Selena: The Series (2020-21)

It is a sobering fact that the music industry is full of stars that were taken before their time, the infamous 27 Club is an overgrowing reminder of the lost potential and devastated audience that is left. One name that springs to mind is Selena, who broke barriers in the Tejano music scene and nationally, riding an incredible high before her shooting in 1995. In 2020, Netflix released a two-part series chronicling the singer’s tragically short, yet stratospheric career, the support of her family and the reach of her fandom, in Selena The Series.

Selena’s humble origins are depicted in the show’s beginnings, from the many attempts at becoming a family band, to branching out as a solo act.

We follow the talented singer, from her humble roots in her family’s band, Selena Y Los Dinos, to selling out astrodomes and winning Grammys. As well as the challenges in maintaining her stardom, with attempts to modernise and diversify her sound and look and honouring her heritage, and her roots, while trying to market herself as a national and international artist. All are accompanied by the familial drama that stems from passionate romances, the issues with managing her fanbase, and the dramatic circumstances around her passing.

The series brings into stark relief the challenges faced by Selena as a person to becoming Selena the artist.

While the feature film also covered a lot of the same ground route as the series, the benefit of a multipart series is that it gives the account of her life, a lot more room to breathe. The first part of the 18-episode show deals, with her family’s humble beginning, making their equipment and the semblance of their musical beginnings in the early 80s, up until needing to hire a staff member to handle the fans. Possibly due to Selena’s sister’s involvement in the project, the series might not be as candid of a portrayal of Selena’s life. Yet, on the other hand, the film doesn’t necessarily elevate Selena out of the realms of humanity, nor does it any of the other members of the Quintanilla household. Suffice it to say they each feel like a sincere family, from their motivations, their behaviour, and their reactions. The only difference from the families across the street is how creatively talented they all are.

The family relationships of the Quintanillas do feel relatively down to earth.

Selena: The Series focus is on the songs, and Selena manages to showcase a wide selection of the singer’s most memorable tracks from across her career. Such as Dame un Besso, a song I still catch myself humming many months after finishing the show. Along with the stories of how they came to be. I’m still not 100% sure if the songs lip-synced the performances or Christian Serratos or even a combination of both, they sounded similar enough to the originals, which will be felt in the charts. As such, a lot of younger viewers who might be drawn to the retro aesthetic of the early 90s will find a lot to discover from Selena’s varied life and her catalogue.

Christian Serratos does a pretty good job of playing Selena.

I’d imagine that this show would cater well to the core demographic of Netflix viewers that were born soon after Selena’s passing. They would probably be won over by the show’s recreation of her journey. Although I was surprised by just how down to earth, and human the film depicted her ride through the music industry was, from the familiar family antics felt especially honest. The complete series will offer curious and returning fans a look back at the artist’s highs and lowest moments. Especially those who haven’t had a chance to see the 1997 film, or the chance to experience them the first time around. Selena’s message, her music, and her legacy will always be in their hearts.

The 20-episode series is filled with the hits from SSelena y Los Dinos and beyond.

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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