Fate on Netflix Is the Anti-Winx Saga!

"I'm just kinda bummed I didn't see a single pair of wings" is the final line in Netflix's preview trailer for Fate: The Winx Saga. It's probably no coincidence that her statement was every fan's reaction to the initial trailer for the show. Its TV-MA rating is a clear indicator that its target audience is very different from the sparkly animated Winx Club series from 2004, which happens to be the year Bloom says she was born. This bland live-action remake makes us wish we could go back to that time period when film and television still had original ideas. The constant references to sex and drugs feel superficial and forced into the script to get the desired rating on Netflix, unlike something like Bridgerton, which has a plot that revolves directly around its characters' sex lives. When all is said and done, the first six episodes of Fate: The Winx Saga are a complete insult to everything that the Winx Club series stood for.

Fate: The Winx Saga on Netflix

Fate's supernatural teen drama influence was encoded into its DNA so deeply that the writers failed to consider if it would actually make sense with the story. The lack of wings is explained away as fairies having evolved beyond the need for transformations to use their magic. I don't know about you, but the main appeal of being a faery princess for me always revolved around being able to grow a pair of sparkly wings and fly away from all the drama and chaos of the world. Take that away, and there's very little appeal to it at all. In fact, according to a TMI story that Aisha tells in the first episode, being a fairy can be literal shit sometimes. They even got some fairy lore outside of their own canon wrong with an offhand statement that Tinker Bell was an air fairy when anyone familiar with the Disney Fairies series knows that she is a tinker fairy. Aside from the misuse of terminology, there was also the complete lack of worldbuilding. In the cartoon, Bloom was an ordinary human girl who discovered she had magic and had to deal with the culture shock of living in another dimension where everyone dresses and behaves differently. In Fate's version of Alfea, people are surprised to learn that Bloom is from Earth, but they walk around in jeans, t-shirts, and engross themselves in uploading selfies to their Instagrams every five minutes. Doesn't that sound exactly like Earth? How did they pick up on these habits if Bloom's world is so foreign to them?

Stella taking a group selfie

The basic plot was similar enough to the cartoon to share its namesake. It took a few unexpected twists and turns, which would have been fine if they hadn't done such a lazy job developing the world. In this version of the show, Bloom doesn't have the best relationship with her Earth parents and lies to them about the type of school she is attending. Why they wouldn't have to look up paperwork and speak to school representatives to give approval for their underage daughter to attend a foreign school and inherently realize the whole thing is a sham is never explained, but the desire to mend her relationship with her parents is a driving force for her character as well as the mystery of her birth, which is a little different here than it was in the cartoon. Her visions of Daphne are replaced with a new character named Rosalinda, who has a connection to the school. Bloom is determined to learn when she came from and enlists in the aid of Beatrix, who was inspired by the three Trix from the original show. Beatrix and Bloom are linked by their pasts, which vaguely hearkens to a storyline that was introduced in the eighth season of the cartoon in which Icy became evil to rescue her sister. The fairies also spend a large portion of the show trying to fight off dementor-like monsters known as the Burned Ones, who serve as the antagonists for most of the season.

As we saw in the trailer, the Winx girls have been stripped of their bubbly personalities in this soulless remake and replaced with angsty drama queens. Gone is the unbreakable bond that they form when they decided to name themselves the "Winx Club" and become an inseparable group of friends. In Fate, the term "Winx" comes from the name of their dormitory suite. How boring is that? Some of the changes to the girls' personalities make sense in this new genre and others don't. For instance, Stella is still a princess, but instead of dating a guy who she thinks is Prince Sky and learning that he's actually Sky's servant, she is now Sky's jealous ex-girlfriend, and Brandon is no longer in the show. That made sense because she came off as a bit spoiled in the cartoon and seemed like the type of girl who would get jealous if someone hits on her guy. She is also the only one who wears glittery sequins and hair accessories, which is a throwback to her infamous passion for fashion. Sky is the son of a soldier instead of a prince in this version, but he's still the most popular of the specialists.

Musa's changes, on the other hand, make very little sense. In the cartoon, she was the edgiest of the fairies, which should make her a good fit for the new genre. Instead, they stripped her of her musical powers, changed her to an empath, and gave her the healthiest relationship among the fairies. She is no longer in an on-again-off-again toxic relationship with bad boy Riven. Instead, Riven is paired with Beatrix, and Musa gets together with the brother of Terra, a new character, who is apparently the cousin of Flora, the fairy from the cartoon who she replaced. As the daughter of a professor from Alfea, Terra is a pretty bland plant nerd who adds some unnecessary drama to the story. Tecna has been removed from the show entirely, which is a shame because a technology fairy could do so much more in the age of smartphones than with the level of technology that we had back in 2004. Meanwhile, Aisha is stripped of most of the things that made her interesting in the original series. She doesn't have a connection to the pixies or any of the tantalizing drama she suffered through in the cartoon. She makes almost no comments about her past and might not even be a princess in this version of the show.

Bloom with fire wings

The thing that aggravated me the most was when Fate tried to throw a bone to fans of the Magical Girl genre by giving Bloom a transformation that was so bad, I couldn't figure out if it was supposed to be taken seriously. The camera freeze-framed around her as flames shot out from different parts of her body only to reveal her wearing the exact same outfit with a couple of flames on her back in the shape of wings. That's not a transformation. That's just fire on her back, and it wasn't even a surprise since we saw her release flames from other parts of her body prior to that episode. What a slap in the face to those of us who were awaiting a transformation sequence! After seeing this, I think that the subtitle of Fate should have been "The Anti-Winx Saga" because it is the enemy of all the glitter, magic, and friendship that Winx once stood for.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Actually Tinkerbell does exist in the World of Winx spinoff. And it has nothing to do with Disney version of the character.

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