Musings & Rants

Another Nex post? Yes. I said I’d talk about the boys’ love languages next (since I just talked about the Winx’s), but this has been bothering me and wanted to address it now.

I’m just gonna say it: Nex is the most misinterpreted character in Winx Club. Period. Most of the popular opinions don’t line up with Rainbow’s intentions. Some of them aren’t even canon.

I keep saying the fandom ignores Nex’s positive traits — and his purpose — and focuses on his flaws, exaggerates them, and even makes some up for him. The last misconception on this list is proof it’s gotten out of hand. Love him or hate him, I think you’ll be surprised.

I can’t cover all the misconceptions about him in one post. For now, I’ll talk about three of them.

1. He loves Aisha for her looks, because he wants to be better than her, for no reason, etc.

This one means Nex is shallow and has no real interest in Aisha. He pursued her for selfish reasons. One blogger said Nex just wanted to “prove he is the ultimate player,” but he fell in love with her along the way. (Since when is Nex a player? What has he done to earn that label? 😑)

The true reason he’s in love with her is right there in the show and supported by supplementary info. Remember that season six article with his character description in it? One of the lines said, “Nex rimarrà molto colpito dall’atteggiamento forte di Aisha e gradualmente s’innamorerà di lei…” Translation: “Nex will be very impressed by Aisha’s strong attitude and gradually fall in love with her…”

There you go. It wasn’t her beauty or for bragging rights. He fell in love with her personality.

Not enough proof? I point you to the first thing he said about her, “Wow! She’s no joke!” Or in the Italian version, “Wow! That girl means business!” He was impressed by how strong and no-nonsense she is.

Aisha’s season seven character book, released in Russia a year or so ago, also supports this. On one page, she says (my translation), “Self-confident and determined Nex appreciates my strong personality.”

TL:DR; According to Rainbow, Nex fell in love with Aisha’s strong personality, not her looks or athleticism.

2. He’s sexist/misogynist.

According to Tumblr, Nex has “a penchant for misogynist language.” The word penchant means “a liking for or a habit of doing something, esp. something that other people might not like.” He must have said a lot of misogynist things to earn that accusation, right?

Wrong.

I know where this is coming from, but it’s been taken out of context. In “Back in the Middle Ages” (S7, EP8), Nex said, “Just like a girl, insist things go their way, whether it makes sense or not.” No, I’m not gonna defend the line. I didn’t like it, either.

But the reason I say it’s out of context is because of something Stella said in the other Middle Ages episode, “The Fairy Cat” (S7, EP9): “Aren’t men in these times supposed to be knights in shining armor?” Then a few seconds later: “Centuries pass, but boys are always the same.”

Was Rainbow trying to show us that Nex and Stella are sexist? Of course not. I think the writers were doing another “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” parallel. Another recent one was Tecna and Timmy’s date prep in “A Perfect Date” (S5, EP21).

But Rainbow keeps forgetting that Nex is new. Stella can mostly get away with lines like that because we know her well. But when he says it, the fandom doesn’t think, “Huh? That was out of character.” Why? Because they don’t know what’s in character for him yet! So, they interpret it as a newly-discovered character trait — i.e., “This guy is sexist!”

But I think Nex’s line was out of character. Aisha loves to prove she’s just as good as him (or better), and he loves that about her! He responds by challenging her (which he knows she likes), teaming up with her because he’s confident in her, and encouraging her like any other ally.

If Rainbow wanted us to think he’s sexist/misogynist, then that behavior wouldn’t make sense for him. Why doesn’t the fandom consider the writers’ intentions when it comes to Nex? Why doesn’t anyone ask, “Is this really what Rainbow wants me to think about him?”

When Rainbow wants us to know a character is sexist/misogynist, they make it obvious. It’s practically the character’s whole identity. Case in point: Rainbow already got their “Aisha dates a misogynist” plot out of their system in comic #71, “Aisha’s Courage.” Her boyfriend, Silvan, treats her like garbage. He calls her “child,” gets jealous of her success, takes credit for her smart thinking, and suggests she couldn’t understand important matters because she’s a woman. Aisha breaks up with him at the end.

