The House of Flowers (TV series)

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The House of Flowers
Lacasadelasflores stacked 2.png
SpanishLa Casa de las Flores
GenreMillennial telenovela
Black comedy
Created byManolo Caro
Written by
  • Manolo Caro
  • Gabriel Nuncio
  • Monika Revilla
  • Mara Vargas
  • Hipatia Argüero Mendoza
  • Alexandro Aldrete
Directed by
  • Manolo Caro
  • Alberto Belli
  • Santiago Limón
  • Yibrad Asuad
Starring
Narrated byClaudette Maillé
Country of originMexico
Original language(s)Spanish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes23 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Mariana Arredondo
  • María José Córdova
  • Rafael Ley
Production location(s)
CinematographyPedro Gómez Millán
Running time27–37 minutes
Release
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseAugust 10, 2018 (2018-08-10) –
present

The House of Flowers (Spanish: La Casa de las Flores) is a Mexican black comedy-drama television series created by Manolo Caro. It depicts a dysfunctional upper-class Mexican family that owns a prestigious flower shop called 'La Casa de las Flores'. The series, almost entirely written and directed by its creator, stars Verónica Castro, Cecilia Suárez, Aislinn Derbez, Darío Yazbek Bernal, Arturo Ríos, Paco León, and Juan Pablo Medina.

The 13-episode first season was released on August 10, 2018. A second and third season of the series were announced in October 2018; Verónica Castro had left the cast before the show was renewed and does not appear in season two. Season 2 premiered on October 18, 2019, and season 3 will be released on April 23, 2020. A special called The House of Flowers Presents: The Funeral premiered on November 1, 2019. The first season is exclusively set in Mexico, while the second season also features scenes in Madrid, and the funeral special has a scene set at the Texas-Mexico border.

It contains several LGBT+ main characters, with episodes that look at internalized homophobia and transphobia. Seen as satirizing the telenovela genre that it maintains elements of, it also subverts stereotypical presentations of race, class, sexuality, and morality in Mexico. Its genre has been described as a new creation, the "millennial telenovela",[Refs 1] a label supported by Caro and Suárez.

The show was critically well-received, also winning several accolades. Cecilia Suárez and her character, Paulina de la Mora, have been particularly praised; the character's voice has been the subject of popularity and discussion, leading into its use for the show's marketing. Aspects of the show have been compared to the work of Pedro Almodóvar, and it has been analyzed by various scholars, including Paul Julian Smith.

Synopsis[edit]

Season 1[edit]

At the birthday party of Ernesto de la Mora, husband and father to the pseudo-perfect de la Mora family, his mistress Roberta commits suicide by hanging. Roberta leaves a letter addressed to Ernesto's wife, matriarch Virginia, about family secrets. Only the eldest daughter, control freak Paulina, and her teenage son Bruno know of the affair and the child, Micaéla, who is the product of it. However, this is far from the only secret in the family. Middle child Elena is hiding her fears of settling down from American fiancé Dominique, and youngest child, son Julián, is hiding in the closet with family accountant Diego.

Ernesto, whose name Roberta used to take out loans, is arrested for fraud now that she's dead; the family's accounts get frozen. Virginia tries to maintain the image of her perfect family after Roberta's suicide by keeping Ernesto's arrest a secret, hoping to cover the bank repayments so he will be freed, with funds from the successful florists, before the shop's anniversary. However, after Julián chooses to come out as bisexual, the loyal customers who saw her as the bastion of moral purity stop coming. Seeing no route but a legal one, Virginia caves and asks Paulina to call her lawyer ex-husband, who had been banished from the family for coming out as transgender.

Paulina becomes increasingly focused on a cabaret, of the same name as the florists, that she and Ernesto had been running with Roberta and her son Claudio, now that there's only two of them free. She struggles to hide it from the rest of her family, who eventually find out when insisting on attending Roberta's wake. For this, Virginia withdraws from Paulina, who had also been running the florists with her, and asks Elena to organize a local bar mitzvah in her place. The Cohens are important customers; their son Moisés is also Bruno's best friend, and the family was planning to be in attendance. Julián, though, uninvites boyfriend Diego at his mother's asking, which creates tension between them. Elena begins a relationship with Claudio, to whom she is not related, breaking up with Dominique just after their impromptu wedding.

Paulina discovers that Dr. Cohen, her childhood therapist, is her biological father, and starts visiting him and his sockpuppet assistant Chuy again, as do the other members of her family. She also starts to fall for María José, her ex-spouse, again now that she's back to help and staying at Paulina's apartment. The rest of the family warm to María José, including Virginia, who has also started selling homegrown marijuana to help raise money for Ernesto while Diego tries to sell assets and Julián proposes introducing strippers to the cabaret. Having finally raised enough money at the end of the season, it goes missing just before they are going to take it to the bank, and it appears that Diego stole it. However, Ernesto is freed in time for the party, with Virginia revealing she sold the florists to their rivals, the Chiquis, before mysteriously leaving.

Season 2[edit]

Eight months before the outset of season 2, shortly after the events of season 1, Virginia dies. After her funeral, the children part ways – Paulina moves to Madrid to be with her ex-spouse, now-girlfriend María José; Elena becomes a successful architect; and Julián lives at home, having had a child with ex Lucía, as does Mica. Ernesto, overcome by grief, has joined a Scientology-esque scam cult to find some meaning in his life. It is a challenge to Virginia's long-awaited will that brings the siblings back together, Paulina returning from Spain without her family (in part to escape María José's overbearing and obsessive sister with whom they live) to take care of business.

Paulina decides that she must honor her mother, support her siblings, and get revenge on Diego; to do all three, she has to re-purchase the florists from the Chiquis. Without the money from the will, she turns to re-opening the cabaret for money. Diego tracks down Julián, wanting to win back the de la Mora's family trust, and so fronts the money for the cabaret and pays the medical bills associated with Julián's daughter's birth. Paulina begins finding new ways to drum up business at the cabaret, which leads to a sketchy deal with Julián's escort agency; with Diego on paper as the cabaret's owner, she pins the deal to him in case it goes awry. She also meets a mysterious Catalan man called Alejo, who says he was a friend to her mother while both were receiving cancer treatment; though she tries to be suspicious, she ends up getting closer to him.

Meanwhile, Julián tries to determine the course his life should take, struggling to find a proper job while having a newborn with his ex. He reignites his relationship with Diego, but also works a rentboy hustle in secret. Ernesto rises the ranks in his cult, who impede on Julián's life after their leader sees the family home and decides to relocate her 64 husbands and their followers there. Ernesto also posts prison friend Cacas' bail, indoctrinating him into the cult against Paulina's wishes and advice. Mica, feeling alone with minimal parental guidance after her mother and Virginia's deaths; Paulina's retreat to Spain; and Ernesto's abandonment to his cult 'family', has taken up magic tricks and enters the TV competition Talento México, taking Bruno as her guardian. When she gets through the rounds, Bruno asks his friend Moi to join them and transform Mica into a singer; Bruno, however, has also set his eyes on a different pretty teenage contestant.

Elena is trying to manage her position as a senior architect while being distracted by her new boyfriend. After he calls it off because he sees their relationship as more casual sex, Elena starts having sex with Claudio again, and realizes she has a relationship addiction. She confides in Delia, who admits the same to her; the two begin attending a sex addicts' group therapy at a hair salon. Here, she meets a man who challenges her views and they end up having a sexual relationship; when Elena gets too clingy, she tries to stalk him to find out more, discovering he's a priest. María José, after traveling to Mexico, finds happiness supporting the trans women and drag queens at the cabaret, who Paulina has been ignoring to work on her schemes. Their relationship fractures, and María José breaks up with Paulina and returns to Spain, being hounded by her overbearing sister. Paulina tries to call María José as she accepts Diego's innocence and loyalty to her family, handing herself in to the police for the soliciting at the cabaret.

