Como La Flor, Con Tanto Amor

Looking at Selena and the latest Netflix Series (Quintanilla, not Gomez)


Photo Cred.: Netflix

Patrick Deliz, A&E Writer

Netflix announced they would be releasing a series primarily focusing on the “Queen of Tejano Music”, Selena. Many fans of the singer-songwriter are a bit skeptical, especially about the accuracy of the show.

Who is Selena?

Selena was born on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas. Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, was a former musician. He managed and produced his family’s group, Selena Y Los Dinos. Selena grew up speaking English, but her father taught her to sing in Spanish so she could resonate with the Latino community. She learned the lyrics phonetically at first and eventually learned to speak Spanish fluently.

Selena was considered the “Queen of Tejano,” a type of Mexican music that incorporated other styles, such as country and western. She was also sometimes referred to as the “Mexican Madonna” for her sexy outfits and dance moves. Selena was immensely popular with Tejano music fans. At the 1987 Tejano Music Awards, she won both “Best Female Vocalist of the Year” and “Performer of the Year.”

Selena was shot and killed in Corpus Christi, Texas, on March 31, 1995. She was just 23 years old. Selena’s murder sent shockwaves through the Latino community, and her fans around the world mourned the singer’s passing. Yolanda Saldivar, the founder of the Selena fan club, killed Selena. Saldivar had been managing Selena’s boutique in San Antonio. According to court records, the two were meeting in a hotel room to discuss Selena’s concerns that Saldivar was embezzling money, when Saldivar shot Selena. Saldivar claimed the shot was accidental. When she appeared in court, Saldivar was tried for murder and was sentenced to life in prison in October 1995. However, Saldivar is up for parole in 2025, as she will have served at least 30 years of her sentence at that time.

The popularity of Selena’s music and persona has endured over the years. Selena was posthumously honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 3, 2017, proclaimed “Selena Day” in Los Angeles by Mayor Eric Garcetti. That year, reality star Kim Kardashian West also dressed up as the Tejano singer as part of her homage to music legends for Halloween.

In February 2019, Texas State Representative Ana-Maria Ramos introduced a bill that would designate April 16, Selena’s birthday, as a holiday. That year, San Diego State University also announced plans to offer a new course, “Selena and Latinx Media Representation,” to begin in 2020. In March 2020, Selena became the first Latina artist and the ninth person overall to be inducted into the Star Trail of Fame outside the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Selena’s Life on Film, Television, and Literature

The film ‘Selena’ depicted her life which starred Jennifer Lopez as the Tejano superstar and Edward James Olmos as her father. Lopez became the first

Latina actress to take home $1 million for a movie role, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance.

Pérez wrote a book about his time with Selena, To Selena, With Love, published in 2012. He planned to make the book into a TV series. Meanwhile, Netflix announced it was developing a scripted series about the singer’s life, with the Quintanilla family serving as executive producers. Selena: The Series, starring The Walking Dead’s Christian Serratos, debuted in December 2020.

The Breakdown of the Show

The opening prologue is set in 1994 when Selena (played by Christian Serratos) performs a concert before thousands of fans in Chicago. The episode then moves to Selena’s childhood in Texas, where her musically inclined father Abraham (played by Ricardo Antonio Chavira) decides to form a family band after hearing Selena sing. With Abraham’s management and his wife Marcella’s (played by Seidy Lopez) support, Selena and her siblings, Suzette and AB form Southern Pearl, a cover band that sings golden oldies. The family struggles through an economic recession and small gigs until they have a successful performance at a family friend’s wedding, which encourages them to continue. At a carnival, Abraham sees a popular Tejano band and realizes that Tejano music has changed since his time in a band. He decides to revamp the family band and change their focus to Spanish-language music, forming Selena Y Los Dinos.

[Episode 2] In 1986, Selena Y Los Dinos had some success but still struggled financially. While Abraham gets them a new record deal, he encourages AB (played by Gabriel Chavarria) to take charge of the band, finding new members and getting new music. AB chases down songwriter Luis Silva but is disappointed when he refuses to give them a song. At Abraham’s encouragement, AB starts writing new songs in collaboration with their new keyboardist, Rick. They record an LP and their song Dame un Beso is played on the radio, which thrills AB. However, Selena must drop out of school and, although excited to design the band’s costumes, feels that she is missing out on regular teenage experiences.

[Episode 3] The family is excited when Selena Y Los Dinos are nominated at the Tejano Music Awards for Best Song and Female Vocalist of the Year; they lose the former, but Selena wins the latter. At the awards ceremony, Selena meets Laura Canales, who gives her advice to be who she is instead of who people want her to be. Abraham books an appearance at Johnny Canales’ show, which would be Selena’s first performance in Mexico, and she is determined to improve her speaking Spanish before then. The concert starts poorly when Selena opens with an English song but improves when they switch to La Bamba. After the concert, Suzette (played by Noemi Gonzalez), who has been feeling that her contribution to the band is not significant, is touched to meet a young Mexican fan who wants to be a female drummer just like her.

