“No I’m not watching Netflix selena. Enough people I trust have expressed VALID concerns and I do not reward mediocrity for the sake of representation. We shouldn’t,” said one Selena fan on Twitter.
Selena Quintanilla will always be an important icon to Latinos. Her story, her music, and her image are idolized for a myriad of reasons. However, she is beloved primarily because she beautifully represents the Latino community. For that reason, Latinos are very protective of Selena, so anything that leaves a mark on her legacy means a lot—and the new “Selena: The Series” on Netflix is no exception.
On Dec. 4, Netflix finally released “Selena: The Series” more than a year after teasing fans with a family-approved project, and Latinos had a lot to say about it.
In 2018, when the project was initially announced, executives said it would be a look into Selena’s life as a young girl. This prospect was exciting to Latino fans who pretty much know everything about the late Tejano music star. But now that the show is available for streaming, a majority of fans are disappointed by the series.
Here’s what Selena fans are saying about the new series on Netflix:
1. Christian Serratos doesn’t resemble Selena Quintanilla.
Christian Serratos plays the title role of Selena Quintanilla. While she’s a great character on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” people on social media said Serratos, who is half Mexican and half Italian, did not visually characterize Selena’s ethnic features. Fans commented that Selena’s look in the Netflix series was whitewashed and did not embrace her Mexican features and shapely physic.
2. The portrayal of Selena’s dad makes him seem worse than expected.
Selena’s dad, Abraham Quintanilla, has always been depicted as a controlling and assertive figure in her life, and this series heightened that perception even further.
Fans discussed how her father applied machismo rules to his daughters but not his son. The series also shows his perspective more than any other character’s, which makes sense since he approved this show.
3. The show should have been called “The Quintanillas.”
Speaking of not enough Selena, while most people didn’t think Serratos portrayed Selena adequately, they still would have rather seen more of her than the other characters.
The series does explore Selena’s family a lot more than “Selena” the movie, but the series is called “Selena: The Series,” not “The Quintanilla Family.”
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Chris Pérez, Selena’s widow and member of Selena’s band Los Dinos, was complimentary about the way the show was produced and how the story was portrayed. He said on Facebook, “I will forever respect the band and the people involved in it. I hope you guys enjoy this series.”
4. The production seemed low-budget.
The show, produced by Campanario Entertainment, didn’t execute the retro vibes of the 70s and 80s. At times, the show came off as a parody of Selena’s story. Fans on social media could not help but make fun of the awkward-looking wigs.
“Am I the only one who thinks the series is not good? Like I love Selena but I’m only a couple of episodes in and it seems very low budget to me compared to other Netflix series,” one Selena fan said.
5. Selena’s legacy doesn’t need this series.
Some Selena fans expressed that this Netflix series didn’t do enough to show the charismatic allure of Selena. The singer was just 23 years old when she died. However, in her short career, Selena was able to break down barriers and Latino stereotypes. She was also able to cross over to the English market, yet the series didn’t show that profoundly.
Selena made an impact as a singer and as a Latina, but the series shows her as a secondary character and put more importance on a story that may or may not be true.
6. Maybe the movie was enough?
While some fans said people should not compare the Netflix series to the 1997 movie starring Jennifer López, it’s difficult not to. For the reasons already stated, “Selena” did help push Selena’s story and message forward. The film resonated with fans because she was a star, and it remains a classic movie to this day.
7. Why is the family still exploiting her image?
Fans on social media complained that her family has done more to hurt Selena’s image by exploiting it with various ventures. From Funko Pop dolls to H-E-B grocery bags, the Quintanilla family has taken the notion of Selena and plastered it everywhere. Fans are saying this Netflix series is merely perpetuating the exploitation of Selena.