Jenni Rivera’s TV Series Review

A review of Jenni Rivera’s Mariposa de Barrio Netflix Series and its awareness of domestic violence victims.

Dolores Janney Rivera Saavedra, commonly known as “Jenni Rivera,” was a Spanish-American singer, actress, songwriter and entrepreneur famous for her work within the regional Mexican music genre. She unfortunately passed away on December 9, 2012 in a plane crash. The world continues to mourn and learn more about her life through her autobiography, TV series, family testimonies and her reality TV series “I Love Jenni”. 

In 2017, Telemundo, an American Spanish-language television network, aired the telenovela series Jenni Rivera: Mariposa de Barrio, which is based on her autobiography Unbreakable: My Story, My Way. Netflix recently released the series on January 1, 2021 showing all 91 episodes complete with English subtitles. Within the first week of its release on Netflix, the series hit the top 10 in the U.S. The series depicts Rivera’s personal life and her journey to becoming a famous artist. 

Although her impressive singing abilities attracted most of her fans, it is evident that her personal struggles and experiences with domestic violence and sexual assault make her more relatable to many women who have suffered similar experiences. The series highlights some of the obstacles that Hispanic women in the United States face when attempting to leave a domestic violence situation. 

According to a CDC 2017 report, “more than 34.4% of Hispanic women reported ever being a victim of an intimate partner’s sexual or physical violence or stalking.” Overall, 23.2% of women have been a victim of violence on behalf of their intimate partner nationally. According to an article in the Journal of Family Violence, Hispanic women encounter additional obstacles when attempting to report domestic violence abuse, such as religious beliefs, “machismo,” language barriers, lack of support, education and fear of deportation. 

The series begins by depicting her struggles with her first partner, Trino Marin. Rivera experiences physical and emotional abuse at his hands even after giving birth to “Chiquis,”  her first-born. During her relationship with Marin, she attempts to commit suicide and is eventually sent to rehab. Even after leaving, she continues to experience violent abuse at the hands of her partner. The series depicts the domestic violence cycle of abuse in its entirety as we see tension build, an acute explosion of violent events, the honeymoon stage and through it all consistent denial from her abuser. 

This series has definitely gained Jenni some new fans. IMBd reviews show how individuals who have never heard of Jenni are now intrigued by her life story:

“I do not speak Spanish, but I binge watched this entire show by reading the subtitles lol. I have a new love for Jenni Rivera after watching! Truly an inspiration. 91 episodes is a lot, but I loved every bit!”

“This story is well played by the actors chosen. I can relate to it too so much as I was also a teen mother in an abusive relationship. Many people might be able to learn a thing or two. I highly recommend it. Well done.”

The issues highlighted by the show can be sensitive to certain individuals and those wanting to watch should be cautious of various triggering events. Overall, the show provides Jenni’s fans more insight into her personal life and journey to fame, and provides survivors of domestic violence hope that they too can get out of abusive relationships. 

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, here is some pertinent contact information: 

National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233)

Marjaree Mason 24-hour Hotline: (559) 233-4357

Author: Sheyla Castillo | A&E Co-Editor

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