Cast[edit]

Several cast lists have been published by both Netflix and media outlets; cast lists are also found in the credits of each episode.[Refs 2]

The show revolves around the de la Mora family and their florists. Matriarch Virginia de la Mora, the face of the shop, is played by Verónica Castro. Cecilia Suárez plays Paulina de la Mora, Virginia's eldest daughter, who directs both business and family concerns; Aislinn Derbez plays Elena de la Mora, Virginia's younger daughter, who returns home from New York in season one; and Darío Yazbek Bernal plays Julián de la Mora, Virginia's bisexual son, who is romantically involved with both Lucía and Diego. Arturo Ríos plays their father, Ernesto de la Mora, who has been keeping a semi-secret second family.[Refs 2]

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 El Funeral 3
Main characters
Verónica Castro Virginia de la Mora main Does not appear[a] Does not appear
Isabel Burr Does not appear guest[b] Does not appear main
Cecilia Suárez Paulina de la Mora main
Aislinn Derbez Elena de la Mora main
Darío Yazbek Bernal Julián de la Mora main
Paco León María José Riquelme[c] main
Juan Pablo Medina Diego Olvera main
Luis de la Rosa Bruno Riquelme de la Mora main guest main
Verónica Langer [es] Carmela Villalobos main guest main
Lucas Velázquez [es] Claudio Navarro main guest main
Norma Angélica [es] Delia main guest main
David Ostrosky Dr. Salomón Cohen main guest main
Javier Jattin Does not appear guest[b] Does not appear main
Sheryl Rubio Lucía Dávila main guest TBA
Alexa de Landa Micaela Sánchez main guest main
Arturo Ríos Ernesto de la Mora main guest main
Tiago Correa Does not appear guest[b] Does not appear main
Claudette Maillé Roberta Navarro main recurring guest TBA
Sawandi Wilson Dominique Shaw main Does not appear guest TBA
Natasha Dupeyrón Ana Paula "La Chiquis" Corcuera recurring main guest main
Paco Rueda José Raúl "El Chiquis" Corcuera recurring main guest main
Mariana Treviño Jenny Quetzal Does not appear main Does not appear TBA
Eduardo Rosa Alejo Salvat Does not appear main Does not appear main
Flavio Medina Simón Does not appear main Does not appear TBA
Anabel Ferreira Celeste Does not appear main Does not appear TBA
Loreto Peralta [es] Rosita Does not appear main Does not appear main
María León Purificación Riquelme Does not appear recurring Does not appear main
Isela Vega Virginia's mother (Victoria) Does not appear guest Does not appear main
Recurring characters
Ismael Rodríguez Jorge "Amanda Miguel" recurring guest TBA
Pepe Marquez Pepe "Paulina Rubio" recurring guest TBA
Katia Balmori Mario "Yuri" recurring guest TBA
Mariana Santos Gloria "Gloria Trevi" recurring guest TBA
Irving Peña Alfonso "Poncho" Cruz recurring guest TBA
Michel Frías Moisés Cohen recurring guest TBA
Hugo Catalán Oliver recurring guest TBA
Ruth Ovseyevitz Dora Cohen recurring guest TBA
David Chaviras El Cacas recurring Does not appear TBA
Alexis Ortega Federico "DJ Freddy" Limantour recurring Does not appear guest TBA
Federico Espejo Willy recurring Does not appear TBA
Sofía Sisniega Mara recurring Does not appear TBA
Roberto Quijano Luka recurring Does not appear TBA
Felipe Flores Lalo recurring Does not appear TBA
Elizabeth Guindi Angélica recurring Does not appear TBA
Francisco de la Reguera Juanpi recurring Does not appear TBA
Teresa Ruiz Marilu Does not appear recurring Does not appear TBA
Eduardo Casanova [es] Edu Does not appear guest Does not appear TBA
Gloria Trevi Herself Does not appear guest Does not appear TBA
Fernando Sarfatti Carlos Does not appear guest TBA

Production[edit]

Development and themes[edit]

A narcissus flower; symbolizing lies, this flower is the title of the first episode

A new Netflix original series to be created by Caro was announced in October 2016,[18] with the title and the principal cast being announced in January 2017.[19] The House of Flowers is the third Mexican Netflix original series, after Club de Cuervos and Ingobernable.[20] A second and third season of the series were announced in October 2018.[21][22] On May 9, 2019, Caro signed an exclusive deal with Netflix, signing on to create more shows for the streaming service;[11] he became only the second Spanish-speaking showrunner to receive such a deal.[23] Caro has said that the show is something "that can only exist on Netflix", noting the themes and plots of contemporary telenovelas produced for Mexican television as being homophobic, macho, and perpetuating violence against women.[24] The show has been described as "a deconstruction or satire of Latin American telenovelas",[25] and Catenacci notes that, in comparison to some telenovela episodes that contain over 300 references to domestic abuse, this series' episodes are named for flowers.[26]

Thematically, the show explores some cultural issues within Mexican society, including casual racism and homophobia[27][28][29] and the country's class diversity, with the contrasting House of Flowers establishments used to illustrate the socio-economic and racial divides in modern-day Mexico City,[30] and to introduce discussions of the ethics behind money.[25] Beyond these themes, the show is driven by the overarching concept of family, with actress Suárez saying it continues to be the main focus through the second season.[31] Juego de series has suggested the show also focuses on the idea that things kept secret are not necessarily as bad as the secret-keeper thinks they are.[32] On the theme of social facade, Suárez has said that "lies are a recurrent element in all of Manolo [Caro]'s work right from his first short. The idea of pretending to be one thing and saying another is something that obsesses him".[23] The second season also includes more complex discussions around sex.[31][33]

In August 2018, Castro announced that she would not reprise the role of Virginia for potential future seasons because she felt that her "character's journey is over."[21][34] Caro confirmed a week later that Castro would no longer appear in the show, which would focus on the de la Mora children if another season was produced.[21][35] Castro revealed in 2019 that, though the decision for her to leave was friendly and mutual between all parties, Caro and Netflix had originally asked to renew her contract for the second season to appear in only the first few episodes and then provide voice-overs; Castro would not agree to this, saying that she has always been all or nothing. As the writers had not developed a full storyline for her character, they all agreed there was not much left for her to do, a story confirmed by Caro.[36] However, in 2020, Castro said that she had been finalizing her appearances in the second season with Netflix but Caro changed his mind on what he wanted, resulting in her being removed from the show.[37] In August 2019, as the second season began releasing promotional materials, Castro confirmed that her likeness was used in the upcoming season, but that she hadn't been paid for the appearances because she had not done any additional work for it.[38] In the second season, without Castro as the lead, reviewers saw that "the closest thing the wildly entertaining comedy has to a central character now" was Cecilia Suárez's Paulina, who steps up to take control of things and who was already a fan favorite;[39] Rodrigo Munizaga speculated that Castro, without a continuing contract, was even less enthused to return after she had been "overshadowed" by Suárez in season one.[40]

Caro explained that the writing and production of the second season did not change very much, despite Castro's absence, because they "knew from the beginning that there was a possibility she would not return", saying that they had already outlined the stories for the children independent of this.[11]

The use of music also became a more physical presence in the second season, with Caro explaining: "It was an evolution, in the first season and without realizing it, these playlists were created and really grabbed my attention regardless of what songs they had, they asked me what songs I listened to when I was writing, and it helped us to be creative in the writers' room."[31] One of the music choices led to an accidental tribute; in the season 2 finale, Alexa de Landa as Micaéla performs a cover of the José José song "El Triste", with José having died shortly before the season's release, in September 2019.[32]

In 2019, some of the production moved to Netflix's new Madrid headquarters, with development split between Spain and Mexico.[41] On February 25, 2020, Netflix announced that the third season would be the show's last, without divulging reasons but explaining that it concluded the story and would explore more of Paulina's childhood.[42]

Casting and characterization[edit]

Cecilia Suárez plays lead and fan favorite character Paulina de la Mora

The casting of Verónica Castro, referred to as "Mexican telenovela royalty", was seen by Manuel Betancourt to be a real achievement on the part of creator Manolo Caro, who in effect was "getting her out of retirement" to make the show.[43] Castro has said that she did not know her character would be a marijuana smoker when she took the role, and though she disliked some parts of the character, she was encouraged by her children to continue with the show.[44] She has also said that getting back into acting with the show helped her mental health.[45]

Cecilia Suárez had acted in numerous other works created by Caro before playing Paulina. The character has been critiqued as a perfect fit for the show because she has "a personality that justifies going from drama to involuntary comedy", with the same review suggesting that Suárez had to "leave her comfort zone" to play Paulina, but does so successfully.[46] Caro has said that he thought Paulina would be "polarizing" when he wrote her, that people would either love her or hate her, not expecting the popularity she received.[47] The concept of second chances is the "backbone" of Paulina's character, according to Suárez, who said that Caro concerned himself with this concept through the first two seasons.[31] Going into the show's sophomore season, Vogue described Suárez as "the new queen of the telenovela".[24]

Cisgender actor Paco León, who plays trans woman María José Riquelme, said that the show's intention with his character was to "take this character out of the stereotypical perception, in a sense that would create a healthy dialogue about LGBTQ issues by providing a positive portrayal of a trans woman", adding that it was important to the production and that they hope the character of María José achieved their intentions.[28] He has also said he is not sure why the production did not cast a trans actress, but wanted to honor the role and felt his job as an actor is to be able to interpret any role, without stepping on the toes of trans actresses for whom he thought it would be an opportunity to be heard. There was some controversy surrounding the casting, which León said he understood and didn't want to fight, though he was given a supportive message from trans actress Daniela Vega during this period.[48] Caro has said that he first thought of León for the role because of the actor's own work to create more visibility and opportunities for LGBT+ people in entertainment.[2] After the show aired, it was reported that trans people had warmed to the character, and particularly her line: "I had a change of sex, not of heart".[44] Though León's portrayal was accepted, the actor has said that he will not accept more trans roles so as to promote more trans actors,[4] but will continue as María José in the show.[49]

