Why Selena: The Series Is Worth Your Time

On Dec. 4th 2020 the new series with a total of nine episodes aired on Netflix. The life of famous Mexican-American Tejana singer from the 1980s, Selena Quintanilla-Perez, who passed away in 1995, was made into a new Netflix Original series called Selena: The Series. Selena: The Series is about the tragic life of Selena Quintanilla who was a Mexican-American pop star more known as a Tejana singer. Tejano music is a popular Mexican-style of music that originated in the Mexico and Texas border which is now known as norteñas. Throughout the episodes, we see how her family sacrifices their life for Selena’s music career. After her father learned that his daughter had the potential to become the next top singer, he began a family band. Although the band found some success, they began struggling financially later on. Selena's father had her dropout of school to focus on music. In 1988, the band went on their first tour, they met the record producer EMI and the father decided to sign with them. Two of the band's musicians left and the father brought in Los Bad Boys into their band. In 1989, they renovated their tour bus and went on tour, as A.B. (Selena’s brother) continues to write songs, Selena begins to win Tejano Music Awards. Selena is at the peak of her career when one of their musicians plans on leaving. They wrote Selena’s popular song, Como la Flor, but when her father found out about her secret love affair with another of the band members, he kicked him out immediately.

Many viewers have a lot to say about this show, but the major issue with the show was with the cast. Many reviews are from people with basic knowledge of the series. Many viewers were not pleased and here is why; the cast and the series failed to show the “real” Selena. Many reviews from people are complaining that the woman who played Selena, Christian Serratos, looked nothing like Selena and that she didn’t have that “tejana” look everyone expected to see, going as far to say it was whitewashed;. They expected to see a better representation of the hispanic culture and wanted something genuine similar to the Selena movie starring Jennifer Lopez, who did an amazing job of portraying Selena.

In a poll taken from The Comet’s Instagram page and my personal social media, about 65% of people said they liked the new Selena series while 73% said they didn’t.

Although viewers had a lot to say about this show, it is worth watching, coming from someone who doesn’t watch many shows or Netflix series as much as other people do. I enjoyed this Netflix series because I can relate to Selena through different ways. Being Mexican-American and seeing the similarities of culture, family and hearing the music made a personal connection with not only the series but with Selena herself. It was interesting seeing how they added the personal lives of the characters into the series and did not only focus on Selena's music career which is what others expected. It should be noted that some of Selena's actual family members were part of the production of this series. Selena’s sister, Suzette, was the executive producer and her brother A.B. gave his consent of the series as well.

There were some emotional parts, where it may cause teary eyes. This series goes deep into the personal life Selena which much of us did not expect. This series portrays her childhood, family financial struggles, her relationship with others, how she became known as one of the most talented Mexican-American singers and much more. Her portrayal as a successful Mexican-American singer in the United States during the early 1990s helped me see a different part of Selena that I had never seen before, even in the movie that JLO was a part of. I recommend, when watching this movie, to go into it with an open mind of Selena overall.

An important idea from this series is seeing a relationship between a father and daughter from a different perspective. Abraham, Selena’s father, at first may seem harsh or too strict. However, Abraham was a determined father who helped Selena live her dream and become the next big singer. Despite his flaws, he was a loving father to Selena. Since he was a big part of her life, it was almost as if he controlled her; he was strict with Selena, especially when it came to her love life and wanted her to be this perfect girl. The series finds a great balance with his character showing that as a flawed father, he helped his little girl find success and love with his continually high expectations for his daughter and his other children, Selena’s bandmates and siblings.

Overall Selena is a must-watch and if you haven't already watched it, I recommend putting it in your list to watch next to take in the emotional rollercoaster of finding success in the American music industry, finding love, and tumultuous familial relationships.