When an artist passes away, they instantly become an icon. For some the legacy lives on and on and on. Through re releases, books, movies or simply word of mouth. When it comes to an adaptation. How it is done and presented is what is most important to fans.
Which brings us to “Selena: The Series”. A television series based on the late tejano star and her family. Executive produced by her sister Suzette and distributed by Netflix. The show has “FANDOM” written all over it. I myself have been a fan of Selena my whole life. So a series, which was announced in 2018, was intriguing to me.
This is the 7th adaptation of the late singer's story. A film, 3 stage shows and a separate television series have debuted between 1997 and 2018 keeping the late singer's legacy alive. This is the second television series about Selena and the Quintanilla family. Part 1 of the series debuted on December 4, 2020. Part 2 is due to be released sometime in 2021
Part 1 of the series takes place between mainly 1979 and 1991
Please note I will not be giving away any spoilers. I will also not be comparing the series to the 1997 movie or any other adaptation. This is a stand alone product and should be treated as such.
Having seen all 9 episodes, here what I liked. Most of the episodes are in the 80s. A part of the original movie that I felt was left out was Selena’s teenage years. It’s when the band was releasing their first records and was becoming famous. Because it’s a series I’m glad they get to go through that time.
More Selena music. While the series has the hits. It also has songs from her early career. Sung in her voice. Special for fans who haven’t heard these songs before or never got to see them performed
The new stories. There were stories I heard about Selena and the family in interviews and read in books. It was great to see it dramatized. Showing moments when the family really struggled. But touching moments as well. Also moments that people don’t know about, like the band getting their start on the Johnny Canales show
Selena, A.B and Suzette’s personal lives. There’s a lot of tidbits you wouldn’t know about them unless you did your homework. While some of this could be explored more, it’s not the focus. However it’s nice to see.
Noemi Gonzalez as Suzette Quintanilla. For me she wins the series. Her acting was great. You really see her open up as the series goes on. I can’t imagine acting this role when the real Suzette is executive producer of the series
Sorry to say there is some stuff that didn’t work for me. The show feels a little family drama. A little TV movie ish. This is nit picky. But there were parts I was waiting to hear “last time on Selena..” it feels very “This is us” with a music backdrop. Anyone who grew up in a big family or grew up with struggles knows it’s not all giggles. Or know it can’t be summed up in 30 minutes. I feel like the raw edges should have been shown. It would have been more authentic. Instead of focusing on the image.
There is more to this story. Some parts, especially with her parents, seemed rushed. Almost as if you should know parts of the story. Like Abraham playing in a band in his youth and the family owning a restaurant. These scenes are either mentioned or briefly seen. The short length of most of the episodes doesn’t help this argument. I feel all this could have been expanded more. I feel like we could have added more episodes or made them longer.
The show's length. Most of the episodes are a little more than a half an hour. I got through the series in one evening. Not good for the binge crowd. Again there is a lot of story to be told and quite a bit that wasn’t there.
I think we could have done a little better with the hair. But that’s a small thing.
So what is my opinion of “Selena: The Series”? Overall I don’t hate it. I think it’s okay. I feel like more could have been done overall. Especially with Netflix backing the project. It just feels like something is missing. What that is I don’t know. But it’s not a bad show. I will be watching part 2 when it’s released next year. If you're a fan of Selena and her music, the 1997 movie or into music stories. Give it a watch. It’s entertaining and good for binging. But as a whole it’s okay. Just okay.
“Selena: The Series” is available for streaming on Netflix.