My uncle put it best, "it can't decide if it wants to be a comedy or a drama." Some shows are able to pull off both genres, but this show can't. The comedy can be awkwardly delivered and the dramatic moments are comedic, take for example the ending of part 1. Chris gets kicked off the tour bus, Selena looks out to him brokenhearted and the "Ayyyyy como me duele" line from 'Como La Flor' plays in the background with the happy keyboard melody that follows. I had to laugh.
Selena is very, unfairly, one dimensional in this show. That's not the fault of the actress, that's the writing. All she thinks about is her career and music, her love for fashion is shown too. However when it starts to get interesting, for example Selena's time in school or crushing on boys, the show immediately moves on and puts an end to it with a rushed conclusion. It does take plenty of time with Abraham scenes though. It tries to portray him as some sage father figure giving his kids the best "don't give up" type of advice, when in reality he was Mexican American Joe Jackson. Living his dreams through his children, whether they wanted it or not. Selena is like a background character in her own show, she repeats and says whatever the father wants to hear. The other characters seem so unrealistic and cartoony. It's obvious this entire show was rushed.
I will give credit where it's due, I learned more about the inspiration for some of her best songs, about what Suzette and A. B. were up to during their unorthodox childhoods. People are being too harsh to the actress playing Selena, I think she's trying her best, she's working with what she's been given, which is crap. Suzette's actress isn't so bad either, she's very natural. I wish the show was better, I wish it was based on Chris Perez's book instead of Abraham Quintanilla's B. S. I'm not going to compare it to the film and neither should you as these are two completely different things; based on the same story but completely different. That's like comparing Beetlejuice the film to the animated show.
I'll still watch part 2, might as well, but with Abraham Quintanilla behind the scenes, it'll be Abraham's version of Selena's story part 2.
UPDATE (after watching part 2): There was definitely improvements made in Part 2. "Abraham: The Series" took a backseat and it became about Selena, as it should've been in the first place. It still paints Abraham in the most positive light possible, still tries to justify why Abraham and apparently, Suzette, made it impossible for Selena to be with Chris. Finally, It still doesn't do Chris much justice but towards the end the events do add up with what Chris wrote in his book, before getting there though, it's debatable.
The good things, Selena is more realistic - we explore her feelings and emotions more this time around so that was a welcome change. More learning about the backstories to her classic songs, this was an element that was present in the first part that I really enjoyed and it was nice to see this continue with even more detail in the second season. The acting definitely got better from the first season, the actresses playing Suzette and Marcela Quintanilla are still fantastic, as well as A. B's actor, but everyone else got better, not Emmy winning performances but still decent. The way they bring Yolanda into the story definitely gives a better backstory to those who weren't familiar about how this woman sneaked her way into Selena's life, even showing how deep her unhealthy obsession with Selena went as well as the public negative effects her check schemes had on Selena's image. The actress playing Yolanda does a good job of playing a timid, pathetic woman that was able to trick everyone into thinking that's all she was and sadly had Selena fooled until the terrible end.
I thought the show was gonna end with Selena's final show at The Houston Astrodome and then have captions explaining what happened, but it ends showing the tragic end. I was moved to tears, because well, it's never easy to see that sad event; just thinking about it breaks my heart because Selena deserved to continue making her dreams a reality. The way they showed how little things like A. B's burger bringing back memories of his sister, something that simple creating such a powerful emotion, I really liked that and definitely made me more emotional. However, I did wish they showed images and clips of the real Selena rather than of the actress. I know I said not to compare the movie with the show, however I do think showing the real Selena at the end was a decision the show should've made too - it just makes the moment all the more powerful and reminds you of how profound the loss of this beautiful, sweet, talented girl was.
There are still corny moments, the corniest one being of Selena running into Beyoncé at the mall in San Antonio. I mean it's nice to have that story confirmed by both parties, but the moment was acted in such a cheesy way. The dialogue was just unnatural, how the mom had to name drop "Beyoncé Knowles"... yeah that could've been better. Also the scene with the judge at the city hall coming to tell Selena his daughter was a fan and that he could marry her and Chris on that same day to get "brownie points" with his daughter and the nosey "fan" calling the radio station to tell them Selena got married - yeah that whole scene was corny, could've been written and acted out better.
Still, I definitely enjoyed Part 2 better than Part 1. It's still imperfect and still biased, but it was a better production where Selena was at the center of the story, as she should've been in the first place and there was more to her than just the need to be a singer. Thank you to the crew that took people's critiques and made necessary improvements.
Selena forever ~
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