A group of first years at Alfea are discovering the element of magic with which they were born. They come across the fact that Alfea isn’t just an ordinary magic school; it has the darkest of pasts and has the deepest of secrets. Answers are needed but there is already a lurking danger outside the barrier. Decisions are made – calculative as well as rash. Is evil ever-present among them? Maybe it’s all just the result of individual perspectives and undertakings.
Fate: The Winx Saga is a fantasy thriller and drama series based on the Nickelodeon animated series, The Winx Club. Released on 22nd January 2021, Fate has got mixed reviews and has already been renewed for the second season.
“We’re the product of a system in a world that never listens To the messed up truth.“
Bloom (Abigail Cowen), the protagonist, needs to learn to control her magic and wants answers. The secret of her origin is being hidden and her teachers are not being helpful.
“I am here because you promised you’d teach me control!” "No, Bloom, you're here because you knew you had no choice!"
Aisha (Precious Mustapha), Terra (Eliot Salt), Musa (Elisha Applebaum) and Stella (Hannah van der Westhuysen) are Bloom’s suitemates. Sky (Danny Griffin), Beatrix (Sadie Coverall) and Riven (Freddie Thorp) are another set of prominent characters. In the first two episodes, Fate appears to be a typical college drama: the central couple being interfered with by a third person, the group of bullies, the silent ones and the social bees, the ones who are trying hard and some have particular motives. It is in the third episode where you see a sudden shift in the plot. A part of Alfea’s dark history is revealed, exposing the characters. We see that the evil one isn’t actually evil and the wise ones aren’t innocent either. Yet we judge too soon.
In the last three episodes, within every five to ten minutes, subplots interchange or new subplots are unearthed. Secrets and facts keep surfacing, making it difficult for the audience to judge and identify the characters. The inevitable danger is already lurking around the corner, and the answers need to be found. Fate portrays strong yet flawed women characters. One is confused about her identity, another one is struggling to keep up to expectations. Some are just trying to help, others just want to mind their own business. At one point, all of them are being selfish. Critics don’t like this fact since the girls in the original animation always put friendship first. I feel the show is being realistic. First-years don’t go sacrificing for each other in the first instances itself.
The show has changed some characters, eliminated some important ones and brought in new ones. While the IMDb rating is 7.7, Rotten Tomatoes say 35% and their critical consensus reads, “Flat, flimsy, and forgettable, Fate: The Winx Saga is a fantastical flop that fails to capture the magic of its source material.”
“Fate is so much different than the colourful Winx from Nickelodeon, but that’s OK. It’s trying to be its own thing and I think it worked out pretty well.” Another critic said and I agree. The show is all about the flawed nature to which we all can relate to. There is feminism and there is humanity too. The societal expectations from the men and even from elders is quite prominent in the show.
A particularly likeable fact about Fate is that they haven’t used many fancy words: they simply belong to “the Other World” and the monsters out there are “the Burned Ones”. There is so much a mystery to unfold and many thriller elements to keep you on the edge, especially in the second half of the season. If you haven’t watched the original animated series, every single thing will be new to you and that is a plus point. Although many things are happening at the same time, and new subplots are being introduced, it’s all so beautifully and simply woven together that you won’t have any difficulty to catch everything. You might think of some as evil, but then you’ll question your judgement as the plot moves forward. At the moment when you’ll think that you’ve understood the characters, events will occur and you’ll have to keep reviewing your judgement.
If you’re looking for a thriller, watch Fate. Yes, it’s a fantasy drama, but the chills it gives is worth your time.
Zaina Shahid Khan is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited by: Malaika M Khan
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.