Regarding having a transgender character in general, creator Caro said that he is "committed to the issue because it is time to normalize it", and that he thinks media needs to "demystify" real people from LGBT+ stereotypes.[50] León also commented on the use of María José's characterization, with her being a trans woman, as part of the show's narrative arc, saying that "[she] goes by the rejection she receives, but throughout the series you realize that she is the most sane and focused, is emotionally more stable, her mental balance is greater than the rest of the family's. This is how you discover that the characters that apparently have a perfect life and are socially accepted are the ones with the most emotional problems."[51]

Spanish siblings María (left) and Paco León play the Riquelme sisters on the show

In an interview, León said that he was enthusiastic when offered the role, that he "shaved [his] legs and started to be María José", flying to Mexico straight away; he did, though, lament having to clean-shave his face every day and take painkillers to deal with wearing bras and heels.[48] In terms of his approach to playing María José, he also affirmed that he "left the comedy behind" from when he had played female characters before in impersonation show Homo Zapping [es], treating the role seriously.[52] In October 2019, León confirmed that he was appearing in season 3 of the show, joking that it was becoming the "longest cameo ever";[52] his role was supposed to be a cameo of "only fifteen minutes", first discussed in a casual mention when meeting with Caro.[53]

For season 2, actress María León was cast as Purificación Riquelme, the sister of María José. The casting was praised by Spanish media for using the real sister of María José's actor, suggesting that beyond looking alike, the siblings have very noticeable light-colored eyes and it would not have made sense to cast somebody else when María León is also an accomplished actor.[54]

Casting for season 2 was announced as it began filming, first on February 5 with Spanish cast members María León, Eduardo Rosa as Alejo, and Eduardo Casanova [es] as Edu, and then with Mexican actors on February 18: Loreto Peralta [es] as Rosita, Flavio Medina as Simón, Anabel Ferreira as Celeste, and Mariana Treviño as Jenny Quetzal.[11] Eduardo Rosa said of his casting that he submitted a video audition and was invited to Madrid to meet with Caro before he had read the script, but told Caro that he loved it anyway.[55] David Chaviras also returns as El Cacas in season 2. His character only had a small part and was not intended to return, but became popular among fans because of his charismatic interaction with Paulina; Cacas gained a larger role in the second season, as well as a meeting room named after him in Netflix's Mexico headquarters.[56]

Having worked with Caro and Suárez before, Teresa Ruiz, who appears in season 2, says that the character of Marilú was developed for her to have a role in the show. In a 2019 interview, Ruiz says she asked Caro for something easier when he proposed the escort because she had not done comedy before, but was swayed by Caro's determination. Ruiz also says that a lot of thought was put into the message of the character, and that even though the show is comedic, when she gives speeches about the rights of the young escorts it is intended to be truthful dialogue about all working women.[57]

In November 2019, it was announced that the Chilean actor Tiago Correa would be appearing in season 3, playing a young Ernesto. He had previously appeared in a photograph with a young Virginia in the final episode of season 2.[14] Later in the month, the appearances of more actors returning for the third season were confirmed by Caro through a series of posts on Instagram,[15] and Rebecca Jones announced that she had been added to the cast for season 3[58] (which Caro confirmed in January 2020).[59] In December 2019, it was reported that Christian Chávez was in the third season, in a feature where the actor celebrated that having gay characters was becoming mainstream.[60] In February 2020, Stephanie Salas announced her involvement in the third season, noting that she worked with Jones a lot.[61] On March 6, 2020, it was revealed that season 3 would have a "completely new cast", featuring actors playing younger versions of many of the established characters: Isabel Burr and Javier Jattin were added as young Virginia and Salomón, as well as Ximena Sariñana in an unknown role.[62] The title sequence released on March 17 revealed the complete main cast for the final season, including promoting María León from her recurring role, confirming the presence of Isela Vega, and adding Cristina Umaña and Emilio Cuaik in unknown roles.[17]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography for the series began on July 24, 2017.[5][63] The main House of Flowers and de la Mora house sets are in San Andrés Totoltepec, a small town in the Tlalpan region near the edge of Mexico City.[64] According to Aislinn Derbez, who was pregnant during filming of the first season, accommodations were made specifically to hide her baby bump in the show.[65] Derbez also said that it was one of the fastest shoots she had done, explaining that Caro is a calm and efficient director.[26] Suárez has said that her character's distinctive voice came through a process of improvisation while filming, starting on the fourth shoot day[25] during the scene where Paulina and Bruno are covering up Roberta's wake at the funeral home, by trying out variations and being pushed by Caro to keep exaggerating it further after he approved of it.[26][66] She explained that some of the early scenes had to be re-recorded to keep Paulina's speech consistent.[67]

Another scene also had to be re-shot; when the characters of Julián and Diego kiss in a sports store, it was first to be recorded in a Martí outlet. When the owners learned that the scene involved a gay kiss they shut down filming, because they did not want the brand to be associated with this, and the scene was later shot at Innovasport.[68]

Manolo Caro has discussed the impromptu planning for some season 1 scenes. He said that during filming of the mariachi scene, he asked cinematographer Pedro Gómez Millán if they could get the shot to move away into the air. Gómez Millán advised Caro that they could not use a crane, the traditional route for such a shot, because they were filming in a real indoor location; he instead suggested the use of a drone. This produced so much wind that costumes and props had to be pinned down.[69] Caro also explained that himself, Darío Yazbek Bernal, and the art department had planned Julián's fantasy coming-out musical sequence, keeping it a secret from the rest of the cast until filming. They also only managed one take, as when Yazbek Bernal ripped off his shirt during the dance, he tore it. This scene then led the way for more musical numbers on the show.[70]

Some scenes from season 2 were filmed along the Gran Vía and at an entrance to Callao station in Madrid[71]

Filming for season 1 was halted for several weeks in September and October 2017 after the 2017 Puebla earthquake, while waiting for the filming locations to be stabilized. Suárez was also injured in the earthquake and could not return to set for a month after production resumed. The show was filming in Condesa as the quake happened, with the cast commending Caro for helping rescue extras and being the last to evacuate the site.[72] Season 1 finished filming at the end of November 2017.[73]

Season 2 filming began in early February 2019, with production in Spain from February 5, and ended on July 9, 2019.[11] Parts of the second season were filmed on location in Madrid in February 2019; Carmen Maura visited the set to discuss the upcoming Netflix show, Alguien tiene que morir, that she was working on with Caro and Suárez.[54] Caro said that during the development of the season, he had wanted to film in Spain, but wasn't sure he could make it happen, saying that he wanted to give back to the public there that supported the series;[11] Caro had promised fans that Paulina would walk down Madrid's Gran Vía in season 2, revealing to the Spanish press that this would definitely be included shortly before the season was released.[74] Season 2 filming in Mexico largely took place in a nineteenth-century house in Condesa.[24]

In October 2019, Caro announced that the third season had already been filmed in Mexico, allowing him to move to Spain to continue production of Alguien tiene que morir.[7] Some of season 3 had been filmed in April 2019.[58]

Episodes and broadcast[edit]

The full 13-episode first season was released on Netflix on August 10, 2018.[75] Season 2 premiered on October 18, 2019,[76] and season 3 will be released on April 23, 2020.[77] On Día de Muertos (November 1) 2019, a surprise special episode was released showing the funeral of Virginia, after references to the event through season 2 were popular among viewers. This episode also connects other plot points from the second season.[11][78][79] The funeral episode was released as a special separate to the main series collection on Netflix, listed as a film.

In its first week of broadcast, the second season was watched by 6,219,547 accounts, from across the world; it became the top viewed show on Netflix that week in Argentina, Colombia, Spain, and Mexico, among other countries. It also broke Mexico's record as the most-viewed second season of any show in its first week ever,[80] and ended 2019 as the second most-watched show on Netflix in Mexico.[23] Scholar Paul Julian Smith, though, was worried about the international and streaming success distorting the views of its importance, suggesting that nationally broadcast telenovelas play a more important role in everyday Mexican life, especially noting that many Mexican homes cannot regularly access the Internet to view Netflix.[81]

Interviewed in early 2020, between the release of the second and third seasons, León said that he thought the show's second season was "inconsistent", but had its good moments, while saying that the third season will be "acojonante" ("fucking amazing").[82]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
113August 10, 2018 (2018-08-10)
29October 18, 2019 (2019-10-18)
SpecialNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
313April 23, 2020 (2020-04-23)

Marketing[edit]

A recording of Paulina saying "Pero estoy enganchadísima con el Tafil, oye" in her distinctive style. After spawning Internet memes, Paulina's voice was at the center of marketing material for the show's second season.

