We’re in 1989 as we start episode 5 of Selena: The Series part 1 as Suzette learns how to drive, courtesy of Ricky’s guidance. Back home, AB happens to be expecting a child now and there’s 4 months left until the big day. It turns out they’re living in the house next door to Abraham and the CBS deal is still not 100% complete yet.
Anyway, the guys prepare to hit the road again after packing up their things. Roger finally rocks up with them too, apologizing for being late. Given he has a child and had to tend to his family first, this obviously hits home for AB given that may well be his life very soon.
It’s on to the Tejano Awards first though, as Selena gets back on stage to perform. It’s another great performance from her, with Selena walking away with several awards too.
After graciously accepting the praise from all those around her, she steps outside where a man named Jose Behar happens to be, asking to talk. He happens to be the vice president of EMI’s new Latin Music Division and he’s apparently got a pretty big deal for her.
He hands over his card and eventually Jose meets with Abraham later that day. He’s only been at EMI a few months and given there’s no one else onboard, they’d be the first band signed up on the label. The issue of creativity is a big one – especially within the music industry – and Jose is well aware of this. He promises control and not to pigeon hole them, throwing shade at CBS for potentially treating them like a baseball card and stuffing them away in a drawer.
He tells Abraham that Selena is big but this decision he’s about to make will define the band for years to come. It’s certainly a big deal all right and one that Abraham takes with him all the way to Texas for their next show.
Now Selena is signing English songs too and winning the crowd over in the process. Screams and cheers fill the air but eventually Roger bails on the team. He’s got other priorities now that he has a kid and apologizes to AB for this change of heart.
Meanwhile, Suzette notices that Selena merch is on sale and discusses with the team over whether they should make their own or not. With the CBS deal still not complete, Abraham changes his mind and tells them all he’s decided to go for EMI instead.
The team are obviously worried but Abraham reminds them where they started – with peach can lights and the freedom to call their own shots. He gives a rousing speech but tells them they need to find a new guitarist before they do anything else.
The team finish their tour and back home, where Selena announces to the family that she’s graduated from high school. It’s a momentous day for her, backed up by Abraham announcing that he’s still going over the details of the contract with EMI. AB is obviously worried, especially given what that means for him and Vangie, but they remain confident that it’ll work out.
In San Antonio, Abraham meets with Jose and his worst fears are felt. The label are dropping the name of the band and replacing it with “Selena”. It’s a tough sell for him but eventually Abraham comes round to his way of thinking. As we cut forward to the family at home, he confirms they’ve signed with EMI for good now. He also announces the band name change too.
With the baby due shortly, Abraham knows that AB’s time with the band may be numbered. However, the family hop on the bus again but are forced to stop on the way with a big announcement. Abraham gathers the entire band and reveals that Los Bad Boys are no longer opening for the team any more. Instead, they’re going to be joining the band.
Suzette is not exactly enthused about it and confronts his Father later that evening about the logistics of what this means for the family. The reason Abraham is doing this stems from the desire to rest Selena’s voice. Suzette isn’t happy that he didn’t consult the family first and admits that she’s worried, given how big everything has become for then.
Abraham gives her some encouraging words though and it seems to settle her down for now. Given how much the group have put into this band, Suzette passes her driving test and the band look like they’re going from strength to strength as the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
With the band standing at a crossroads, this episode helps to show things moving from one level to a whole new playing field for Selena. The record deal choice appears to be a good one for now but whether Abraham has made the right choice here or not remains to be seen.
Suzette is definitely right though and given the band are now relying much more heavily on outside influences, her worries that they’ll lose the heart and soul of what made Selena Y Los Dinos so accessible to begin with is something every musician and artist has had to deal with at some point in their career as they get bigger.
The decision to change the band’s name is similar to that of The Social Network too, dropping “The Facebook” to just Facebook which inevitably paid off big time.
So far though the show has done a good job capturing this and while the characterization has been lacking a little for Selena, especially given the focus on the rest of the family, this biographical drama does hit most of the big plot points in Selena’s life with precision.
While the time jumps work well to further Selena’s story, at times they also undermine some of the characters and offset the pacing slightly. Still, there’s enough here to enjoy nonetheless.