Ever since Netflix announced that they would be doing a TV Series based on the life of Selena Quintanilla I have been twirling around my living room, revisiting my fandom of the incredible singer. I know this isn’t the first time we’ve had Hollywood tell her story, but with a TV Series, there is an opportunity to go more in-depth than a 90 minute film can.

Who is Selena?

Selena Quintanilla is a renowned Tejano singer. She’s been nominated for 89 awards, with 67 wins including 36 Tejano Music Awards, 14 Billboard Latin Music Awards, 10 Lo Nuestro Awards, five BMI Awards, one award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, a Grammy. Then, in 1995 she was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame. Sadly, at the age of 23, Selena was murdered by a fan as she was about to crossover to an English-speaking audience.

Over the years friends, family, and fans alike mourn her loss but continue to celebrate and honor the singer. In 1996, The Spirit of Hope Awards were created in Selena’s honor. Then in 2017, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We also can’t forget the Selena movie that launched Jennifer Lopez’s career. And now, Netflix is here to introduce the singer to a whole new generation with Selena: The Series!

Selena: The Series Delves Deeper Into Her Surrounding Story Than The Movie Could

The show not only tells the story of Selena herself but her family as well. Now, this is a great idea and I’m all for it. Unfortunately, Part 1 of Selena: The Series is much more Abraham and AB’s story than it is Selena’s. During these ten episodes, we don’t really learn anything new about the singer. However, we learn everything about her father and the sacrifices he forced upon his family.

Abraham Quintanilla (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) is a musician who gives up on his dreams. Then, as Selena grows up, he notices his daughter has an incredible voice and puts together a family band. This story isn’t an unfamiliar one and Abraham proves that you don’t have to be Joe Jackson in order to have success. However, Abraham’s methods are also quite questionable. 

What the series teaches us about Selena

While diving into the early years of the band, we get to learn and see some fun facts like how Selena’s brother, AB Quintanilla (Gabriel Chavarria), is inspired to write her most popular songs. We learn that her sister, Suzette Quintanilla (Noemí González), struggled to live up to what was needed in order to be her drummer. And then we even get to watch Selena (Christian Serratos) create the costumes for herself and the band, how she learned to write songs, and even the moment she met Chris Perez – her future husband. 

Hopefully Part Two Of Selena: The Series Gives Us More Selena

We also see tons of nostalgic costumes, photoshoots, performances, interviews, and award shows. And yet, somehow, the show is incredibly surface level when it comes to who we all want to learn more about – Selena. Christian Serratos (Twilight) is challenged with making all of us forget about Jennifer Lopez and embrace her version of the iconic singer. Personally, I think she does that. Serratos gives us a young, naive, incredibly sheltered version of Selena that Lopez didn’t deliver.

Watching Serratos makes it easy to understand how and why Selena would trust someone that everyone else warned her about. The series shows how Selena never really lived in the real world and that she didn’t have many, if any, friends outside of her family and the band. 

We’re All In It For Love At The End

All that being said, for me, what the series is missing is the story all of the fans want to see – the love story. How do Selena and Chris fall in love? Selena: The Series barely touches on their romance and I’m upset about it. Like, excuse me?! Chris is still in this world. How do we not have more personal moments showing how they fell in love outside of glancing at each other on stage or on the bus? I need to see their story – their history. Show me two people falling into a forbidden love. Selena was always so much more than her music and the failure to even tell this story shows that the series, although titled with her name, isn’t hers.

I am looking forward to Part 2 of Selena: The Series and I’m hoping that the writers and filmmakers will take the criticism into consideration. However, I worry that the entire series has already been filmed and we are just going to get what we get.