“Selena: The Series” fails to focus on main character


Photo via Netflix

“Selena: The Series” was released on Netflix Dec. 4. The biopic follows Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla (Christian Serratos) and her tragic journey to becoming the Queen of Tejano music. The series is in two parts, with part one following her early years with her family.

Although this story is supposed to revolve around Selena, the series made it seem like she was a secondary character. Selena’s story was tragic, but the series failed to adequately display her entire story. The show mainly revolved around the rest of the family and their struggles; they were given such specific narratives with complex personalities. It seemed as though all scenes of Selena were just her singing and having small talk with others. There are no parts in the series that actually show Selena’s feelings toward anything. We never get to see who Selena is or who she wants to be.

I enjoyed the first episode, which showed how Selena got her passion for singing. Although It was heartwarming to see her family supporting her and performing with her, I wish there were more scenes of Selena when she was younger. Throughout the series, her entire childhood story is rushed and there was never any character development shown. The series showed how she liked singing when she was young, but there was never any answer as to why and how she developed a passion for singing. Her growth from her being a little kid to a young adult was hurried. The random cuts between her childhood and teenage scenes made the episodes quite hard to follow. 

An earlier on-screen depiction of Selena’s life, the movie “Selena” (1997) gave a beautiful insight into who Selena really was. The story highlighted her moments of self-discovery, which greatly impacted the plot. That movie showed the difficult struggles and obstacles Selena had to overcome, especially with her father. There was so much to Selena’s life that the series simply failed to show. 

Selena had made a lot of mistakes in her life. She was feisty, courageous and kind-hearted, but very little of Selena’s true personality is shown. Although some parts of the series gave depth to her story, much of Selena’s emotions and aspirations were disregarded. Rather than watching the series, I recommend watching the 1997 movie if you want to see a more accurate and beautiful reflection of Selena’s life.

Although this series was made to keep Selena’s memory alive, it lacked in properly portraying her legacy. The main story brought to life was not Selena’s struggles as a musician, but rather her father’s ambitious journey. Hopefully, part two will depict her dreadful murder and the end of her career properly to pay tribute to her.