And The Winner Is…
Episode 3 of Selena: The Series part 1 sees us cut forward to 1987 with AB continuing to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. The Tejano Music Awards are coming up and the family gather around the TV as Selena – and the album they’ve written – are nominated for awards.
Suzette and Selena are both overjoyed and try to work out exactly what to wear for the big day. With a sketched outfit, they prepare for what they believe will be a home sweep and coming home with the big prizes.
Meanwhile, Abraham starts ringing promoters and club owners in order to ride the wave of good press. This comes in the form of Johnny Canales, who agrees to have the band back on for a live performance broadcast if they can turn up with their own equipment and gear.
Abraham graciously accepts the offer and as he gets off the phone, tasks AB with bringing in bigger amps for their upcoming gig. When he returns from the music store, he also comes with a drum machine too.
With Selena about to be interviewed on TV again, she clearly hasn’t been touching up on the Spanish from a year ago and struggles to learn the language. For now though, she uses Mexican telenovelas as a way of learning the ebb and flow of the language.
Given it’s a big gig, Selena tries to convince Abraham to let her sing an English song for a change but he refuses, telling her it’s completely off the table unless she wins Singer of the Year.
Knowing they’re on the verge of heading to the next level, Suzette speaks to Selena and tells her she’s come to terms with the fact she’s not up to scratch and may be replaced. Selena however is not ready to drop her sister, using analogies to other prolific bands in a bid to remind Suzette that she’s the heart of the band.
The Awards begin and Selena trips over herself in the wake of the talent alongside her. After receiving some advice from her fellow nominees, the band don’t win the album but Selena does win female vocalist of the year. After a quick but memorable speech, she takes her award and heads back in the van with the rest of the family.
Everyone is exhausted after the big night but Abraham remains awake, deep in thought while driving.
We then cut forward again to Matamoros, Mexico. Selena’s big performance is about to begin and they predict a large crowd – one even bigger now that she’s won female vocalist of the year. Also, she’s got the opportunity to sing an English song too.
As the band prepare to play, we cut across to a girl called Gabriela who’s clearly a big fan of Selena’s band and wants to go and see her perform. Unfortunately she’s not allowed to and instead spends her time serving food in the restaurant. Eventually she convinces her family there to leave and she hurries up to catch a glimpse of the rising star.
Back at the concert, Selena sings an English song to a crowd full of stone-faced and unhappy Mexicans. It’s difficult to sit and listen to, as we cut to Suzette remembering Abraham’s words about the crowd being the boss and needing to switch things up quickly if need be. And that’s exactly what they do.
From this song they cut to La Bamba and now the crowd are up dancing and joyously rocking the place. It’s a lucky break and one that sees Selena speak to her Father and agree to perform no more English songs, at least for now.
Just before they leave, Gabriela shows up and it turns out she’s actually a fan of Suzette, not Selena. She wants to be a drummer like her and has taken inspiration from her performance. On the back of this, Suzette hands over her drum sticks to the girl as Abraham watches this take place from afar.
The Episode Review
The moments with Gabriela are a nice touch here and merging that in with Suzette rather than Selena is testament to the journey this entire group have taken so far.
Alongside this memorable scene are some nice moments involving Selena backstage with the stars and wining female vocalist of the year. It’s testament to the hard work she’s put in her whole life to hone that raw talent she’s been gifted with.
For anyone aware of the history, this essentially serves as the foundation for what Selena goes on to achieve and so far this biographical drama has done a pretty good job hitting all the milestones along the way – minus the numerous rejections for being a woman. There’s a lot of important life lessons in here though which is good, and all of that combines to make for a pretty decent biographical drama overall.