Before the first season was released, a trailer for the series debuted on June 12, 2018.[83]

The release date of season 2 was included in a tweet that also showed the new family portrait, on August 15, 2019, but the first marketing videos had been released earlier in the month.[11] On August 8, a video of Paulina leaving a threatening voicemail for Diego, mimicking the one in Taken, was released.[11][84] On August 12, it was announced that the character of Virginia had died rather than simply been written out, in a marketing video showing a voice note left in the siblings' WhatsApp chat by Paulina along with the hashtag "#QDEPVirginiaDeLaMora" ("RIP Virginia de la Mora"). On October 2, another marketing video, also focused on Paulina speaking, was released. In it, Netflix asks the character to make an ASMR video recap, which she attempts.[11] The first official trailer was released on September 23, showing scenes from the first episode in both Madrid and Mexico City, focusing on Paulina trying to regain the florists and find Diego.[11]

A press tour was held for season 2 a few weeks before it was released; Aislinn Derbez did not participate, despite being a main character, because the release date of the season was the same as her family's new reality show on competing streaming platform Amazon Prime Video.[85]

Shortly before the second season aired, promotional posters were launched in a campaign mocking those of conservative Mexican groups, particularly the National Front for the Family, which has criticized the show.[86] The posters feature slogans which satirize homophobic and transphobic ones, including an image of trans character María José and her partner Paulina accompanied by "This is not natural ... we are obviously wearing make-up", among others.[86] This campaign was run with the hashtag "#NoTeMetasConMiFamilia" ("Don't Mess With My Family"), playing on the National Front's own campaign.[87][88] Ana Carolina, writing for UniCable, noted that the campaign was embraced by fans but also prompted surprise across Mexico because of how explicitly it attacked the intolerance of the National Front.[88] The posters were discussed at the 2019 Huelva International Film Festival in relation to social media and marketing influencing the public view of films.[89]

The only marketing for the surprise funeral episode came shortly after its release to the platform, in a tweet from Manolo Caro; it also has its own Netflix poster.[90] The third and final season's first teaser trailer was released on March 6, 2020, and is set in 1979 following Virginia, Ernesto, Carmela, and Salomón, as well as depicting scenes of Mexico City's gay and trans community at the time. The original cast also appear in archive footage.[62] On March 17, 2020, Netflix shared the opening title sequence for the final season, and announced the release date as April 23, 2020.[17]

Analysis[edit]

Smith notes that beyond merely being an openly transgressive telenovela, the show "boasted a self-conscious and ironic reference" to the tradition it was leaving behind by taking the veteran actress Verónica Castro as its star.[91] However, he does note that the three main areas of novelty within the show's production had already been shown by indie producers Argos in the 1990s, some preceding even the new wave of Mexican cinema; he particularly looks at the show Mirada de mujer, a successful late-90s "avowedly feminist telenovela" that he considers the predecessor of The House of Flowers based on their renovations to the genre and, in content, many similarities.[91] Despite such similarities, Smith concedes that "the tone of Netflix's series is much more playful", that it makes use of color where Argos' telenovelas did not, and is less harsh to the bourgeois family at its heart.[92]

Raciel D. Martínez Gómez also notes one similarity that the show bears with traditional telenovelas, being that it uses Mexico City and its elite neighborhoods to express a lightness within the story; Martínez Gómez suggests that of recent popular Mexican output the only work to use the city in a more social-realist way was Alfonso Cuarón's Roma.[93]

In terms of color, Grosso Cortes et al. note that the temperature of the series is between neutral and cold (in the 5000K to 7000K range), which they suggest shows a work as being "hostile" but also "everyday", by not being too cold.[94] They also note that, in The House of Flowers, the cold temperature makes the show more colorful, "due to the combination of colors present in the flowers": the cold tone is "embellished by the different colors of the flowers that appear".[94]

Jacqueline Avila looks at the use of music in the show, comparing it to the inherently musical form of telenovelas, saying that it "plays a significant and meaningful role in the developing narratives, highlighting and magnifying elements that reflect both the local and the global and incorporating past practices into a new format for a new generation of audience members who attempt to transcend borders";[95] she also examines the relationship of Spanish-language broadcasting with the Netflix digital platform, viewing habits, and their influences on the form of the telenovela.[96] Noting that the use of music in streaming series is necessarily different from films and scheduled television because of unpredictable viewing habits, and interacting with Rick Altman's theory of flow,[97] Avila writes that The House of Flowers uses music to underscore the narrative and to help signify aspects of the Mexican telenovela in the show.[98] She gives the example of the diegetic music used during Roberta's funeral in the second episode, as it provides campy elements of telenovelas while reflecting the grief, pain, and character relationships.[99] Despite having connected the show with the telenovela, and noting that the music selection taps into Mexico's popular culture, Avila ultimately concludes that "the strategic use of music [...] provides a more cinematic approach" than "older traditions", saying that this "encourages a more prolonged and attentive listening strategy rather than relying on shorter episodes and pauses for commercials".[100]

Avila discusses other aspects of the show: non-musical sound and the function of the cabaret. She describes the voice-over narration from Roberta as "a ghostly omnipresent voice [that] is strikingly similar to the narrator in Alfonso Cuarón's [...] Y tu mamá también" and believes it fulfills the purpose of Michel Chion's "textual speech" concept.[101] Teresa Piñeiro Otero further discusses this narration. She writes that, along the same lines as Sunset Boulevard and Desperate Housewives, the series employs a posthumous narrator: Roberta. In the midst of Ernesto's birthday party, a female figure is visually highlighted among the crowd, raising the curiosity of the audience by the gaze directed through the camera. With the audience's curiosity sated at the moment of Roberta's suicide, the character then begins narrating, with her voice seeming to be released from the body, presenting characteristics of the "incorporeal voice" proposed by Linda Kreger Silverman.[102][CN 1] Piñeiro Otero also compares the similar situations initiating both The House of Flowers and Desperate Housewives to reiterate the former's genre as black comedy, writing that while the dead woman of Desperate Housewives was well-respected and an equal member of their rich neighborhood, Roberta is not and often simply called "the hanged lady" by the de la Mora family.[103]

Corresponding with feminist theory, Piñeiro Otero then asserts that with Roberta's voice free of her body, it is free of patriarchal control. Thus, there is a rupture between Roberta as character and Roberta as narrator: the first is subject to her image and constrained by her role of "Other", the second is free to wander and is subversive in front of the patriarchal discourse. By not being contained in any body this voice is empowered and is omniscient, able to provide information that she lacked while living and even about characters she did not know.[102][CN 1] Having discussed the classical artistic conventions that have created an entrenched association between women and death,[102] Piñeiro Otero expands on her feminist reading of the series, writing that when faced with the silence and stillness of death, which have objectified female beauty, Roberta rebels through the word. Only as a voice, Roberta dares to challenge Virginia de la Mora, the official wife and her former boss.[103][CN 1] Piñeiro Otero concludes that the voice-over in The House of Flowers reveals the truth, rather than just appearances. In some cases the narrative underlines Roberta's omniscient character and foreshadows much later events as a nod to the most observant audience. In addition to empowering her as a voice, Roberta's actions give her a continuous and destabilizing presence in the story.[103][CN 1]

Writing on another voice, a section of Avila's article is given to describing the cultural impact of Paulina's diction and comparing it against the similar speech of Cuca, la telefonista in The Disobedient Son. Avila suggests that Paulina has reclaimed the voice from the lazy Cuca character's portrayal to instead give it to Paulina, "a funny woman who is more capable and present".[104] Avila finds that "[Paulina's] voice and delivery [...] creates a fascinating sound synthesis".[104] Avila also writes that the use of the cabaret as a focus in the show provides a history of Mexican popular culture, a space to examine queer narratives, and a symbol for further identity politics that present discourses on politics and economics; she notes that the name 'La Casa de las Flores' when applied to the cabaret is a reference to the Caló terms for gay men (florecita and floripondio).[105]

Near the end of season 1 episode 2, Paulina and Ernesto (foreground) break their 'important' conversation to take notice of the drag performer (center), in a moment critically discussed by multiple scholars

Referring to a moment later to be noted by Avila,[106] Ernesto Diezmartínez discusses the show as breaking conventions of the telenovela when the drag queen performing as Gloria Trevi at Roberta's funeral is framed between Ernesto and Paulina de la Mora having a conversation. Diezmartínez writes that while the pair are talking in "typical redundant telenovela dialogue" but are "supposed to be saying something really important, [Paulina] interrupts the dialogue" to acknowledge, in a comment directed at Ernesto, how good the performance is; Diezmartínez argues that Caro does this to force the audience to notice the subversive aspect of the show over the expectation.[107] He also looks at the show as an auteur product of Manolo Caro – he compares Paco León's transsexual character to that of Mariana Treviño in Amor de mis amores and the show's soundtrack to those of Amor de mis amores and No sé si cortarme las venas o dejármelas largas, which he also notes are Almodóvar-style – and comments on the writing of the series as compared to classic telenovelas – he says that with a thirteen-episode first season the writers "compress sub-plots that could last weeks in a traditional telenovela to solve them in a couple of episodes", but also that it still sticks closely enough to the telenovela that it "cannot avoid falling into a certain plot overload" and suggests that to continue the series for too long would over-extend it in a negative way.[107]

