY?
No hate towards the cast but it could have been better. The girls are supposed to be between the ages of 16 to 17/18 in the show. But each of the main cast members is way in their twenties. Freddie Thorp (Riven) is 26 but is playing a 17-year-old. Elisha Applebaum (Musa) is 25 but is playing a 16-year-old. Eliot Salt (Terra) is 27? The cast very obviously looks so much older than what they are supposed to be playing. It is hilarious. An easy way to get around this was to set the story in college (the characters behave like they are in college anyway) than in a high school.
While I get that this was supposed to be a “darker” version of the original, the costuming didn’t help at all. It only led to the girls looking much older than their characters. Which kind of teenager would dress like that? I mean, look at what they did to Stella!? And she was the fashionista of the group. I know I cannot expect the original glittery outfits (though I would have loved to see that), a little effort could have been made to make the girls look like teenagers and not full-grown women?
One of the first things that I noticed was that the girls were made to seem like “rivals” in the show. Perpetuating the idea that girls cannot be friends, the show completely ruined the friendship that the Winx club had. The girls were pitted against each other, whether in a “love triangle” or academically to add drama. Aisha is a teachers’ pet who only cares about good grades? Bloom is a brat towards her mother and Stella is snobby. Musa is supposed to be empathetic but starts the season as cold and offish towards Terra. Honestly, the only character who I liked personality-wise was Terra.
The Partying, The Drugs and The Sex?
Are these supposed to be highschoolers? Netflix for some strange reason thinks the formula to make a show “darker” is to make teenage characters take part in activities that most teenagers do not do in real life? Is it too much to ask for a show that does not imply teenage sex? Winx club covers serious topics and those could have easily been adapted into the show. I just want to see teenagers behaving like teenagers for once.
So what did Fate: The Winx Saga get right?
Fate: The Winx Saga did get a few things right. The location, for instance. The show was shot in County Wicklow, Ireland. Killruddery House was the perfect setting for Alfea and resembles the original building well. The beauty of Ireland was perfect and really made the “mystical” atmosphere believable. Another thing that I loved about the show was that anyone could be a fairy or Specialist. In the original, Specialists were all guys whereas all the fairies were only girls. I loved how in Fate: The Winx Saga, both teams were made up of both guys and girls.
There are a few things that can be done to make the series better if Fate: The Winx Saga does get renewed for a S2 (which I hope it does). For starters, change the outfits and costumes of the girls. Make it more “fairy-like” and close to what teenagers would wear. I also hope to see the girls being better friends, without the unnecessary rivalry. Also, introduce Tecna and Flora. Like Stella, they can also be second years in the school. And please, do the casting right! I would also love to see more of the classes. We had only two scenes where the students were taught magic.
I am excited to see where our girls land up in the second season. I know it would be much darker than the first.
So what did you think of the show? Have you watched it yet? Do you agree with my points? Let me know in the comments.