When the first part of Selena: The Series came out, I was all in. I watched the first episode and fell in love, watching the entirety of the nine-episode first part in just a few days. I love music, and it has been a part of my life for a long time, so I was obsessed. But, Part Two had a different air to it. Right at the end of Part 1, Selena’s murderer Yolanda was introduced and appeared in every episode after that point. Yolanda’s presence gave the show an uncomfortable seriousness that I naively hadn’t anticipated. The awful feeling would have been tolerable for a couple of episodes but the slow-moving nature of Part 2 caused a one-eighty in my feelings towards the show and prevented my admiration from growing.
Selena: The Series follows the life of late tejano singer Selena on the journey of her dreams coming true, her success, her disappointments, and her struggles. The series was created by Moisés Zamora and directed by Hiromi Kamata and Katina Medina Mora. In the series, Selena is played by Christian Serratos, Selena’s brother, A.B. Quintanilla was played by Gabriel Chavarria and Selena’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla is played by Noemi Gonzalez. The series also features Seidy Lopez as Marcella Quintanilla, Ricardo Chavira as Abraham Quintanilla, Jesse Posey as Chris Perez, and Hunter Reese Peña as Ricky Vela.
Part One of Selena: The Series was incredible. I felt the story in ways that are hard to explain. I started to see myself in each of the characters, and gained a huge amount of interest in Selena, and even started listening to her music. I began to recommend the show to everyone I knew and explained each episode to my parents right after I finished.
Part Two of Selena: The Series was still good, but very different from the first part. Perhaps the biggest change of the series was the introduction of Yolanda, Selena's murderer. Yolanda's presence in the show causes the series to lose its childlike joy and become far more serious. This part, the details that led to Selena's murder appear at the forefront of each scene. This made me as the watcher feel an intolerable discomfort that made me have to stop and take a breath in between episodes. It is fair to mention that this show is biographical, and has to follow the same chilling trail that Selena's story actually took, but it's difficult to swallow.
This Part of Selena: The Series also seemed extremely slow. Rather than the first part, where the first twenty years of Selena's life were squeezed into just nine episodes, this part took place during just the last three years of her life. These three years were eventful but made it feel like the second part took forever to finish.
The last two episodes of the show are particularly difficult to get through as they are extremely intense and leave a pit in your stomach that takes a solid twenty minutes to go away. But that’s part of watching a show based on someone's real life, especially when it’s a life that ended in the terrifying and gruesome way the Selena’s did, being shot by her "biggest" fan. Every moment is chilling, real, and painful to watch. It’s even more difficult that the first part was jovial and in the second part, you struggle not to think about Selena’s death.
The final episode of the series is probably one of the most heartbreaking I’ve ever watched. In the entire series, you spent time getting to know every little detail about Selena, her life, the things she loves, her passion, and her strong relationship with her family. When her shooting happens, the series doesn’t end there but follows the lives of her families after that point, their grief, their sadness, and their joy after her death, and how they continued to keep her memory alive. It makes the ending all the more painful and leaves you sobbing for minutes to hours after.
It probably didn’t help that when I watched the first part, I had a little bit of knowledge of who Selena was, and knew she died, but didn’t know how or how old she was. When I learned that in between watching the first and the second part, it changed things even more for me, which could be a contributing factor.
Between both of the parts, one thing remains true, every aspect of this show feels completely real. There are no pulled punches, nothing feels superficial, this seems like this show was truly what the life of Selena was like with only a few things left out.
Overall the series is one I wouldn’t want to miss. I learned so much about what the life of Selena was like, and even more about what the life of a celebrity was like. The series reminded me of the power of family and passion, and how they can bring you great success and great heartache. This series is a capsule of information about the late Selena’s life that will forever serve as a reminder of the greatness she accomplished, and the power she held in the world. Sure, the second part of the series isn't easy to watch, but it isn't meant to be, which makes the series all the more powerful.