In his article, Adrián Arjona Bueno looks at transgender representation on Netflix. Choosing María José as a subject of analysis, and noting comparisons between this character and the one of the same name(s) in the 1970s Spanish film Change of Sex,[108] Arjona Bueno writes that despite coming from a typically privileged position – María José is ethnically Spanish (and therefore white), and wealthy and educated, which enabled her to access her job as a lawyer, giving a higher social standing – the character has lived within a conservative family that is concerned with appearances, in Mexico, and so presents as "a depressed identity, withstanding the tensions, pressures and brazenness of [this] society".[109] Arjona Bueno's determination on the representation provided by the character is mixed: he writes that, though she has a good job and social position, María José is mistreated by her family (the de la Moras),[110] including being deadnamed at times,[108] and has had surgery to justify her female identity.[110] Also noting that María José is shown to be a good parent and loyal partner,[108] Arjona Bueno concludes that transgender representation is improving to show "less stereotyped [and] more inclusive" characters.[110] Cagri Yalkin names the series as exemplifying the increasing presence of LGBT+ characters, among a selection of shows that she writes are "reflecting both the changes in society and simultaneously acting as change forerunners".[111]

Ortiz González, in his thesis, also looks at transgender representation; discussing the casting of a cisgender male actor, he notes that while other series sometimes show the character transitioning, María José in The House of Flowers is long since past this, with the coming out flashback scene "lasting only seconds".[112] He also examines moments of misgendering in the series through the gendered language of Spanish, particularly the use of the generic "los" ("the", plural, neuter or masculine) when referring to Paulina and María José together, when "las" would be more appropriate. In a similar moment mentioned, María José cannot settle on a name to give to people looking for Bruno and reverts to just saying that she is his father, which Ortiz González says is "a thing that, however much she is a woman, does not cease to be true".[113] In another instance, Bruno uses the masculine form of a curse word when insulting her. Ortiz González also mentions how María José is occasionally deadnamed, but writes that this is usually immediately corrected (particularly by Paulina and Virginia) and seems accidental out of habit.[113]

On the more technical front, Claudia Benassini Félix has analyzed the success of the series in line with Netflix's machine learning and user recommendation algorithms, and the company's use of these to develop more profitable original series. From literature reviews, Benassini Félix determined that the past success of Spanish-language Netflix originals was a primary reason for the popularity of the show, based on Netflix's production plans, its targeted recommendations and suggested percentage of enjoyment, and the ability of users to create a 'watchlist'.[114]

Status as a telenovela[edit]

Suárez, Derbez, and Castro as their The House of Flowers characters in a video parodying telenovelas; the coloring, mise-en-scène and acting are styled like a traditional telenovela, serving as a comparative[115]

The show has been described as a telenovela, a typical Mexican genre characterized by melodrama and exaggerated plot twists,[2] though the Ibero-American Observatory of Television Fiction considers it a series, rather than a telenovela.[116] In 2018, Caro said that people had been worried about using the term 'telenovela', because "they thought it would make [him] angry"; he says that labeling the show as melodramatic is quite accurate, and it did not bother him.[2] Also in 2018, Netflix created a campaign called 'No es una telenovela' in response to various popular comments about the streaming service becoming like the network Televisa, known in Mexico for its telenovelas.[117] For the campaign, a parody video called La Rosa de la Virgin was shared on social media; in it, characters from The House of Flowers played by Suárez, Derbez, and Castro appear in a scene in the style of a traditional telenovela, highlighting the differences – it specifically compares the series with the style of Mexican telenovela La Rosa de Guadalupe.[115][117] At one point, Verónica Castro as Virginia says "esto no es una telenovela" ("this is not a telenovela"), but then closes the video with a suggestive wink to the camera.[118]

Netflix had previously created a telenovela-esque spoof of Orange Is the New Black, during a time when it had a deal with Televisa in 2016, borrowing the character Soraya Montenegro, who had become an Internet meme representing the excesses of melodrama. Scholar Elia Cornelio-Marí suggests that the two contrasting parodies show "the love-hate relationship that Netflix has with melodrama, making fun of the genre but promoting it at the same time".[118]

The series has also been called a "millennial telenovela".[Refs 1] The term has been discussed in relation to several series that have kept elements of the telenovela but have been targeted towards the millennial market in style, tone, and content.[119] Caro and Suárez have said they are proud for The House of Flowers to be called a millennial telenovela. Caro has also been described as the re-inventor of the telenovela. He has referred to the traditional mode as "obsolete", criticizing other creators for "not knowing how to evolve"; Suárez has added that a key to the show is still to connect with the "sentimental" response that Mexicans have to a telenovela, part of their culture from childhood.[1] Arturo Aguilar and Primitivo Olvera for W Radio México agree, saying that it borrows a lot from the telenovela and is "enormously built out of nostalgia".[120]

Cornelio-Marí writes extensively on the telenovela and melodramatic elements of The House of Flowers, saying that it "is catalogued as a comedy, but in fact is a self-conscious melodrama with an ironic twist",[121] noting several elements that contribute to this. She explores the same 'nostalgic' references that Suárez, Aguilar and Olvera noted, writing that the series "is using melodrama as a repository of shared references that create emotional attachment in Mexican audiences, exploiting nostalgia for the media culture of past decades";[118] she additionally suggests that this nostalgia is the reason for the inclusion of the drag queens as famous pop divas.[118] Other ways in which Cornelio-Marí suggests the show is reflective of the telenovela are the inclusion of Verónica Castro as "a seemingly traditional housewife";[121] the series' focus on family, characters, and plot twists that are distinctly melodramatic, particularly having a paternity dilemma as a main plot point;[122] a focus on morals and gender roles;[123] and "its exaggerated mise-en-scène", said to be reflective of melodramatic tradition.[123]

Referring to its genre designation as a black comedy, Cornelio-Marí writes that "melodrama is pervasive in Netflix's Mexican productions, although not recognized openly".[123] She suggests a reason for the obscurity, separating melodrama from the telenovela and saying that "melodrama is still strongly connected to telenovelas and they still carry the connotation of low culture":[123] Cornelio-Marí argues that the melodrama is "cleverly disguised" so as to attract viewers fond of that culture while not discouraging viewers who would not want to watch something described as a telenovela.[123] She describes the Rosa de la Virgen video as Netflix "[going] to great lengths to publicly deny that La Casa de las Flores is a telenovela".[123]

Susana Guerrero, in discussion with Ramon Lobato, suggested that the traditional telenovela has fallen out of mainstream popularity; she wrote that though the telenovela has been seen as an important genre around the world for a long time, networks have had to make them more marketable. Guerrero said "the modern take on telenovelas is anything but the version of its former self, and that has been key in securing the genre's longevity [because] the genre has lost viewers on traditional television over time", with television broadcasters Telemundo and Univision making more narco-themed telenovelas to recapture the market while Netflix opted instead for "a more contemporary feel", according to Lobato.[124] In the nine months to February 2020, views of The House of Flowers grew overall by 5%, spiking after the season 2 release at 15% growth, a similar trend to the series Jane the Virgin, a telenovela parody.[124]

While Cornelio-Marí concludes that Netflix has used algorithms to "decode the formula for cultural proximity" in order to create the most internationally marketable telenovela-adjacent television shows and "influence the evolution of melodrama in the years to come",[125] she also includes that there is a "need to conduct deeper textual analysis of titles like La Casa de las Flores and its paratexts as transmedia expansions (e.g., memes, advertising, viewers' comments, etc.), in order to arrive to more grounded conclusions about the ways in which melodrama is becoming part of Netflix's productions".[126]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Rotten Tomatoes83%[75]
Review scores
SourceRating
The Daily Dot3/5 stars[30]
La Tercera4/5 stars[127]
Common Sense Media3/5 stars[128]
Espinof2.5/5 stars[d]
The Review Geek6/10[131]
Ready Steady Cut3.5/5 stars[e]
Locos x el Cine5/5 stars[133]

Reviews of the show were generally positive, and Cecilia Suárez has been repeatedly singled out and praised for her performance as Paulina;[Refs 3] her role on the show was reverently described by Javier Zurro as: "And here she entered, Cecilia Suárez, a whirlwind discovered in La casa de las flores who took everything. She was the star. Her Paulina de la Mora is a revelation, a pin up buried to the eyebrows in meds who, however, was the most modern and determined character in history."[138]

