Selena Quintanilla-Pérez’s life was extremely short-lived but full of life. The late Grammy-winning artist died at the young age of 23 after being shot in the back by the president of her first fan club, Yolanda Saldívar. Since her tragic death, the Tejana singer had proven to have made a legendary imprint upon pop culture and the music industry. The first tribute in her honor came two years after her death in the 1997 movie that jump-started Jennifer Lopez’s career, who starred as Quintanilla in the film. 23 years later, Quintanilla’s life has once again reached our screens in Netflix’s new TV show, Selena: The Series. Almost immediately after the Selena Netflix trailer was first released, excited fans have eagerly counted down to the show’s debut. The first nine episodes of the series are now available to stream on Netflix though fans of the iconic film may be surprised that the show takes a very different approach to depict the singer’s life. In an effort to provide a more intimate look inside Quintanilla’s life as opposed to the subsequent flashy stardom, the show follows the day-to-day life of the singer and her family.
The Netflix show set out to provide a different, more humanized version, of the late singer’s life who was thrust to fame and reached an icon status at such a young age. “This is not a documentary,” Suzette Quintanilla, Selena’s sister told the New York Times, “It’s sprinkled with a little bit of glitter.” This is a distinct take from the film in which Lopez’s starred in which closely showcased the singer’s journey with fame.
The TV series highlights Selena’s childhood and family life in more detail as well as how she first began by making music with her siblings. Selena was the youngest of her two siblings, Suzette and A.B. Quintanilla. The musical trio would frequently perform at their parents’ restaurant under their band name, Selena y Los Dinos.
“We were just a normal family,” Quintanilla continued. “The only difference really is that we all came together to create music.”
The episodes, each being about 40 minutes long, was made in the hopes to answer the fan questions the 1997 movie did not touch on. “Like, ‘How did this happen?’ or “How did this song get created?’” Quintanilla told the publication. Adding that certain scenes that portrayed the family’s early financial insecurities and use of food stamps give a less “sugarcoated” view of her sister’s life.
Quintanilla admitted to the outlet that she’s already cried while watching the show, and shared that she thinks her sister would have loved it as well: “I mean, it’s the story of our lives.”
“The episodes underscore hard work, familial loyalty, the glittery gift of Selena’s talent. The show takes a few liberties with fact and timeline,” Jaime Dávila, an executive producer on the series told the NYT. “But I would say the emotions of it are 100 percent authentic — that’s what we were going for.”
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