Fate: The Winx Saga had some flaws, but there was enough to like about Netflix’s latest series and plenty to love about the original to hope for Season 2 changes.
A good number of us who watched Winx Club growing up were excited when Netflix announced it would be making a live action series. . Little did we know of the unpleasant changes lying in wait. Expectations unmet, childhood ruined. Maybe Fate: The Winx Saga would have been enjoyable if we watched with fresh eyes and approached it with less gusto. Here’s what Netflix needs to do to ensure a successful Season 2.
The characters are relatable. In addition, there is gender balance in the distribution of skills and powers: some male characters have elemental powers, while some female characters are specialists. This was not the case in Winx Club. Despite having elements of a great story, I feel some aspects could use a “tweak”. These adjustments have nothing to do with giving them wings. As Headmistress Dowling explained, “We had wings in the past. As we’ve evolved, transformation magic has been lost.”
Say an alien were to watch Fate, they would think the earth’s population were mostly Caucasians with zero Asians and a sprinkling of Black folks who act as props. Well, some can defend this lack of representation with, “We would not talk about the lack of certain race (s) if the story were set in a different part of the world.” Unfortunately, this is not a valid defense. Fate is based on Winx Club, which is set in a fictional world, with an array of characters from different parts of the planet.
Flora in Winx Club is Latina, and in the live-action series, we see there is a “new” character named Terra (who has similar powers with Flora), played by a white actor. Musa, in the cartoon, is East Asian; yet a white actor plays this role. Winx Club had diversity. Why did Fate lack it then? What was the reason? What thought process inspired this deliberate whitewashing?
Still on poor representation, there is the issue of queerbaiting. For the sake of clarity, Wikipedia defines queerbaiting as “a marketing technique for fiction and entertainment in which creators hint at, but then do not actually depict, same-sex romance or other LGBTQ representation.” Setting aside the magic and positive portrayal of women in this show, rooting for Dane was one of my motivations to get invested. To some of us, “Is the show good?” is another way of asking, “Are there queer characters?” One would think the show creators would be mindful of how they portray LGBTQ characters after The 100 was dragged on social media for the (untimely) death of Lexa in Season 3.
Dane looked at Riven and saw “the man of his dreams”. Riven looked at Dane and saw a marionette. Dane, my heart goes out to you. Most of us, regardless of sexuality, can find ourselves connecting with Dane’s story: pining for that person, who always teases but never pleases. Can Riven stop leading him on to Nothingsville?
What About Tecna?
And Tecna! She was an integral member of the Winx Club, and her exclusion from Fate: The Winx Saga stirred confusion. One might explain her absence away with her lack of elemental powers. Then again, seeing how the characters use the Internet, it makes sense she should be in this series.
The show creators might consider bringing in Tecna into the second season. Tecna comes from Zenith, the realm of technology. Netflix can make Zenith something similar to Marvel’s Wakanda, seeing how Zenith is the realm of technology. If Disney could make Cruella (2021) serve us Harley Quinn realness, there is nothing stopping this idea from taking off and soaring. It would be lovely to watch. Maybe Kat (a new specialist character in Fate) would be besties with Tecna and they would do the techie things together? Who knows, someone might watch that and decide to spin fan-fiction based off these two characters where they fall madly in love, seeing as there is no Timmy (Tecna’s boyfriend). Nevertheless, Tecna coming on in the show opens it to endless possibilities.
Some things did not sit well with me, such as the exclusion of Roxy and Brandon. Removing Brandon, drew a needless love triangle of Sky, Bloom, and Stella. Boyfriend drama is blasé. The Trix rhymes with Beatrix was not enough reason to blend Icy, Stormy, and Darcy into one. These characters had their own personalities: they would have stood well individually.
It would be unrealistic to expect an Asian or a Latina to play the roles of Musa or Terra respectively at this point; however, introducing more characters of color would be a nudge in the right direction. Fate: The Winx Saga creators need to be conscious of subsequent casting choices in a bid to achieve inclusivity.
Cisi is a freelance writer, journalist, and comic artist. She enjoys watching sunsets while sipping tea.