Kayla Cobb of Decider called The House of Flowers "the Mexican Desperate Housewives", and praised "its willingness to be seedy."[134] Cobb's review looks positively on the melodrama and the characterizations of Paulina and Virginia, but concedes that while exciting and fun to watch, it is "not great television".[134] Brenden Gallagher of The Daily Dot similarly called the series light-hearted and adventurous, but he noted that character development was lacking and that the show could have gone further to challenge the usual parameters of the telenovela genre;[30] Greg Wheeler of The Review Geek agrees that it does not do much different to other shows, but conversely thinks that it has "a good amount of character development".[131] In terms of pushing generic conventions, David Lopez of Instinct wrote that the show, especially considering season 2, marked a turning point in Mexican television and its approach to modernity, keeping the telenovela classics but embracing more open topics both intelligently and humorously.[33] Guillermo Espinosa of Mujer Hoy said that the show "has shaken the foundations of the telenovela genre".[25]

José Antonio Martínez of Juego de series celebrates that the show gives "a very different image of Mexico to that offered by U.S. cinema", and noted in particular that Elena's story in the second season is similar to one from the British comedy Fleabag.[32]

Refinery29's Ariana Romero highlights the fantasy song coming-out moment set to "¿A quién le importa?" where "Julián writhes around on the dinner table, kicking his feet and eventually tearing his shirt off" as a moment that "[e]very single person deserves to see", saying that this charm makes it accessible to viewers who enjoyed American telenovela-style shows like Jane the Virgin.[27] Wheeler complemented this style, as well, though gave a mixed review. He suggested that the show does not live up to its comedic aspirations, but plays out the drama well, and that while the acting can be overly melodramatic, the use of color and artistic design enhance the show in a "perfect example" of such visual potential. He thought that the show may not become particularly memorable, but is overall entertaining.[131]

Pavel Gaona, for Vice, however, saw the colorful and musical selections as "stumbles"; in the rest of his review, Gaona wrote that everything from Caro's style and form, to the plotlines, to the casting and performance of actors were all "lacking" and "pretentious", with the exception of Cecilia Suárez and her character Paulina, whom he gave high praise.[46] Though the character of Paulina has been particularly praised,[Refs 3] some critics have mixed views on her idiosyncratic speech. Vinícius Nader of Correio Braziliense found that her speech is "very forced and [has an] artificial rhythm",[139] whilst Manuel Betancourt of Remezcla called it "deliciously languid" and a positive starring feature of her character.[39]

Katherine Plumhoff for Ozy noted that Suárez "shines" as Paulina and commended her voice for "[making] her one-liners […] feel like TED talks."[140] Plumhoff opined that the characters were the best part of the show;[140] Esther Vargas criticized some characters in her review, noting that Aislinn Derbez's performance was particularly forgettable, but praised the performance of Luis de la Rosa as Bruno, saying that "in his discreet performance, the silences and looks of this talented young actor open several readings", noting that Bruno is not affected by his queer parents, a commentary on how "this hyperconnected generation knows no closets".[141]

Though some reviews have described the show as perfect for the summer – the season in the northern hemisphere in which it was first released[138][142] – Plumhoff wrote that it was ideal to binge-watch with family over the northern winter holiday season.[140] She noted that the show was let down by discarding the interracial relationship, but that it has "deftly executed emotional whiplash and laugh-out-loud comedy", being enjoyable.[140]

Reviewing the second season, Ángel Balán said that the character of Jenny Quetzal was "unnecessary",[143] and Kike Esparza agreed that she "contributed nothing";[144] however, Balán thought that the final episode was one of the best season finales that he had seen in a long time.[143] Espinof's second season review said that it was "full of humor, a slight touch of social criticism and, of course, lots of little twists" but, like the first season, it fell flat in some areas.[130] Reviewer Alberto Carlos said that some of the plots are gratuitous, with the cult story-line being like "overstretched chewing gum".[130] Carlos concludes that Caro may have sacrificed good writing for the sake of eccentricity,[130] with Esparza similarly suggesting that humorous plots were used without having any substance.[144]

Javier Zurro describes the second season's main vice as being that it seems to have "taken itself seriously", which does not work with the format, and has turned back into the telenovelas that the first season was parodying.[138] He notes that the concepts of the season do not feel fresh, because it has copied all the formulas of the first; he does concede that with the first season being surprisingly good, the second "had to be bigger, more spectacular".[138] Munizaga instead suggests that the main issue is that it does not include much of what made the first season so fresh, calling it "meek and decaffeinated" in comparison.[40]

Zurro was also critical of the choice to kill off Virginia in the face of Verónica Castro's absence, seeing it as an easy way out.[138] Esparza thinks that season 2 would have been better if it had retained Verónica Castro as Virginia, because the show's dynamic is not the same without Virginia and Paulina playing off each other;[144] Munizaga writes that the season feels uncentered, and this is likely because without Castro's Virginia there is no reason to focus on the titular shop, making its inclusion forced.[40] However, Marieta Taibo for Cosmopolitan writes that her departure is handled well and that Suárez and Paulina become the center,[145] and CNET's Patricia Puentes says that "it is hard to miss" the character and the actress, both because of Suárez's performance and because she is still referenced through the season.[146]

Despite the more negative response, reviewers again looked positively on the character of Paulina. Carlos writes that "the show is saved by the character of Paulina",[130] with Esparza opining that "except for Cecilia Suárez, Paco de León [sic] and also Norma Angélica" the character performances are more like caricatures of who they were in season one.[144] Zurro concludes, in contrast to his dismal outlook on the season, that "of course, Paulina de la Mora is still there, and she and Cecilia Suárez are still the rulers of the series", expecting the third season to be better.[138] However, Munizaga commented that Paulina's motivations in the season are "absurd"[40] — Zurro had claimed this of the other characters[138] – but does say that the subplots of everyone else are worse, being both unbelievable and uninteresting.[40]

Writing about the series in general, in 2020, Variety's John Hopewell said that it confirms Caro's ability "to transfer his auteurist personality from big to small screen", with the series being "one of the first premium series from Mexico to break out internationally".[23] Hopewell writes that the series has become a cult hit in Spain.[23]

Several reviews also comment on the show's Spanish-language nature, suggesting that rather than watch the available dubbed version, which has been described as "truly horrendous",[131] the show is better in Spanish anyway, with subtitles if necessary.[27][128] Jonathon Wilson of Ready Steady Cut argues that the show's dub is at least better than that of Welcome to the Family, a similar Catalan-language show picked up by Netflix.[20]

Popular response[edit]

The show has been popular internationally, including in non-Spanish-speaking countries,[147] and is said to be most watched by millennials.[44] Balán's season 2 review said that some viewers saw it as more boring and forced than the first.[143]

The unusual speech pattern of character Paulina in particular became popular, spawning the '#PaulinaDeLaMoraChallenge' on social media, where fans imitate the slow, enunciated, way of speaking, often with some of the character's lines.[148][149] The challenge was started by Mexican actor Roberto Carlo, with the stars of Cable Girls taking it up.[66] When Netflix and Suárez responded with their own version of the challenge on Twitter, it became a trending event on the website, based on popularity and coverage;[150][151] this is the only time that Suárez has spoken in Paulina's voice outside of the show, which she says is due to Netflix restrictions.[152] She has clarified this as being "a suggestion" that she follows to not break the magic of the fiction.[153] By the time Suárez responded, over 69,000 fan videos had been shared;[148] only a few days after the first season was released, a petition had been started to include Paulina's voice as an option on the GPS navigation app Waze.[151]

In response to Paulina saying in one episode that she is "addicted to Tafil", the BBC ran an article explaining what Tafil is, also suggesting that the anti-anxiety medication is the cause of Paulina's slow speech as this is one of the more severe side effects of overuse of the drug. It noted, however, that the character's voice and Tafil use are creatively coincidental as they were conceived of separately during the show's development.[67] Verónica Calderón of Vogue also notes that Paulina's voice is demarcating of the 'posh girl' stereotype that her character plays with, and is not unusual in upper-class neighborhoods like Las Lomas, suggesting that it could be used as part of the show's socio-economic commentary.[24] Clarín's Pablo Raimondi said that the style of diction establishes her as a "daddy's girl" and a character who can know everyone's secrets.[154]

Scholar Smith explained that clips of Paulina's memorable lines uploaded to the Internet by fans have received hundreds of thousands of views, and that t-shirts featuring the quotes were shortly after being sold on Amazon.[92] Suárez has also suggested that Paulina became popular because she "does not discriminate" by race, class, or sexual identity.[155] Despite gaining a following, Suárez has refuted the idea that Paulina may have a spin-off, assuring that she does not believe Caro would choose to do that because the character belongs in the show's story.[156]

