Stream It or Skip It: 'Selena: The Series'

Selena Quintanilla will always be remembered as an iconic singer, dancer, fashion designer and performer. Many people around the world have always looked up to her as the “Queen of Tejano Music,” and “The Mexican Madonna.” Selena got that recognition because she wholeheartedly embraced her roots from her culture as a Mexican-American singer. However, it was never an easy road for Selena because she had many challenges, such as financial struggles, family hardships and the difficulty of making an imprint in a male-dominated music industry. After many years of never giving up on her dreams, and overcoming those barriers with her family alongside her, she became a Grammy Award-winning singer. Unfortunately, at the peak of Selena Quintanilla’s career she was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar. To this day, Selena Quintanilla has become one of the most celebrated Latin-Amerian artists for the past twenty-five years. The many memories of Selena Quintanilla have become the inspiration for Netflix's new show, Selena: The Series.

Let’s Discuss The Cons & Harsh Reviews First 

In the beginning, I was really hesitant to watch the show because I heard many bad reviews. I also asked friends on social media and some said, “I didn’t like the wigs they used. Also, I felt like it centered more around her dad, her brother and sister than actually Selena.” Most friends even complained about the casting of the actress Christina Serratos who plays Selena. They said she was not curvy enough to play Selena and she did not have the acting or lip-syncing ability for this role. I do not agree with most of these comments, but I do agree with the wig one. 

**SPOILER ALERT** Hopefully the production can change or improve for season 2. Yes, Selena Quintanilla fans everywhere, there will in fact be a season 2! Do I feel that Christina Serratos was the best actress to play Selena? I feel that she definitely was because based on the behind-the-scenes footage, she put a lot of relentless hours into this role. I also believe that my other friend made a good point because he said, “I honestly feel like Jennifer Lopez set the bar really high for a Selena rendition.” The rendition that he referred to was the Selena movie starring Jennifer Lopez (1997). I completely agree that this could be the main reason why many people did not enjoy the series, and were left disappointed because Jennifer Lopez set the bar almost too high. Due to the outstanding job done by Jennifer Lopez, this resulted in leaving very big shoes to fill for any actress to tackle this role. For that reason, after watching the series and many clips of behind-the-scenes footage, I believe that Christina Serratos did a great effort in her portrayal as Selena. There were many heartwarming moments that she had with her sister, her dad and family. Her portrayal of Selena’s passion for music, fashion design and doing whatever it took to make her family happy was on point. My overall con-list is that the wigs were not the most ideal, and some scenes did have a lack of impact due to their attempt to copy the movie — the majority was original though. I also believe that they could have expanded a bit more on Selena’s childhood because those were the scenes I enjoyed watching the most, rather than just back and forth flashbacks. 

The Pros & Should You Stream It Or Skip It? 

I completely disagree with the comments that said the series focused too much on the family and not enough on Selena. This is due to how we are able to learn more about Selena based on the people that she loved the most. I felt the family scenes especially during her childhood were very loving, insightful and endearing. The actress who played the younger Selena, Madison Taylor Baez also did a phenomenal job. The series did a really fantastic job in expanding on their financial struggles and how her father Abraham Quintanilla was almost obsessed to fight for their success. He made his children’s lives revolve around their music — nothing else mattered (not friends, not school, just music). I also enjoyed some of the concert performances, the addition of more songs and how we got to learn more about Selena’s family. Some of the biggest tear jerker scenes was watching how their financial crisis unfolds, the constant setbacks as an artist, how some rules constrained their personal lives and how they all faced struggles of failure. Their worst battle of all in the series was never feeling good enough to meet their father’s expectations, but in reality, they were more than enough all along.  In addition, the cliffhanger immediately gave me chills, left me speechless and is making me look forward to season 2. 

For those reasons, if you are a really big fan of Selena Quintanilla, or even if you just want to learn more about her, I would highly recommend streaming the show. Despite the series not being as good as the movie, the family scenes were very admirable and the details of her journey were inspirational. Altogether, I believe that Selena fans should stop comparing it to the movie, appreciate it for its purpose and enjoy watching it from a different point of view — a new light. The series will also give the newer generation a chance to learn about Selena Quintanilla’s legacy, and to make sure that she will never be forgotten. 

Microphone on dark background Photo by Matthias Wagner from Unsplash