Christian Serratos as Selena in 'Selena: The Series.'

Netflix’s ‘Selena: The Series’ Has Fans Split Over How The Pop Star Is Portrayed


Netflix's long-awaited Selena: The Series is finally here. On Friday, Dec. 4, the show's nine-episode first season debuted on the streaming service to legions of devoted fans. However, tweets about Netflix's Selena: The Series revealed that many viewers had very mixed feelings about the show's depiction of Selena Quintanilla.

Rather than focusing on the Tejano pop superstar's solo career and untimely death in 1995, Part 1 of the show mainly told the story of her origins. After a young Selena became passionate about music in the premiere episode, her father Abraham encouraged her to perform in a band with her siblings A.B. and Suzette. From there, The Walking Dead actor Christian Serratos played Quintanilla in her teenage years, with the season ending right as her international solo career and romance with bandmate Chris Pérez were just beginning. A second part covering the rest of Quintanilla's life is expected to be released in 2021.

Serratos always had big shoes to fill playing such a beloved figure, especially since Jennifer Lopez has long been celebrated for her breakout portrayal of the singer in the 1997 film Selena. Naturally, as soon as Selena: The Series became available, viewers eagerly took to Twitter to express their thoughts on Netflix's depiction of Quintanilla. Many fans enjoyed the show's deeper explorations of the star's early life, as opposed to the era for which she's best known.

But while some fans are loving it, others have been critical, with many viewers criticizing the Netflix show for its production values and "whitewashing" of Selena.

It's not just fans — critics are divided on the show, too. It currently sits at 43% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Vulture critic Kathryn VanArendonk writing that Selena: The Series is "remarkably uninterested in Selena the person." Similarly, the Los Angeles Times' Lorraine Ali argued that the show "fails to give [Selena] a voice."

Meanwhile, Variety writer Kiko Martinez praised the "care and compassion that has been injected" into the series, while Washington Post critic Bethonie Butler noted that "the show's exploration of identity becomes more poignant when imagined in Selena's own words."

Since Selena: The Series has two parts and has already finished filming, fans can expect that another season all about the singer's solo stardom and unexpected death will arrive on Netflix sometime in 2021. In the meantime, you can form your own opinions on Selena: The Series by watching Part 1, which is streaming on Netflix now.