Winx Club’s second season is unique. It does not have the “whole new magic world” quality of season one, nor the well executed villain and fairy power growth of season three. Yet it is compelling in a way different than any other season.
Compelling, however, does not mean that the full potential was reached. Some of Winx Club’s better plot ideas and new concepts, displayed here in season two, as entertaining as they were, seemed hindered by incomplete execution and annoying additions.*
In season 1 lead fairy Bloom struggles to attain and then grows her new powers. In season 2 all club fairies strive to attain this year’s power upgrade, charmix. It is signified by an extra gem or handbag affixed to their fairy combat outfits.
Charmix was a good idea on paper, but the execution was average. The extra powers were not well defined, late to the game, and as a result harder to totally buy into by viewers.
(Author’s note: Since this post the oft slammed Charmix has grown us. In comparison, the Sophix and Lovix transformations of SEASON 4 are less significant to character development and seem more tacked on.)
The season’s new villain was Lord Darkar, a creepy long-lived energy being. He was a good design for a straight out evil antagonist. He recruits the three evil witches from season 1 to do his bidding (and to get beat down by the fairies).
Everything about Darkar’s look and powers spoke to a more cataclysmic showdown that never occurred. Because he was one dimensional, he needed to hit his one note harder at the end.
A great (and classic) idea well executed was Dark Bloom. Take the lead girl and turn her bad. Since she had grown to be the strongest of the Winx Club, it made for some tough battles and heartbreaking decisions.
For a show so light and good, the transformation of Bloom eventually ending at an all black outfit and evil cat eyes was intense. It is one of the single best reasons to watch season 2.
As for the group, they added Layla. Probably to round out the group’s ethnic diversity for politically correct and marketing reasons, and partially to sell more dolls. She does little for me, and I find her attitude annoying. Of other group interest, the selfless and sweet Flora finally gets a hero boyfriend. The sweetest of the girls, she was due as all the others seem to have a hero to date. It made for a nice, feel good sub-plot.
The single biggest mistake of season 2 was the introduction of pixies. They are doll-sized magical creatures that more or less act like 5 year olds. They were annoying, uninteresting and sucked the resources out of the main plot. They seemed a shameless way to cash in with toys. I am surprised the intelligent and creative man behind Winx CLub, Igninio Straffi allowed them to interfere that much. I guess even Straffi cannot hit a home run with every decision.
The men (heroes) got shorter shrift in season 2, probably because their time was absorbed by the dippy pixies. They need more anti-magic weaponry to be effective fighters and well-rounded characters in the Winx universe. Flora’s new romantic interest used some magic to augment his hero skills and it worked well.
Another great idea and well done was the finale merging of the three witches by Darkar. He combines them into a being of black energy. It was great art direction, and fun to watch in action. Schoolmasters Faragonda and Griffin team up their heavy hitting powers. It was a nice hint of their former alliance (the Company of Light) later fleshed out in season 3 and the 1st movie. Despite some drawbacks Winx Club season 2 is punctuated by good scenes and dramatic moments.
* Editors Note: First and second paragraphs modified 02/26/2012