In opposition to Suárez's popularity, Martínez has said that some fans of Verónica Castro did not like when Castro left the show and were not happy with Suárez becoming the leading actor, because of her differing views on traditional telenovelas, like those which Castro starred in, and similar refusal to portray typical Mexican stereotypes.[32] The Hollywood Reporter also noted that Castro's return to acting was a key contributor to the show's initial popularity in Mexico in 2018.[157] Taibo also noted that fans "haven't liked it very much" but that Caro had made her absence "as painless as possible".[145]

Regarding the show in general, Pere Solà Gimferrer for La Vanguardia wrote that it "works because it's like a meme on legs", saying that, likely by design, Caro has made each scene feature something that people immediately want to start talking about on social media. Solà says that it is either a good black comedy, or a "Sharknado telenovela" spoof.[158]

Espinosa suggested further that the show has had a positive social effect on families in Mexico; León affirmed that he had been told stories of parents in Guadalajara who now "no longer fear that their son is gay", adding with laughter that "what makes them panic is that they might be trans", but confirming that the show has at least brought the topic of transsexuality to discussion in more conservative Mexican families.[25] Suárez believes that these aspects have been more easily accepted because of the familiar genre of telenovela that all Mexicans relate to, and because of Caro's intelligent writing around taboo subjects that allows audiences to be entertained by them as an opening to discussion.[25]

The drag queens from the show also gained popularity, and in 2019 began touring in character with a drag show called 'Las Reinas del Cabaret'.[159] The drag queens performed live during the show and impersonated other artists beyond their characters, as well.[160][161] Preceding the tour was the promotional opening of a The House of Flowers-themed cabaret, running from October 16 to October 18, which included more immersive features for fans of the show, like a 'prison meeting' area to speak to El Cacas and a 'Drag Lounge' makeover space with the performers from the show. Tickets were available through promotions on social media.[162] Parts of this show were broadcast live on the series' Facebook page.[163]

In November 2019, Netflix launched a line of book companions to some of its series. From a deal made with Grupo Planeta in July 2019 to produce Spanish-language books for Spain and Latin America,[164] the first four launched on November 26 across the Spanish speaking world.[165] One of these is the official fanbook of The House of Flowers, published by the imprint Libros Cúpula[165] and said to compile all the behind-the-scenes secrets of the show with a tone that reflects the show's style.[166]

Comparisons to Almodóvar[edit]

Acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar is seen as a large influence on the series

The style of the show has been widely compared to that of Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar; creator Manolo Caro is said to be a "shameless admirer" of him,[139] and has taken influence from him in his own works.[46] Espinosa refers to Caro as a "young Mexican Almodóvar".[25]

When asked why he thinks the show is successful, actor Paco León said that the characters and style drove it, and "it's like, all of a sudden Almodóvar had made a television series in the eighties".[48] Critic Nader notes that these Almodóvar "aesthetics" may annoy some viewers, but that he enjoyed "[t]he colors, the faces and mouths, the absurd situations, the masculine nudes, the obviously tacky costumes and scenery" that make it this style.[139] Writing for Medium, Marina Such said that the darkly comedic melodrama and the contrasting settings of the two House of Flowers establishments give the show its Almodóvar feel from the outset, noting that the character María José could be from Todo sobre mi madre (All About My Mother);[50] Carlos Aguilar suggested that the "Almodóvar-esque drama" may be an aspect that endears the show to English speakers.[149]

Manuel Betancourt, in a mixed-view preemptive write-up before the show premiered, described it as "what would happen if Almodóvar finally caved and wrote a TV show, sprinkled some of Las Aparicio family melodrama in, and decided that it needed some of the queer vibe that Paco León's own films have been mining".[43]

In his scathing review, Pavel Gaona negatively compared the two, saying that "there is a huge difference between taking something [Almodóvar] as a reference and another in practically making a carbon copy and doing it wrong", and that Manolo Caro should "seek his own voice and aesthetics" rather than emulate Almodóvar's techniques without the same naturalness.[46] Smith refers to the series as showcasing an innovation in aesthetics through "the appeal to a lush 'Almodóvarian' style".[91] However, he writes that "the series' tone comes too close to early Almodóvar for comfort" with the inclusion of a drag bar, particularly one featuring campy eighties Spanish pop.[92]

Accolades[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Manolo Caro (left) and Verónica Castro (pictured in 2017) have both won awards for the show

At the 2019 Platino Awards, the main international film and television awards for Ibero-American media, the show was nominated in two categories. Also co-hosting the ceremony, Cecilia Suárez was nominated as Best Actress in the television category, which she won. In the Best Miniseries or Television Series category, The House of Flowers was nominated but lost to the Paco León-created Arde Madrid.[167] At the 2019 Spanish Actors' Union Awards, Paco León was nominated in the Best Actor in an International Production category for The House of Flowers, though he did not win; he was notably not nominated for his role as Manolo in his own show, Arde Madrid, which won in each category it was nominated.[168]

For the 2018/19 PRODU Awards, the show was nominated in five categories, with three nominations for Manolo Caro,[169] and won in two. Verónica Castro won as Best Actress and Caro as Best Director.[170]

In 2020, the show received nominations for the Spanish Actors' Union Awards, for both León siblings; Caro was also nominated in these awards, but for acting in Brigada Costa del Sol.[171] For the 2020 Platino Awards, the show received the third-most television acting nominations (three), including two in the new Supporting categories.[172]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2019 Spanish Actors' Union Awards Best Actor in an International Production Paco León Nominated [173]
Platino Awards Best Ibero-American Miniseries or TV series The House of Flowers Nominated [167]
Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV series Cecilia Suárez Won
South by Southwest Excellence in Title Design Maribel Martinez Galindo Nominated [174]
PRODU Awards Best Actress in a Series, Long Series, or Telenovela Verónica Castro Won [170]
Best Director of a Series, Long Series, or Telenovela Manolo Caro Won
Best Showrunner of a Series, Long Series, or Telenovela Manolo Caro Nominated [169]
Best Writing for a Series, Long Series, or Telenovela Monika Revilla, Mara Vargas, Gabriel Nuncio and Manolo Caro Nominated
Best Cinematography in a Series, Long Series, or Telenovela Pedro Gómez Millán Nominated
2020 Spanish Actors' Union Awards Best Actress in an International Production María León Nominated [175]
Best Actor in an International Production Paco León Nominated
Platino Awards Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV series Cecilia Suárez TBA [172]
Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or TV series Mariana Treviño TBA
Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV series Juan Pablo Medina TBA

Best-of lists[edit]

The show has made two 'best-of' lists created by The Hollywood Reporter. In 2018, it was listed in its own entry (separate to the entry for Spanish-language Netflix originals in general) on the list of the top 10 international television moments of the year, being celebrated for "[putting] a racy and decidedly more contemporary spin on the telenovela genre" to save it from "losing viewers to melodramatic, action-packed narco series".[157] In 2019, Caro was included on their list of the best showrunners for creating, writing, and directing it, with Scott Roxborough saying that he "has a knack for [mixing] telenovela plots with a sharp ear for dialogue and a stand-up's sense of timing".[176][177]

