‘Fate: The Winx Saga’ — Another dark retelling of a childhood favorite

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The most anticipated and also dreaded reboot of the year has begun streaming on Netflix. “Fate: The Winx Saga” is based on “Winx Club,” an iconic show that first aired on Nickelodeon in 2004. The cartoon featured six fairies that worked together to save the universe from evil. The characters on the show were strong, diverse and unique in their own ways. They provided inspiration to girls around the world. “Fate: The Winx Saga” creates a distance from the original in a way reminiscent of “Riverdale” and their inspiration from Archie Comics.  

The six-episode Netflix show centers around Bloom (Abigail Cowen), a 16-year-old fairy who recently discovered her powers. The show begins on the first day of school at Alfea, a school for fairies in another world called the Otherworld. There she meets other fairies who have lived in the Otherworld for most of their lives, are experienced with magic and are able to control their powers. For Bloom, the entire experience is brand new for her and she is only attending Alfea because as a fire fairy, she almost burned down her house one night after becoming enraged. 

Bloom doesn’t have a good relationship with her mom — who was popular and sociable — because she’s the complete opposite. She prefers being alone, staying in her room and reading books or listening to music. This caused her parents to remove her door one day because they reckoned that she was too reserved and no longer deserves privacy. This led her to go into a fit of rage that night and channel her hidden powers. She set the house on fire and her mom ended up with third degree burns all over her body. Bloom’s guilt led her to sleep in a warehouse for months until Ms. Dowling, the headmistress of Alfea, found her and offered her a place at her school. 

As Bloom enters the school, she’s under the impression that there’s a fairy somewhere in her bloodline as her parents are full humans. However, we discover that she’s a changeling, a fairy that is switched at birth. They may be dangerous as they’re connected to the burned ones, monsters that threaten the Otherworld and prompted Alfea to put up barriers protecting their school. The burned ones are the common foe in the show but are only a pawn to a greater conspiracy.  

“Fate: The Winx Saga” falls into the mold that most shows garnered toward a teenage audience do. There is an attempt at witty, up-to-date humor, sex, drugs, alcohol and lots of angst. Unfortunately, these efforts are typically unsuccessful and make shows less relatable and harder to watch. This was the case with “Fate” as the main character Bloom fits into the not-like-other-girls stereotype, self-proclaimed in the first 15 minutes of the show. Aside from the storyline, the actors on the show look too old to play teenagers and there is a lack of diversity. The acting and production itself is stellar and the plot is easy to follow and perhaps the best aspect of this show.   

If you are looking for something reminiscent of “Winx Club” and is bright and cheery, “Fate” will not be your cup of tea. The Netflix adaptation is a lot darker and more angsty which can be appealing for certain audiences. If you like magic, drama, romance and the tiniest hint of nostalgia, “Fate: The Winx Saga” might just hit the mark.  

Rating: 3.5/5 

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