[Episode 4] In 1988, Abraham buys a bus so the band can go on tour. After traveling through hot and cold weather in various states, Selena’s voice starts to deteriorate. Arriving at Laredo, they find out that a nearby venue is trying to sabotage their gig. In order to help Selena, manage her voice, they recruit an opening act, Los Bad Boys. The performance brings a full house and is visited by a CBS record producer, who gives Abraham his card. Abraham learns that their landlord wants to sell their house and, in expectation of closing a record deal, he buys their house and the two neighboring houses for the band. AB has a flirtation with a fan during a gig but afterward is intrigued by her sister, Vangie.

[Episode 5] Negotiations with CBS are still on-going, but at the Tejano Music Awards, Selena is approached by an EMI record producer, José Behar (played by Eric Aragon). Abraham meets José, who offers less money than CBS but will commit to a crossover English album. Abraham decides to sign the band with EMI, though they will be signed as “Selena”, i.e., dropping the band’s full name. AB and Vangie prepare to have a baby, and AB worries how touring will affect his family because Roger leaves the band due to family stresses. Abraham invites Los Bad Boys’ members, Joe and Pete (played by Carlos Alfredo Jr. and Julio Macias), to join their band, and AB tries to recruit a new guitarist, Chris Perez (played by Jesse Posey), who initially turns him down.

[Episode 6] The band starts work on their first album with EMI. AB and Rick do the music, with AB pushing himself for fear that the record label will keep Selena but drop the band if the album does poorly. Selena and Suzette design clothes for the album cover but are forced by EMI’s stylists into an “exotic” look that the whole band hates. The band concedes to the label’s creative decisions for now and use their disappointment to record a Spanish cover of Sukiyaki. Encouraged by feedback at a listening party, Selena decides she wants to make her own clothing line. Chris Perez joins the band as their new guitarist and sparks immediately fly between him and Selena.

[Episode 7] It is 1989, and the band starts a new tour with their refurbished bus. AB is kept under pressure writing new songs for the next album, among them Baila Esta Cumbia. Selena wins Female Vocalist of the Year at the Tejano Music Awards for the third time in the row but remains frustrated that her band does not win with her. Selena and Chris spend time together and grow close, worrying Suzette that they will get in trouble with Abraham. After a show, Selena and Chris share a kiss, but the next day agrees to stay friends because Selena does not want to lie to her father or get Chris fired from the band.

[Episode 8] Feeling listless over Chris, Selena has her hair cut noticeably short, the day before her photoshoot for the cover of her second album, Ven Conmigo. In 1991, Selena records her first music video, for Buenos Amigos with Álvaro Torres. Ven Conmigo achieves Gold status and Buenos Amigos reaches number 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs, but EMI pushes back Selena’s English-language album until she can achieve Platinum with a Spanish-language album. During a private moment, Selena and Chris share another kiss and decide to keep seeing each other in secret. Selena asks Marcella when she knew Abraham was “the one”, and she tells her how she took a chance with him.

[Episode 9] At a performance in Eagle Pass, a fight breaks out in the crowd, and Selena is grabbed by a fan. Marcella asks Abraham to look into security options, and Abraham hires a friend as a bodyguard. With Selena’s increasing popularity, José advises Abraham to start a fan club to manage her fan mail, merchandise, and activities; Abraham has Suzette contact Yolanda Saldívar, a fan who has volunteered to manage the fan club for free. Pete prepares to leave the band for a solo career, but before he leaves helps AB write Como La Flor. Suzette figures out that Selena and Chris are seeing each other and is at first angry with them until she gets into a long-distance relationship and realizes how frustrating the situation is for them. Abraham accidentally sees Selena and Chris in a private moment and immediately kicks him off the bus despite Selena’s protests.


The family of the late legendary singer, Selena, is being sued after producing ‘Selena: The Series’. Both Abraham and Suzette Quintanilla along with Netflix are facing a 1-million-dollar lawsuit. The 1997 ‘Selena’ film producer Moctesuma Esparza filed a lawsuit on November 6th, wherein the suit he claims that Abraham signed a contract agreeing to give him the rights to the life stories of the Tejano singer in 1995. Moctesuma goes on to claim in the suit that he, Suzette, and Abraham discussed the creation of the series based on Selena’s early life in 1998. It was a follow-up to the film starring Jennifer Lopez; however, their plans never came to fruition.

In creating the Netflix series, Moctesuma alleges Abraham breached their contract. Furthermore, he accuses Netflix of ignoring his rights to Selena’s life stories.

Overall Thoughts

Honestly, this show is utterly amazing and could not have been directed any better. I feel like this truly captures the essence of Selena and gives a closer look at Selena and her family’s struggles, hardships, and how they overcame all of that.

Rating: 4.8/5