Winx is alright. Co-created by a writer from Vampire Diaries (Brian Young) and it shows. Edgy teenage high-school drama, with a petty jealous ex-girlfriend, delinquent stoner and bully, token bisexual who happens to be black. Newcomer with insidious purpose serving some mysterious dude only named as “he”. Token fat girl who grows to be much better than initially led on. Slightly emo girl that turns out to be an empath. Cool, smooth and charismatic guy that is essentially a jock. Main character with a mysterious hidden past and special powers much stronger than any other character. The show is chock full of TV tropes stretched to their limits. The plot follows standard young adult fantasy shows, your main character doesn’t know her past, she rebels against the adult authority figures who may or may not have been lying to her, turns to the enemies or bad guys of the show for help, realizes the friends she made along the way are better than the enemies she’s been unwittingly helping with their nefarious plans, being hunted by CGI monsters/creatures. You know, standard stuff.
The six episode format helped move things speedily along but it sacrificed proper character development, world building, and overall felt more like an origin story for the girls. It completely feels like the second season is where the meat and bones of the story will be. The first season was mere filler. The main character is Bloom played by Abigail Cowen, a 16 year old girl with fire powers. We have Aisha played by Precious Mustapha, an athlete, morning person, and a water fairy. There’s Terra (Eliot Salt), with a spot on the nose character name, as an earth fairy. Musa (Elisha Applebaum) as a mind fairy and empath. Hannah van der Westhuysen as Stella, a light fairy and princess of a land called Solaria. Sadie Soverall as Beatrix, an air fairy that can summon electricity, and our minor villain. Danny Griffin as the token jock, Sky, a specialist student aka non-magic user trained to use swords and other weapons as a soldier for the school. Other mentions are Freddy Thorp as Riven, another specialist and the token stoner/delinquent. Theo Graham as Dane, specialist and the aforementioned token bisexual as Netflix demands of its shows. And six more actors and actresses that have a bit more screen time as the love interest of Musa, the headmistress, the tough father figure of Sky and weapons master of the specialist students, Bloom’s parents, and the father of Terra and love interest of Musa.
It was well acted as far as these kinds of young adult shows go. The young actors and actresses were clearly in the ranges of 22-25 so it was a little unbelievable that they were supposed to be playing teenagers except for Sadie Soverall, she was clearly much younger than the rest (19). The chemistry between the friends was good, and between all love interests. The adult authority figures were standard fare, not much to write home about there. The antagonist that was eventually revealed wasn’t necessarily evil, more like heavily misguided and thinks their way is the only correct way.
As I stated at the beginning, it was alright. Definitely a guilty pleasure show for me. Soundtrack was mostly alternative or indie music, whatever the kids are listening to these days. Cinematography was beautiful; English countryside and spooky trees. With it being 6 episodes long, I recommend giving it a watch if you were an old time fan of the original kids cartoon or if you’re looking for a young adult fantasy binge watch.