Daydream -| Review Score – 3/5
Dame Un Beso -| Review Score – 3.5/5
And the Winner is… -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Opening Act -| Review Score – 3/5
Dulce Amor -| Review Score – 3.5/5
My Love -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Fideo -| Review Score – 3/5
Gold Rush -| Review Score – 3/5
Que Creias -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was the Queen of Tejano music. This incredibly talented young musician produced a slew of hits, catapulted a music genre into the mainstream and was even regarded as the Tejano Madonna for her lavish fashion choices. On top of all that, she remains one of the best selling female artists in Latin music. To say Selena is a superstar and an icon would be an understatement.
Selena: The Series is a series that, unsurprisingly, dives into the backstory to this talented and successful musician, charting her meteoric rise and the issues she faced along the way. Split into two parts, the first 9 episodes explore Selena’s early life, starting (quite literally) with her birth and progressing through to a pivotal moment in her career at the start of the 90’s.
Given this a biographical drama, Selena sticks pretty closely to the true story of this artist’s life, with all the drama and familial issues along the way thrown in for good measure. Those expecting something looking intimately at Selena’s life and diving into her psyche however may be a little disappointed. Instead, more emphasis is given to the family and their struggles along the way in adopting this lifestyle.
For a lot of these 9 episodes, Selena is still the focal point of course a lot of screen time is given to brother AB and father Abraham instead. The former comes under a tremendous amount of pressure as he becomes Selena’s songwriter and struggles to live up to Abraham’s lofty aspirations for where he wants the band to go.
Abraham meanwhile is not made out to be a completely loving Father either, pushing his kids to breaking point while reminding them of the sacrifice and pain success brings with it.
In that respect, the show pretty accurately depicts that struggle for greatness and although it’s never quite reflected in sister Suzette or Selena that well, for AB it most definitely is. For much of this season the tension between Abraham and AB builds, eventually leading to a definitive point in the season that seems like a pretty good place to end things before the second part.
Along the way is an eclectic soundtrack showcasing a lot of Selena’s hits. Archival shots juxtapose the moments on-stage where she performs and what starts with Selena performing at weddings with peach-tin lights, quickly evolves to include a lot of flashing lights and big performances.
There’s still some drama along the way, most notably with Selena starting to lose her voice on tour and worrying about the talented warm-up band, but most of the issues are episodic and eventually resolve themselves by the end without too much hassle.
This is especially problematic early on as the show rapidly fires through different years and never quite settles down into a consistent rhythm. At times it becomes difficult to really get a grip on these characters and warm with them through the struggles, with the first episode in particular jumping forward 3 or 4 times in quick succession.
Still for those unaware of Selena’s story, this biographical drama does a good job depicting her musical career and all the twists and turns along the way. As Abraham mentions at one point in the show, you have to go after your dreams as they won’t fall in your lap. This life lesson is a good one and in terms of showcasing the struggles and sacrifices needed to become great, Selena: The Series captures that essence beautifully.
In terms of character development and growth however, it does take a while for Selena to settle down and really grow. When it does, this Netflix Original really shines and delivers some good drama. It’s not perfect, but it is compelling enough to stick with across its 9 episodes.
Selena: The Series releases on Netflix Worldwide 4th December 2020!