On Jan. 22, Netflix released its original series “Fate.” The show is an adaptation of the Winx Club show and characters that have been around since the early 2000’s. Personally, I was intrigued to see the show since it would be creating a new spin on characters I knew and grew up with.
But here’s the thing: there’s a lot of problems with the adaptation. Since Netflix released the trailer in 2020, I knew I was going to have mixed feelings about the series.
I first want to say that I enjoyed the show and its first season; I binged it in one day. There was a lot of drama, mystery and character development, which I like to see in shows I watch. But all I could think of while watching it was that it was far from the essence of the “Winx Club” TV show.
For some background, “Winx Club” centers around Bloom and her five friends — Musa, Stella, Flora, Aisha and Techna. All of the girls attend Alfea school for fairies where they learn to hone their powers while also fighting off evil-doers in the fairy realm.
Winx is all about friendship, empowerment and discovery. Fate did not encompass those themes through most of its episodes. We see the five main characters fighting and being petty in pretty much every episode. Stella despises most of the girls until the end of the season and spreads rumors around Alfea about Bloom. She’s a classic mean-girl stereotype.
The Winx girls in “Fate” are all white except Aisha. In the cartoon, Flora, Musa and Aisha are all women of color; something that I appreciated as a kid growing up. So, did Netflix just white-washed one of my favorite childhood shows? Yeah, they did.
It’s 2021, is it really so hard to have a show where half the main characters are people of color? It shouldn’t be hard, and I know from reading comments about the trailer that the white-washing actually drove people away from watching the show.
The adaptation of the main characters was also confusing to me. Besides the white-washing, the series didn’t include Techna, who is smart, tech-savvy and would’ve been great in the show. They also did not include Flora, who they instead changed to Terra.
In my mind, it’s not the Winx if it isn’t all six of them; they all add a special element to the friendship.
And Terra, oh Terra, I have mixed feelings. Her character arc is about gaining confidence and accepting yourself. That’s a great message, and I love that for her, but so much of it was centered around her weight. I’m glad they cast a plus-size girl as one of the main characters, but it seemed like every scene Terra is in she’s insecure and letting all her friends know it.
As a plus-sized woman myself, I want to see some representation where the character isn’t focused around their weight for the entire season. That kind of story is even more powerful and impressionable because it shows that a person can be fat and do all sorts of things; their weight doesn’t define them.
I liked “Fate,” and I’m excited for the next season, but it wasn’t a good adaptation of the “Winx Club.” However, because it touted that it was a new, edgier version of the Winx, I’m feeling disappointed.
Were there upsides to the show? Yes, I think that character development and its messages were good. We got more complex backstories for these characters that in the cartoon were only the teacher, or the boyfriend or the villain.
So be wary Winx fans, because “Fate” is a doozy. Happy watching, collegiettes!