A Star on Screen

A review of Selena: The Series


Source: Netflix

On December 4, 2020, Netflix premiered the highly anticipated show, Selena: The Series. It follows the life of the Mexican-American singer through her rise to fame.

Upon viewing the first three episodes, many aspects of the show stood out. In particular, the plot, the characters, the acting, the costume and set design, the music, and the camerawork.

The plot so far takes place in Texas from the early 70’s until the mid 80’s. We first view how Selena’s family wasn’t doing so well during the recession of the late 70’s, and from there we see their gradual rise to become a breakout band in order to gain money and notoriety.

Source: TV Insider

Besides the protagonist Selena, there’s also the rest of her family, which includes her brother AB, her sister Suzette, her father Abraham, and her mother Marcella. Each of these family members provides support for Selena as well as stand out as their own people.

AB plays bass guitar for the band, and does songwriting along with trying to get deals in order to progress the band further. Although he’s hardworking, he is shown as needing the support of his family in order to get up when he’s feeling down.

Suzette plays the drums for the band, as well as gives Selena support through talking, teasing, and helping her achieve her ideas through things such as decorating clothing. Although shown as a bit moody and pessimistic, she’s willing to help out whenever possible.

Abraham is the guitar player for the band in the beginning, until he fully takes on the role as manager. He’s very prideful and can sometimes speak harshly, but he does so out of love and passion to see the people around him strive for more. 

Marcella is the only family member who isn’t directly related to the family band. She simply supports the band and makes sure that her family is happy doing what they do. 

Source: E! Online

Lastly, Selena is the lead singer for the band and the one who keeps her family together. Her positive personality is the thing that keeps her family together whenever they start having conflicts such as with songwriting or getting noticed.

The acting can sometimes be seen as a bit forceful. With characters reacting a little late, dialogue coming off as a bit clunky, and body language a bit awkward, it’s not that bad but it does add up over time.

The costume and set design is one of the stronger points the series has to offer. With plain-colored clothing to show off the 70’s, multi-colored and chromatic colors to show the 80’s, the different hairstyles, the old technology and news reports, it really feels as if you were transported back in time.

The music mixed into the show also adds to the atmosphere and story being told. The soundtrack includes oldies, Tejano, traditional Mexican, disco, pop, and a whole host of instruments such as guitars, basses, keyboards, and much more that really envelops the viewer into the world they’re in.

The camerawork being used also adds to the effect of being within the story. With a good amount of space being given for the settings and subjects, the viewer is able to feel as though they are part of the story and able to view with clarity the emotions and actions of the characters. 

The overall presentation of the show is a positive one. Although the acting may be a bit lackluster, it’s still worth watching in order to view a great story of one’s rise to fame through a lot of hard work and determination, with many likeable characters, beautiful designs all throughout, great music to listen to, and amazing camerawork by the director.