That’s Rainbow’s version of a sexist/misogynist guy. Nex is nothing like that. And before anyone says, “Neither was Riven, but he was misogynist” (you were thinking it, weren’t you?), Rainbow made it obvious in his case, too. In his season two profile, he flat out said, “I don’t trust girls.” His behavior and dialogue in the show reflected that.

TL:DR; No, Nex doesn’t have “a penchant for misogynist language.” (That was the only time he’s said something like that. Since when is one time a “penchant?”) Given what we know about him, we can assume that sexism/misogyny isn’t supposed to be part of his character.

3. He’s secretly a villain.

This is what I was talking about in the intro. Years of overloading the negative side of the opinion scale have led to this. Now Nex isn’t a hero anymore. He’s a villain in disguise. Some fans even compare him to real villains like Valtor and Darkar.

Let’s dissect this, shall we?

First of all, what is Nex’s motive? If he’s secretly a villain, he must have a reason he infiltrated the group. Don’t you think after two seasons, we’d have at least a hint what his evil plot is or who he’s working for?

Selina being a “secret” villain

Second, villains in Winx Club are pretty obvious, even when they’re incognito. Rainbow shows us scenes of the villain grinning at the screen behind the heroes’ backs, cursing flowers while the heroes aren’t looking, mixing homesickness potions in the middle of the night, etc. But Rainbow hasn’t done anything like that with Nex. In fact, when he has done something unpleasant, he’s done it in front of the heroes!

Wouldn’t he wanna be on his best behavior, so they wouldn’t be suspicious of him? If he is a villain, someone needs to remind him what “secret” means. He’ll sabotage his plan at this rate!

Finally, Nex has had some moments that might show a secret side of him, but they’re the opposite of what the fandom thinks. For example, remember the scene in “Winx Trapped!” (S7, EP11) where Squonk kissed him? Instead of getting mad (like you might expect a heartless villain to do), he melted.

Even Timmy was surprised. When Nex saw him staring at him, he made a muscle to try and play cool. Timmy didn’t seem to buy it, though.

Their reactions tell us a couple things. First, Timmy already thought of Nex as a guy who isn’t moved by mushy stuff. If Nex is secretly a villain, wouldn’t he want people to think he’s sensitive, since that’s a typical hero trait? But if Timmy didn’t think Nex was that sensitive, that means Nex hasn’t bothered trying to maintain a squeaky-clean image like a secret villain would.

Second, Nex wasn’t comfortable with Timmy seeing him act like that. Why? What if his tough guy side is just an act, and he really is more sensitive than he lets on? If so, why does he hide that side of himself? Is he just trying to be cool, or is there a deeper reason?

TL;DR: Rainbow hasn’t given us any reason to believe Nex is a villain, secretly or otherwise.

Final Thoughts

Something else the fandom says is Aisha would never date a “macho” guy (as they call Nex). First of all, why are they praising the idea that she should be judgmental and never see the good in a guy? (Or is just because they don’t see the good in him?) Second, a tough girl like her may be exactly what he needs. There’s a reason he’s attracted to her strong personality. Could it be because he knows he needs to be humbled?

I got a real-life example of this recently. My aunt and uncle came to visit a week or two ago. He’s my mom’s brother, and she and my aunt joked that he used to be macho — they actually said “macho,” and it’s partially because he was in the military — but he’s softened up somewhat since marriage. To be fair, I don’t know much about their relationship, but my aunt said she did a good job with him! 😂 (I hope they don’t read this. 😅)

Going back to Winx Club, I think there’s a fundamental problem with the couples. Most of them are made up of a flawed girl and a perfect or barely-flawed guy who acts as her emotional support, but has no room to grow as a person himself. Thus, he doesn’t gain anything from dating her. He’s just her cheerleader.

