In light of the first trailer for Fate: The Winx Saga releasing mere hours ago, I have a few thoughts to share.
The original Winx Club aired on Nickelodeon and revolved around 7 fairy warriors, Bloom with fire powers (who was always my favorite), Stella fairy of the sun, Tecna fairy of technology, Flora the fairy of nature, Musa the fairy of music, Aisha the fairy of waves and occasionally Roxy, the fairy of animals. The show also featured the Specialists, the male characters, and the love interests of the fairies.
Now, most of us, specifically the girls ( seriously though, toxic gender roles really robbed boys of this masterpiece), grew up watching this show, dreaming of having the same superpowers, enrolling in Alfea College, and having those epic transformations. And for a production dealing with such a childhood favorite, the trailer was very disappointing. This is mainly because the show is immensely commercialized and also because of what I refer to as 'The Riverdale Phenomenon'.
Everything Wrong with the trailer:
For a show adapting such a lighthearted show about fairies, the trailer sure is fairly dark. It lacks all of the vivid and bright color imagery that was used heavily in the original series. And while it can be argued that the original was animated and hence could allow the feature of such bright colors, yet the show's very dark (read: edgy) color palette is very hard on the eyes.
Bloom doesn't smile. Not once. I know it's not appropriate to chastise a female character for not smiling, but if I remember correctly, the original Bloom was fun, goofy, and very relatable. She was always getting into messy situations, but she and her friends always made them funny and cute.
But the new Bloom is not okay. She doesn't really have much going on for her either. She's just standing there making flames come out of her hand while having the same expressions one would have while making a sandwich during a breakdown. Perhaps she embodies the post-2010 teenager with morbid depression and career anxiety. (Honestly, if the fairies take that too, what do the rest of us have left?)
The whole gang also seems to follow in Bloom's footsteps, They all lack energy, charisma, or even any sort of personality. The most movement we get from them is a selfie and a very deadpanned walk into the school's grounds. They summon their elements, sure but it's not very impressive since they all look vaguely bored.
For some wild reason, Alfea seems to be co-ed. Maulana Tariq Jamil would not approve and for once, I agree. It will ruin the essence of the teamwork and romance between the Specialists and the teenagers. The whole idea of boys prancing around Alfea gives me more Vampire Diaries or Riverdale vibes and does not sit well with me.
And of course, the glaring problem everyone has brought up: the whitewashing. Out of the 5 featured fairies, only one is a woman of color. The whole point of modern remakes is to target the toxic values early TV implemented on viewers but instead of targeting problems of unrealistic body image and standards of beauty, the show manages to mess up on such an obvious front. And while we appreciate the inclusion of the one plus-sized character, the show's main lead is still a skinny white girl.
The Riverdale Phenomenon:
I know A LOT of people like Riverdale but it's so bad. it is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with young adult media and teen movies. The characters are oversexualized and one dimensional (seriously Archie, taking your shirt off is not a personality trait ), the dialogue is cringe-worthy and very badly written (please Jughead, we get it, you're edgy, stop whining about your hat) and the plotline is just going from bad to worse. Yet despite being absolute garbage and ruining a childhood favorite, the show is still doing surprisingly well. That's because it picked up on some of the major YA media selling points, featuring a very good looking cast and ignoring the actual world-building to focus on teenage drama, featuring cringy dialogue, based on real-life issues teens face like social exclusion, etc, supposed 'dark' and 'gritty' themes, and well such absurd plot lines you can't help but watch (Archie, you are in JAIL, stop talking about football or you will get STABBED).
Hence, the Riverdale Phenomenon is essentially just reducing an entire show to a few major selling points that might be a pile of hot garbage but will buy you at least a solid three seasons worth of air time.