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Iconic Tex-Mex singer Selena revived in new Netflix docu-series

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Netflix

Christian Serratos posing as she stars in Selena: The Series

Nearly 25 long years after her tragic passing, Netflix has released a fresh series for a new generation of Selena fans as well as existing ones. Fans are able to relive small details of the passed Selena Quintanilla’s life. Although it was a long awaited series, it has faced mixed reactions, with some regards to whether Christian Serratos, the actress who plays Selena was fit for the role. Nonetheless, the series is amazing and has opened the world to Selena’s detailed undisclosed life unlike the 1997 movie, Selena.

The series was released on December 4th, 2020 via Netflix’s streaming platform and is a Netflix original series. The series is a two-part series each one pertaining nine episodes roughly 40 minutes in length. It is described by Selena’s family as the hardships Selena faced not only to reach fame, but also the sacrifices which her family made, such as moving cities, tour traveling, being uneconomically stable, and much more. This makes the series more human because they are putting everything at risk in order to follow their dreams of living a better life in the United States.

Fan expressing negative feelings towards the new Selena portrayal of Christian Serratos (Twitter)

There was a lot of controversy on whether the actress was meant to play THE Selena. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were bombarded with memes on how it was a “disgrace” that the actress looked “nothing” like the real Selena. A.B. Quintanilla, Selena’s brother, had to defend Christian Serratos due to fan outrage of Serratos not being fully Mexican-American and her physical similarities towards Jennifer Lopez in the 1997 movie than Selena herself. “I think that Christian did an outstanding job… As I watch Christian and that whole family, Christian especially, I kind of found myself thinking ‘I’m watching my sister, when she was going through these little quirky stages,” Quintanilla said in a recording for TMZ. I personally feel that audiences should be more accepting towards the fact that Selena was unique and no one will be able to replace her beautiful soul.

As I watch Christian and that whole family, Christian especially, I kind of found myself thinking ‘I’m watching my sister, when she was going through these little quirky stages,”

— A.B. Quintanilla

This series is definitely a lot better than the 1997 movie, Selena. Don’t get me wrong, the movie was perfect for the time it was released and I grew up watching it, but now after 25 years, there are a lot more resources and unknown stories to be told. Selena the movie is very limited in detail due to it being a movie, but with the series the producers are capable of adding more details of Selena’s life. “The insight of her life was more complete in the series than in the movie because it was simply longer, and the movie just had highlights of her life,” junior Jennifer Diaz said. It was nice for the audience to get more exposure towards her life. I knew that her road to fame wasn’t easy but I didn’t realize how extensive it was and the amount of time she spent on the tour bus her family owned. She also dropped out of high school to continue her career which was very shocking to me.

The most notable moments in the series is her life is really broken down episode to episode. Although slow, it gives the viewer the chance to savor and indulge in each episode and know more about Selena and her family. More importantly it gives credit to her family because without them she wouldn’t be that big of a deal as she is today. “I liked the fact that they stayed true to Selena. She wasn’t taught Spanish as a little girl and didn’t start learning until she started singing Spanish music, ” said senior Sarai Bernal. “They didn’t portray her as something she wasn’t,” finished Bernal. I personally always thought Selena since she sang a lot of Spanish, that she spoke Spanish which wasn’t the case. It was insightful to see this side which I didn’t see before. There were nuggets and bits of information which I didn’t know before like the amount of time they spent on their tour bus and the fact that Selena didn’t speak spanish fluently.

Lovestruck Selena and Chris on a secret romantic date at the beach (Netflix)

The show runs up to the point in her life she is barely becoming famous, which is the worst cliffhanger for viewers, yet an amazing way to end. Selena’s songs become more frequent on the radio and the whole family is vibrating their excitement towards the audience. At the same time, it is when Abraham Quintanilla (Selena’s father), finds out that Selena’s “Amor Prohibido” (forbidden love) with Chris Perez where he absolutely freaks out and kicks him off the team. I felt a surge of anger because Perez was Selena’s sweetheart, this show really played on my poor soul’s love strings and AH! Also in the last few minutes of the last episode, Selena and her sister Suzette, have plans of opening a clothing store and they come into contact with Yolanda Saldivar, who in real life is Selena’s murderer. The show ends with the mention of Saldivar’s name and audiences know what is prone to happen.

The series was a blast to watch, I always wanted more. The relationships within each character is well thought out and in more detail than ever. I am excited for Netflix to release part two of the series later this 2021.