Yep, I’m talking about Fate: The Winx Saga, Netflix’s live-action remake of Winx Club. I’d like to pretend it doesn’t exist, but it does — or at least it will in two months. The more I read about it, the less interested I am.
My latest source of disappointment was the summary of the tie-in book The Fairies’ Path on Amazon.it. It’s the most detailed plot description I’ve seen so far, and…sigh. Well, see for yourself:
At the Alfea International School, students come from all over the Otherworld to train. To learn magic. To discover how to control their powers. Inside the school’s castle, five students-complete strangers-are assigned as roommates….These five teenagers want what every teenager wants…to figure out who they are. To make friends. To fit in at their new school. But when an ancient, long-vanquished evil suddenly resurfaces outside the castle walls, these five teenagers [will] be forced to put their powers to the test. And they’ll discover a secret so powerful, it will challenge everything they know about the Otherworld…and themselves.
Wow. Did someone download a YA Magic School Book Synopsis template from Microsoft Office? I left out the blurbs about the Winx. If the first line didn’t mention Alfea, would you even know this is a Winx Club adaptation?
I know that story-wise, Winx Club isn’t that original. It’s Harry Potter meets Sailor Moon. But it differentiated itself with fairy heroines, a memorable art style, catchy music, science-fantasy elements (like a Fairy of Technology), and other stuff that won’t be in Fate: The Winx Saga or will be unrecognizable. This series turns Winx Club into a generic supernatural teen drama.
But I digress. Let’s talk about Aisha’s new character in this impending train wreck.
Aisha is an athlete and a classic overachiever whose control over water is the envy of her fellow students.
Oh, boy. Where do I begin? ?
First of all, why is it that in both Netflix-commissioned Winx Club series, Aisha has been nothing but an athlete? When did her love of sports become her entire character? I can picture Fate‘swriters in the room with Rainbow:
FATE WRITERS: So, tell us about Aisha. RAINBOW: Well, she’s the Fairy of Fluids and the princess of Andros, a realm that’s 90 percent ocean. Her parents are strict and overprotective, so they controlled her life all throughout her childhood. They didn’t let her go outside and run around and play like a normal girl. She also didn’t have any friends except a girl named Anne, who moved away, leaving her terrified of losing people and being all alone. FATE WRITERS: And? RAINBOW: And…she plays sports… FATE WRITERS: Oh, she’s an athlete! We can work with that!
“Well, at least she’s still a princess, right?”
Nope. She’s not. How do I know? Because the summary makes a big deal out of Stella being a princess:
Stella is a princess — yes, a real princess…
If Aisha was a princess, too, her blurb would have said so. I guess Fate‘s writers thought three princesses were too many. There’s no way Bloom’s not royalty since this is a reimagining of her story, so the only Winx who lost her tiara was Aisha.
What a shame. Being a princess is a huge part of her character in Winx Club. Sure, you can do a “no freedom” plot without it — if the writers are still going that route with her story — but remember my post about her lack of a character goal? I talked about how she’s a foil to Bloom. Bloom grew up as a normal girl and dreamed of a fantasy life, but Aisha grew up as a fairy princess and dreamed of being a normal girl.
But she can’t be a princess and an athlete! That’s too many layers! It’s not like someone can have a job, hobbies, unachieved dreams, minor interests, and secret talents. No way! We’re each one thing and one thing only! ?
Oh, so Tecna is in Fate: The Winx Saga! Aisha absorbed her!
C’mon, doesn’t “overachiever” sound like a better label for Tecna than Aisha? I can imagine Tecna cloistering herself in her room, pulling all-nighters, and ignoring her physical and emotional deterioration to maintain her grades and her brainiac image — almost like a robot. Sounds like a great plot for her.
She’s also organized, precise, and thorough, as overachievers tend to be. I know these two scenes from Winx season eight aren’t the best examples, but humor me. If you knew nothing about Winx Club, and you saw these two screenshots, which girl would strike you as an overachiever?
I know, I know. It’s just packing luggage. But look at Tecna. She went full Marie Kondo, and the Winx didn’t even end up taking the bags with them to Lumenia!
Aisha didn’t care, which matches her personality. She runs on intuition, so she wouldn’t stress over little things like grades. All she’d do is do the best she could.
Maybe a better comparison is in “Between the Earth and the Sea” (Winx season 8, episode 23). The two Winx were partners on a potions assignment. Tecna wanted to follow the recipe flawlessly, but Aisha wanted to guesstimate everything so they could beat the clock. They ended up failing the test because not surprisingly, she poured too much of an ingredient in.
Was she upset about it? Yes, but not devastated. Tecna was more disappointed than she was. “Everyone knows that measuring ingredients has to be perfect!”
Ooh, I had a thought. What if in order to control water better, Fate: The Winx Saga Aisha has to learn to go with the flow? That’s not a bad character growth idea. I don’t know if I’m giving these writers too much credit, though.
But even if they choose that plot, that would mean she’d have to become like Winx Club Aisha. That’s awkward. 😕
So to recap, Aisha is still a water fairy in Fate: The Winx Saga. But she’s not a princess — she’s a stereotypical athlete who’s obsessed with her grades and performance.
Anyway, according to “Jade’s” backstory, she discovered her powers when she failed a math test and flooded her school — with her tears, I assume. What if this was another Flora/Terra case where Fate’s version of Aisha was so different from her Winx Club counterpart, they made her a separate character? But when the fandom complained about half the Winx being written out of the club, the writers said, “Fine. Jade is Aisha. Happy now?”
I’m not. She’s Aisha in name only, just like Fate: The Winx Saga is Winx in name only. If they were gonna dramatically change the characters and the world, why not make an original show?
Well, whatever happens in this darker and edgier parody, I’m not gonna treat it as canon. I don’t need an adult version of Winx Club. You know how old I was when Winx Club premiered? 15. And when I started the old Winx blog, I was 20.
The cartoon is good enough for me. Yes, it’s changed a lot, but it was always comfort food for me, and it still is. But this version is trying to appeal to older fans without knowing why we like Winx Club in the first place. Studios make this mistake all the time. (Look at the awful Disney live-action remakes.)
I predict that Fate: The Winx Saga will be canceled after two seasons because of low viewership. Could I be wrong? Of course, but if the show is really this cliché and strays so far from the original, more than two seasons will be overstaying its welcome.