That’s not true love. It’s bad character writing and bad relationship writing. If one of the partners is shallow, the relationship is shallow. To quote the article “Writing Romance: Why Perfect Men Make Boring Heroes” from StandOutBooks.com, “If he’s already perfect, what’s left for the heroine to bring to his life?” And one more: “If a man has no room to grow when he meets the heroine, are they really meant to be together?”

Springhole.net has another article about shallow love interests (and best friends). It includes a list of common warning signs that a love interest (or best friend) is shallow. Unfortunately, all of the Winx’s boyfriends (including Nex) tick at least some of the boxes, but a few guys tick all of them. (I’d say the only guys who aren’t shallow at all are Sky and Riven. I’ll let you read it yourself.)

I think Nex has the potential to break out of the shallow love interest trap. Until then, the misconceptions will probably continue. My hope is Rainbow will give him a character growth arc and/or backstory in season eight. That might finally shed some light on what Rainbow intended for his character.

News

It’s that time of year again! The Las Vegas Licensing Expo begins today! As usual, my affiliate Michael Grant from Michael’s Winx Club is there! Visit his site for exclusive news and images!

He’s already revealed a few things: Rainbow doesn’t seem to be heavily promoting Winx season eight yet. They’re not showing a trailer, and the only promo image on their booth is the Bloom picture we’ve already seen. Also, it turns out Starlix is not the confirmed name of the season eight transformation. (Maybe WinxClubEventi made it up.)

Stay tuned to Michael’s Winx Club for more!


IMAGE CREDITS:

Reviews

What I Didn’t Like

  1. The pacing: Too choppy and fast, especially in the first few episodes
  2. The dialogue: Too much “Shyamalaning” (repetition); too much filler (like the Winx praising each other); lots of cheesy lines, even in serious scenes
  3. The pop star side plot: Interfered with the main plot; felt like filler; made scenes where people didn’t recognize the Winx seem silly
  4. Fewer fairy scenes: Too many spy and pop star scenes instead (first season had better mix)
  5. How the Winx gained Onyrix: No explanation; “evolution” idea felt cheap
  6. Onyrix’s limitations: More powerful spells, but no different from Dreamix except for appearance; the Winx couldn’t use it on Earth, which made no sense
  7. Aisha’s personality: Too aggressive and angry; not enough (or any) of her gentle side from Winx Club
  8. The returning Neverlanders: Seemed dumber and less intimidating than in the first season (especially Smee and the zombie pirates)
  9. Musa and Flora’s nemeses: Based on their powers instead of character flaws
  10. Tecna’s character flaw: Felt made up on the spot; not enough built up to her nemesis (she wasn’t acting like a “control freak” before that episode)
  11. The prophecy: Random; added nothing to the story
  12. Matt and Tinkerbell’s love story: Shallow and rushed; felt creepy since Tinkerbell loved his father, too
  13. Venomya’s role: Felt out of place in the story; could have been better integrated, even if she’s next season’s villain

What I Liked

  1. The animation: Lots of improvement, even from season one
  2. The Winx’s new spells: Creative uses of magic like Flora traveling through Earth’s root system, Stella bending lasers, etc. (I’d like to see more spells like this in Winx Club)
  3. Matt: Entertaining new character; good character development
  4. The nemeses: Cool and intimidating character designs; interesting fight scenes with them
  5. The new outfits: Too many to keep track of, but all beautiful
  6. The overall story: Enjoyable; good integration and adaptation of the Peter Pan characters
  7. Stella’s back story: Moving and relatable scene; added much-needed depth to her character
  8. Finale (in Neverland): Stakes felt high; nice twist with Smee saving the day
  9. Cliffhanger: Interesting set up for a possible season three

Overall Thoughts

I prefer season one for the structure, dialogue, and character personalities, but I prefer season two for the action, magic, and overall story. World of Winx is okay to me, but because it’s an alternate universe, I treat it the same way as PopPixie. They’re both just fun side stories, as well as ways for Rainbow to try new ideas.

