Netflix's Fate: The Winx Saga is based on the early-2000s Nickelodeon cartoon Winx Club, but that doesn't mean it's for children. The series follows a 16-year-old, fire-wielding fairy named Bloom who makes her way from California to the Otherworld to attend Alfea, a prestigious, magical boarding school. While there, she must confront her own mysterious powers, roommate drama, possible romance, rivalries, and monsters (you know, no big deal). As each character works to master their unique, mystical skill set (there's fire, water, plants, and more), they must deal with the looming threat of the Burned Ones, just outside the school's barrier and intent on attacking anyone who comes near. Apart from the actual plot line and its problematic casting, the show features adult tropes and themes, including alcohol use, cursing, and sexual innuendo. If, as a parent, you're unsure about letting your teenager watch the series, read on to find a full guide so you can make the best possible decision.
- The TV-MA rating makes perfect sense.
Although the series is based on a classic children's animated show, it seems to follow Riverdale's lead in revamping a kids' cartoon and turning it into something geared for young adults. While Winx Club stayed true to its TV-Y7 rating, focusing on magic and saving the universe from Lord Darkar and witches, Fate: The Winx Saga takes it all many steps further, geared toward older teenagers and young adults. In the show, there are constant references to adult themes and even some gore, so keeping an eye out will prove useful in deciding if it is appropriate for your teen or not.
- There is some blood, suggested violence, and gore.
Woven with the menacing presence of the Burned Ones, the series includes various scenes that depict blood, gore, and death. In the first episode alone, a shepherd wanders out to check on his sheep in the middle of the night and is ravaged, killing and deforming him. Overall, the show does not shy away from showing blood and some suggested violence. Also, the main protagonist, Bloom, has the ability to wield fire, and flashbacks show she set her house on fire in a fit of rage. The series shows this in detail, including how her mother ended up with third-degree burns.
- The show's language definitely makes it a series for adults.
Throughout the show, the characters use all kinds of profanity and cuss often. Curse words include sh*t, some F-bombs, b*tch, and d*ck. The strong language won't necessarily put anyone off the show and makes sense as it portrays older high schoolers, but it might make you think twice about letting your younger ones watch it.
- Sexual references abound, but the show isn't too explicit.
Fate: The Winx Saga makes several sexual references but does not show anything too explicit. For example, the main romantic intrigue between Bloom and Sky only physically amounts to kissing. That being said, there are scenes where sex is suggested. Also, throughout the six-episode series, there is a lot of sexual innuendo, talking about different sexual acts in a good bit of detail.
- The series shows drug and alcohol use.
Adding more adult-centreed themes, the show depicts use of both drugs and alcohol. Episode three features a party where everyone plays beer pong, and they drink a lot. Apart from alcohol use, Terra brings weed brownies to the party, and various characters partake in drugs throughout the show.
- The casting leaves much to be desired, with many accusing the series of whitewashing.
Apart from the obvious adult themes that make this show probably something to avoid for younger kids, many have pointed out the whitewashing in its casting choices. While the original Winx Club featured a group of six that included three people of colour, the new series only has one Black main character, Aisha. In the cartoon, Musa is Asian and Flora is Latina, but in the new show, Musa is ethnically ambiguous and Flora is replaced by a white woman named Terra, leaving the series with much to be desired when it comes to diversity.
Whatever choice you make when it comes to deciding whether to let your kids watch Fate: The Winx Saga, it's important to be aware of its made-for-adults depictions in order to be on the right page with your teen. That being said, the show features incredible portrayals of magic and fairydom while also being down to earth and very addictive.