AB starts episode 6 of Selena: The Series part 1 with Vangie, scrubbing baby bottles while she cradles their child. He’s worried about the upcoming song, resting absolutely everything on this one hit to try and help propel the band forward.
While AB does his best to hold his nerves, Selena meanwhile isn’t thinking too much about that and is much more fixated on enjoying the moment and singing her own songs.
The entire family gather at the label and await Jose’s feedback. They’re given positive words… followed by the bombshell reveal that none of the three English numbers they’ve performed are going on an album.
It’s a tough sell and Jose tells them he wants a Tejano record going out first. Only then will they think about adding the English records. Even worse, AB is being replaced as producer with a Grammy winner. Abraham is obviously not happy and tells them all to clear the room before eventually managing to convince Jose ion private to keep AB on – a small win at least.
On the back of this, Abraham pitches an idea with the team to adapt Sukiyaki into Spanish as a way of keeping things feeling fresh. Afterward, Selena heads into the studio ready to perform.
Only, she’s conflicted given the ad people want to sort out an album cover. AB senses her confliction and tells her outright that he’s worried about losing control too. However, the moments of improvised singing that follow – with Selena singing at a faster tempo – actually work perfectly to capture the essence of the song they’re trying to perform.
With the song starting to come together and Selena doing her best to find her own identity through this album cover, all of this comes crashing down when Selena’s fashion choices aren’t really choices after all. Given she’s “in the big time” now, any of her selections are basically disregarded thanks to the label having their own thoughts on what they want her to look like.
Selena does her best to grin through what they’ve chosen for her but it’s obvious this is a massive change to what she’s used to. Abraham senses this and speaks to Ruben, who’s in charge of the shoot. He’s obviously not happy but Selena and the others laugh and joke through their strange concept, making the most of a bad situation.
Marcella remains optimistic but Abraham clashes with the label over their stylistic choices, especially when Selena shows up looking like a Moroccan belly dancer.
Abraham storms back into the office and approaches Jose, slamming down the picture of Selena and demanding answers. It turns out the label want to list Selena as exotic and he warns Abraham that this way of thinking will brand him as “difficult” which is not a look he wants to stick.
AB eventually heads back home and apologizes to Vangie for not being with her as much as he could be. She warns him not to work himself to death and this prompts him to remember Marcella’s words earlier in the episode about life being messy.
Back at the studio Selena is given the truth behind her song lyrics and channels her inner-emotions to do a great job with it. On the back of this, they head out to a party to celebrate their success with this record.
Jose tells them they have a hit on their hands and AB is tasked with signing a new guitar player. Abraham remains fixed on the problem at hand here – artistic freedom. He tells Jose that next time they’re going to make sure they’re more clued in to what’s happening so they don’t make the same mistake again. As the band surround Jose, he smiles awkwardly.
Back home, the band watch their early recording on TV and comment how far they’ve come. Just then though, the doorbell rings. Armed with his new guitar, Chris shows up and it looks like he’s going to play with them.
The Episode Review
Seeing the push/pull struggle between an artist’s creativity and a label’s desire to change and distort is really accurately depicted here and we’ve seen this numerous times across the years with different talent at all levels of the music industry.
From X-Factor and America’s Got Talent all the way up to K-Pop and bands clashing and changing styles over the years, there’s a constant feel of this being a difficult struggle for all involved. Of course, because of this some artists get lost in the shuffle.
There hasn’t been an awful lot of struggling for our band in recent episodes but this one does a great job capturing just that, with a bit more character growth for AB for good measure.