Regardless of the cliffhanger, I don’t want a season three. I wish instead of continuing to make a separate show, Rainbow would put these ideas into Winx Club (except the spy stuff). World of Winx would have been just as good if it had been Winx season eight. Plus, it would have restored the fanbase’s love for Winx Club. Instead, many fans seem ready to abandon it for good and only watch WoW from now on.

Still, this show proves Rainbow isn’t “out of ideas” and can still make good seasons with these characters. I hope the writers learned from this experience and filled Winx season eight with the same depth and creativity.

TV & Movie News


Just a couple pieces of news I haven’t posted about yet. By now, you’ve probably heard it on other fan sites, but I still wanna help get the word out.

1. World of Winx Season 2 Premiere Date

Netflix updated the World of Winx page last week, revealing that season two will be released on Friday, June 16. (One of you pointed out that’s the day after Aisha’s birthday. I doubt there’s a connection there, but it’s still a fun piece of trivia. 🙂 ) If you’re curious, you can find lists of possible episode titles on Winx Wikia or in fan videos.

2. Licensing Expo 2017 Begins Today

Yep, it’s that time of year again! The annual Las Vegas Licensing Expo begins today! Rainbow will be showcasing their three newest shows: World of Winx, Regal Academy, and Maggie & Bianca: Fashion Friends (which is now on Netflix, too).

As usual, my affiliate Michael from Michael’s Winx Club is there, so keep checking his website for exclusive news and images! (He’s already posted a photo of Rainbow’s booth.) Last year, he got to share a lot of new World of Winx info. Who knows what he’ll get to tell us this year!


CREDITS:

I know. It’s been a while since my last post. I’m sorry. 😞 Starting today, I’ll try to get back into the rhythm.

Yes, you read that title right. This is the 1,000th post! Wow! To mark this occasion, I’d like to tell a personal story I’ve been saving since I started this blog. It’s my favorite memory from the 4Kids Winx era.

In 2005, Rainbow, 4Kids, and Upper Deck held a contest called “The Magix in the Cards.” Remember the Winx Club trading card game — back when card games were a huge deal, and every franchise had to have one? Harry Potter? Neopets? Bratz? 😕

Anyway, this contest was part of the marketing campaign for the game’s launch. The challenge was to design your own Winx Club trading card. You had to download the template from 4Kids.tv and draw a picture of one of the Winx. (Season two hadn’t premiered in the U.S. yet, so Aisha wasn’t included.) The winner’s drawing would be reprinted as an official card, and they’d get a $1,000 Toys R Us gift card. (I remember a trip to Italy, too, but maybe that was another contest.)

I decided to draw Flora. She’s always been my favorite Winx, after all. 🙂 Since I couldn’t draw her well, I practiced for weeks until I could draw her in my sleep. Just like everyone else who entered, including my sister (she drew Musa), I mailed in my picture and hoped for the best.

Months later, my mom told me she got an email saying I’d won! Boy, was I excited! Look out, Toys R Us! Here I come!

…Or not. 😅

I didn’t win the grand prize. Instead, I was one of the 15 first prize winners, the first tier of runners-up. My prize was a box of swag: The Fairy Cool Lounge play set, the full card game box set, and a randomly-selected doll. It wasn’t a $1,000 shopping spree, but I was still happy to win something. 🙂

The doll I got was Icy. I already had one, so I never unboxed her. Here she is:

Her box is damaged from being moved from place to place over the years, but she’s still in mint condition. I’ve thought about selling her or just giving her away. I’m not sure yet.

To this day, I wonder how close I got to winning the grand prize. What if it came down to me and one other person? I guess I’ll never know. 😶

I still remember my drawing well, so I’m gonna try to reproduce it. Look for a follow-up to this post soon!