Selena: The Series

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Selena: The Series TV Poster Image
Tejano star rises in mostly family-friendly series.

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Positive messages are often explicitly stated, such as when Abraham Quintanilla tells his children "There's no shame in taking help sometimes," when the family must go on food stamps. The value of cooperation, helping family, listening to one another, and putting off immediate rewards for long-time gain are also championed. Courage and perseverance are themes as the band struggles to gain success. 

Positive Role Models

Selena was idolized by many people, and is kind-hearted, loyal to her family, talented, bubbly, optimistic, and always does her best to please her fans. The Quintanilla family is close and supportive; they may bicker at times, but they're always there for each other. Mrs. Quintanilla, who's not in the band, is often shown doing domestic work: laundry, cooking. Selena and the Quintanillas are a Latinx family who often speak and sing in Spanish. 

Violence

Selena was infamously murdered by an employee/family friend; expect visuals related to the murder and grief from family and friends following the shocking incident.

Sex

Selena falls in love with and eventually marries a member of her band; expect flirting, dating, kissing, and romance. A mom and dad are affectionate with one another, dancing, hugging, and kissing sweetly. 

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Selena y Los Dinos sometimes perform at parties or bars with patrons and partygoers drinking; no one acts drunk. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Selena: The Series is based on the true-life story of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, a Tejano music star who was murdered just as she was on the verge of a mainstream breakout. The show is aimed at a young-adult audience and is more about Selena's rise to stardom and less about the crime, but there are related visuals, and viewers will certainly see family members and fans grieving. You're also likely to hear about the criminal justice case involving the murder and to meet Selena's killer over the course of the series. Otherwise, content is appropriate for family viewing. Sexual content is confined to kissing and flirting; married couples are loyal and faithful to each other. There's no cursing or drugs; drinking is confined to background audience members drinking at clubs and parties. Selena herself (as played by Christian Serratos) is a fine role model: She's loyal to her family, hard-working, reliable, and optimistic. The Quintanilla family is close and loving; they spend most of their time together and struggle together to succeed in the music business. Selena's mother is portrayed in a somewhat stereotypical way, always cooking, doing laundry, or otherwise supporting her family. But positive messages are strong and frequent: The band shows strong courage and perseverance in performing. 

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written byhi1234567891011 December 5, 2020
Im so confused why this says that it has sex? It has no sex. Yeah they kiss but that s not sex. they dont make out. Its a good show about selena's life bu... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byJeanieK May 10, 2021

This is so good!

My gosh I love this show! the acting is just phenomenal and i love Selena Y Los Dinos

What's the story?

On the verge of mainstream success, Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez's life was tragically cut short. But SELENA: THE SERIES picks up long before that terrible ending, focusing instead on the singer's rise to fame with her band, Selena y Los Dinos. Young Selena (Madison Taylor Baez) is still a schoolgirl when her father Abraham (Ricardo Chavira) recognizes his daughter's talent; he quickly forms a band with himself on guitar, and Selena's older siblings Suzette (Noemi Gonzalez), and A.B. (Gabriel Chavarria) on drums and bass, respectively. The band's road to success is long and winding, but as fans already know, Selena (played as a teen and adult by Christian Serratos) was destined to be the Queen of Tejano music, with her family by her side all the while. 

Is it any good?

Christian Serratos is luminous as the Tejano music star who made such an impact in her tragically cut-short life, but the shadow of her early demise mars the sweetness of this family-approved series. The 1997 biopic Selena that made Jennifer Lopez a star casts a long shadow over this retelling of the life of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, too, so the series wisely aims its focus at the singer's early family life as they struggle to literally go from rags to riches. Here, Selena: The Series has an advantage over its cinematic counterpart; the cast portraying young siblings Selena, Suzette, and A.B. are clutch, and manage to make could-be-cheesy moments like the Quintanilla family sleeping five-to-a-room in a relative's house charming instead.

But oddly, we get more of a lens on the Quintanilla's family life than on Selena herself. The real-life Suzette and Quintanilla patriarch Abraham are executive producers of the show; perhaps that's why the series' Abraham seems more the hero of the story than Selena herself. He's the guy with the plans and the vision, making decisions that his family often protests but that invariably work. Curiously, Selena emerges as a powerhouse behind the mic but a rather thinly drawn character away from it. She likes boys and dating...and? She wants to be like Madonna...why? It's as if even to her family, Selena's more of a symbol than a person. Whenever Serratos gets on the stage, we're able to lose ourselves in her performance; the family drama off-stage is absorbing too, but it's hard not to wish this series delved more deeply into Selena's inner life. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the life of the real Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. Are you familiar with her music? With the facts of her life? Must viewers already be Selena fans to enjoy this series? How does a viewer's background with the source material behind a show or movie affect how they view a story? 

  • How accurately do you think this movie reflects the struggles and successes of a touring band trying to make it in the music industry? Have you seen other movies or TV shows about bands on the rise? How similar or different is Selena: The Series

  • How does the Quintanilla family members demonstrate courage and perseverance in their climb towards musical stardom? Why is these important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Latinx stories

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