'Selena: The Series' Boss on Season 1 Ending and What's Ahead in Season 2 (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
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Selena: The Seriesis officially here! The highly-anticipated series inspired by the life of the late Selena Quintanilla debuted on Netflix on Friday, two years after it was first announced.
The Tejano icon, who died in 1995 at just 23 years old, made a big impact on fashion and music, and the 9-episode season revealed how she got her start.
Fans gained insight on Selena's childhood and her rise in music on season 1 of Selena: The Series, which ended with a pivotal point in the singer's life. After hiding their relationship from her parents, Selena (Christian Serratos) romance with guitar player Chris Pérez's (Jesse Posey) was exposed, with her father Abraham (Ricardo Chavira) throwing him out of the band.
ET: Season 1 ends with Chris being thrown out of the band -- why end the season there? And what does the trajectory of the rest of the series look like?
Moisés Zamora: When putting this together, I saw Selena in three parts. You have like, one and a half here, with the early family struggles and how she gets on the road and she's coming of age. And then it's the big huge choice that is having this relationship and choosing love, perhaps at the expense of her career and the family. So, we wanted to end the season with a fork in the road and find out how how they all come to terms with making her own choices.
The later part is as she gains her own independence and she’s empowered to become a star. I do see that that evolution for her, and ... the intention is for more episodes to come, and to show that trajectory of Selena as she essentially is a married woman and starts her journey as a crossover artist.
That finale ended on an emotional note -- what was the most challenging part of this series for you?
I think it was editing, because we did so much research. With what the family shared with us, it was going to be 10 seasons in my mind. But we only had a few number of episodes to deliver. Especially because it’s a family story with struggles, I really wanted to dive into the early days, in the face of a lot of struggle and injustice. There was just so much story that it was very difficult for me to cut it down -- not just me, but the writers, the producers, everyone just wanted to like be in Selena's world as much as possible, because it affects us in so many different ways.
We see our own dreams reflected in that Mexican American dream, and we just want to live in that place as much as possible. We had extra storylines here and there, because there were other characters involved, but it's difficult to have it all. I mean my hats off to Gregory [Nava, the director of the 1997 Selena movie starring Jennifer Lopez], for putting this in two hours. It would have been so challenging, but clearly he did an incredible job.
Fans are anxiously awaiting season 2 -- but what's up next for you in the meantime?
One of the things that I learned after this process is how important it is for me as a creator to continue to focus on Indigenous, Latin, and Afro-Latin stories with a commercial global appeal. I met a couple of executives that have the same values, and we took this COVID time to incubate those projects, and we have a couple of projects set up under our production company Zone One. As soon as that sort of gets signed and ready to go, we’ll be able to share it. Selena is the Latin-American dream coming true, but she was a global star. And now her story is going to be in 190 countries through Netflix. That kind of thing, to me, is really exciting to be able to prove to the world that Latinx stars are just a universal as any other.