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SELENA: THE SERIES

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KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
Recommended age 8-18
40 minutes
TV
NETFLIX
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The new Netflix series, Selena: The Series is an excellent series with heartwarming and inspiring moments. True fans of Selena, like myself, will love this series. It gives the audience an in-depth view of Selena's childhood and is truly a rag to riches story of a musical icon.

There has never been a performer quite like Selena Quintanilla. She was a Tejano whiz who overcame major obstacles in the music industry to become a top-ranked singer. Her astonishing career was cut appallingly short when a fan killed her in 1995 at only 24 years old. The 1997 film, Selena, starring Jennifer Lopez helped her to become known as a Latina pop culture legend.

The series makes clear that Selena's father, Abraham, dreams of having a powerful band that will make a tremendous impact on Selena's career. His controlling behavior keeps the band together, but also chokes his children. His pride and ambitions are at the center of most of the show's clashes. Selena, for the most part, is along for the ride. As she arises as a star, she longs for a typical life and band life keeps her from socializing or dating. In fact, Selena creates a problem within the family, because she dates somebody against her father's wishes.

Although Netflix has only released one season, this series generated a lot of talk, not in a positive way as expected. This series introduces new actors portraying these young stars and eyes have been glued on one actor in particular, Christian Serratos who plays Selena and who has been panned by the fans. I disagree. I feel that Christian portrays Selena very well, particularly considering that playing such a complex person, let alone a musical icon, is a challenge. Which leads me to my favorite part of series and my two favorite parts. I am thankful for a personal relationship with Madison Taylor Baez, who plays young Selena. I love seeing her portray someone I aspire to be like. Madison is only 12 years old and has the voice of an angel. I also enjoyed watching Selena and her siblings and band members develop their careers throughout each episode. Not only do you see their music careers accelerate into fame, but you see how they all change as people, for the better.

In some ways, I felt as if the dialogue is way too predictable. The intent of each episode is to go deeper into revealing the characters, and the time frame they are living in, but, in some ways, they feel like pawns to the story, rather than an integral part. Two components of the film I absolutely love are the musical performances and the music itself. This film shares songs from the early stages of Selena's music to her last. The first four episodes focus on the struggles of branding their band and trying to fit into the entertainment industry. Some songs that are shown from the group's early day include "Alpha" (1986), "Munequito De Trapo" (1987), "Preciosa" (1988) and "Dulce Amor" (1988). During a recent interview with Selena's sister, Suzette Quintanilla, she said that she had no idea the series would be using those songs or remaking those performances. Those scenes truly are outstanding and play a huge part of this series.

This series is legendary, family-friendly, touching, intriguing and gripping. It offers an inspiring message not only to performers but also to anyone about the power of pursuing your dreams.

I give Selena: The Series 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It is available on Netflix, now.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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Selena: The Series (Spanish: Selena: la serie) is an American biographical drama streaming television created by Mois�s Zamora. It tells the story of Tejano singer Selena's rise to fame and the sacrifices she and her family must make along the way. The series was released on Netflix on December 4, 2020.
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