Media reviewers for La Tercera placed the series as number 70 of its '70 best series of all time that you can watch on Netflix' list, saying that it is "certainly going to be a classic".[178]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The likeness of Castro as Virginia appears in season 2 and El Funeral, though she did not work for the show beyond season 1 and the use of her likeness is uncredited
  2. ^ a b c Burr, Jattin and Correa appear only in a photograph in season 2
  3. ^ In an episode of season 1, León also portrays the pre-transition José María
  4. ^ Season 1[129] and season 2[130] were reviewed by different people for the website
  5. ^ Wilson reviewed both season 1 and season 2 for the website, giving the same star rating for both[20][132]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b See in:[1][2][3][4]
  2. ^ a b Lists and interviews detailing cast and characters can be found across several sources:[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17]
  3. ^ a b From multiple international sources, including:[28][29][46][134][135][136][137]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Garrán 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Reina 2018.
  3. ^ Palacios 2018.
  4. ^ a b Pascual García 2018.
  5. ^ a b Vincent 2017.
  6. ^ Revista Central 2018.
  7. ^ a b Puentes 2019a.
  8. ^ Puentes 2019b.
  9. ^ El Heraldo de México 2018.
  10. ^ Carmona H 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Puentes 2019c.
  12. ^ 20minutos 2018a.
  13. ^ SensaCine 2018.
  14. ^ a b Pérez Maldonado 2019.
  15. ^ a b Enriquez 2019.
  16. ^ Infobae 2020.
  17. ^ a b c Netflix Latinoamérica 2020.
  18. ^ Netflix 2016.
  19. ^ Netflix 2017.
  20. ^ a b c Wilson 2018.
  21. ^ a b c Betancourt 2018a.
  22. ^ La Opinión 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d e Hopewell 2020.
  24. ^ a b c d Calderón 2019.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g Espinosa 2019.
  26. ^ a b c Catenacci 2018.
  27. ^ a b c Romero 2018.
  28. ^ a b c Velazquez 2018.
  29. ^ a b Lopez 2018.
  30. ^ a b c Gallagher 2018.
  31. ^ a b c d Merino 2019.
  32. ^ a b c d Martínez 2019.
  33. ^ a b Lopez 2019.
  34. ^ González 2018a.
  35. ^ García 2018.
  36. ^ Infobae 2019.
  37. ^ Rodarte 2020.
  38. ^ El Dictamen 2019.
  39. ^ a b Betancourt 2019.
  40. ^ a b c d e Munizaga 2019.
  41. ^ Greven 2019.
  42. ^ Hernández A. 2020.
  43. ^ a b Betancourt 2018b.
  44. ^ a b c El Comercio 2018.
  45. ^ Univision 2017.
  46. ^ a b c d e Gaona 2018.
  47. ^ Aguilar 2019.
  48. ^ a b c Obilinovic 2018.
  49. ^ Popcorn News 2019, 2:20–2:51.
  50. ^ a b Such 2018.
  51. ^ Guedez 2018.
  52. ^ a b Gallardo 2019.
  53. ^ Ortiz González 2019, p. 57.
  54. ^ a b La Vanguardia 2019a.
  55. ^ Devesa 2019.
  56. ^ Popcorn News 2019, 3:09–3:47.
  57. ^ Méndez Castañeda 2019.
  58. ^ a b Gutiérrez Segura 2019.
  59. ^ La Cuchara 2020.
  60. ^ 24 Horas 2019.
  61. ^ Notimex 2020.
  62. ^ a b Saim 2020.
  63. ^ Broadway World 2017.
  64. ^ Infobae 2018.
  65. ^ Vida Moderna 2018.
  66. ^ a b Capelo 2018.
  67. ^ a b BBC Mundo 2018.
  68. ^ Flores 2018.
  69. ^ Netflix Latinoamérica 2019a, 0:11–1:22.
  70. ^ Netflix Latinoamérica 2019a, 1:23–2:35.
  71. ^ Pérez 2019.
  72. ^ González 2018b.
  73. ^ Siete24 2017.
  74. ^ Blanquiño 2019.
  75. ^ a b Rotten Tomatoes 2018.
  76. ^ Davis 2019.
  77. ^ Netflix 2020.
  78. ^ Rosco Martín 2019.
  79. ^ Netflix Latinoamérica 2019b.
  80. ^ El Universal 2019.
  81. ^ Smith 2019a, p. 197.
  82. ^ Zárate & Pérez 2020.
  83. ^ Netflix 2018.
  84. ^ Notimex 2019.
  85. ^ Revista Cosas 2019.
  86. ^ a b ABC Noticias 2019.
  87. ^ Sin Embargo 2019.
  88. ^ a b Ana Carolina 2019.
  89. ^ Ruiz 2019.
  90. ^ El Colombiano 2019.
  91. ^ a b c Smith 2019b, p. 59.
  92. ^ a b c Smith 2019b, p. 60.
  93. ^ Martínez Gómez 2019, p. 66.
  94. ^ a b Grosso Cortes et al. 2019, pp. 53–54.
  95. ^ Avila 2019, p. 473.
  96. ^ Avila 2019, pp. 474–475.
  97. ^ Avila 2019, pp. 476–477.
  98. ^ Avila 2019, pp. 476, 484.
  99. ^ Avila 2019, pp. 486–488.
  100. ^ Avila 2019, pp. 490–491.
  101. ^ Avila 2019, p. 489.
  102. ^ a b c Piñeiro Otero 2019, p. 247.
  103. ^ a b c Piñeiro Otero 2019, p. 248.
  104. ^ a b Avila 2019, p. 490.
  105. ^ Avila 2019, pp. 485–486.
  106. ^ Avila 2019, p. 488.
  107. ^ a b Diezmartínez 2018.
  108. ^ a b c Arjona Bueno 2019, p. 17.
  109. ^ Arjona Bueno 2019, p. 16.
  110. ^ a b c Arjona Bueno 2019, p. 23.
  111. ^ Yalkin 2019, p. 4.
  112. ^ Ortiz González 2019, p. 32.
  113. ^ a b Ortiz González 2019, p. 46.
  114. ^ Benassini Félix 2018, p. 211.
  115. ^ a b Cornelio-Marí 2020, pp. 16–17.
  116. ^ Vassallo de Lopes & Orozco Gómez 2019, pp. 88–91.
  117. ^ a b Netflix 2019.
  118. ^ a b c d Cornelio-Marí 2020, p. 17.
  119. ^ Spangler 2016.
  120. ^ Aguilar & Olvera 2020.
  121. ^ a b Cornelio-Marí 2020, p. 14.
  122. ^ Cornelio-Marí 2020, p. 15.
  123. ^ a b c d e f Cornelio-Marí 2020, p. 16.
  124. ^ a b Guerrero 2020.
  125. ^ Cornelio-Marí 2020, p. 19.
  126. ^ Cornelio-Marí 2020, pp. 18–19.
  127. ^ Briceño 2019.
  128. ^ a b Nixon 2018.
  129. ^ Zorrilla 2018.
  130. ^ a b c d e Carlos 2019.
  131. ^ a b c d Wheeler 2018.
  132. ^ Wilson 2019.
  133. ^ Regis 2020.
  134. ^ a b c Cobb 2018.
  135. ^ Keller 2018.
  136. ^ Campos 2018.
  137. ^ Lobo 2018.
  138. ^ a b c d e f g Zurro 2019.
  139. ^ a b c Nader 2018.
  140. ^ a b c d Plumhoff 2019.
  141. ^ Vargas 2018.
  142. ^ Santos 2018.
  143. ^ a b c Balán 2019.
  144. ^ a b c d Esparza 2019.
  145. ^ a b Taibo 2019.
  146. ^ Puentes 2020.
  147. ^ Maple 2018.
  148. ^ a b Mangal 2018.
  149. ^ a b Aguilar 2018.
  150. ^ Twitter Events 2018.
  151. ^ a b González 2018c.
  152. ^ 20minutos 2018b.
  153. ^ Mancilla 2018.
  154. ^ Raimondi 2018.
  155. ^ Cabezalí & Valderrama 2018.
  156. ^ Cárdenas 2018.
  157. ^ a b The Hollywood Reporter 2018.
  158. ^ Solà Gimferrer 2018.
  159. ^ Luis Diego 2019.
  160. ^ Rayas 2019a.
  161. ^ Rayas 2019b.
  162. ^ Salazar 2019.
  163. ^ Popcorn News 2019, 4:02–4:24.
  164. ^ Grupo Planeta 2019.
  165. ^ a b Cooperativa 2019.
  166. ^ De10 2019.
  167. ^ a b de la Fuente 2019.
  168. ^ Onieva 2019.
  169. ^ a b PRODU 2019.
  170. ^ a b Prensario 2019.
  171. ^ Artezblai 2020.
  172. ^ a b El Universo 2020.
  173. ^ La Vanguardia 2019b.
  174. ^ SXSW 2019.
  175. ^ Onieva 2020.
  176. ^ Roxborough 2019.
  177. ^ El Comercio 2019.
  178. ^ Briceño et al. 2020.

Sources[edit]

Audio-visual media
  • Aguilar, Arturo; Olvera, Primitivo (January 1, 2020). "6:55–9:18". Especial Series de TV I [TV Special I] (in Spanish). W Radio. Event occurs at 8:42–8:47. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  • La Cuchara (January 3, 2020). Manolo Caro nos habla de la tercera temporada de "La Casa de las Flores" [Manolo Caro speaks to us about the third season of "La Casa de las Flores"] (in Spanish). World TV. Event occurs at 0:14–0:23. Retrieved January 4, 2020 – via YouTube.
  • Netflix (June 12, 2018). The House of Flowers: Official Trailer. Retrieved December 7, 2018 – via YouTube.
  • Netflix (June 28, 2019). No es una telenovela | Circus - Netflix [It's not a telenovela | Circus - Netflix] (in Spanish). IAB México. Retrieved December 12, 2019 – via YouTube.
  • Netflix Latinoamérica (May 8, 2019a). Casa de las Flores | El mariachi y el baile sin camisa | Manolo Caro Escenas Post-Créditos [Casa de las Flores | The mariachi and topless dance | Manolo Caro Post-Credit Scenes] (in Spanish). Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via YouTube.
  • Netflix Latinoamérica (November 1, 2019b). La Casa de las Flores | Episodio Sorpresa | El Funeral [La Casa de las Flores | Surprise Episode | The Funeral] (in Spanish). Retrieved November 4, 2019 – via YouTube.
  • Netflix Latinoamérica (March 17, 2020). La casa de las flores, temporada final, disponible el 23 de abril [La casa de las flores, final season, available on 23 April] (in Spanish). Retrieved March 18, 2020 – via YouTube.
  • Palacios, Inés (August 18, 2018). La Casa de las Flores ¿Una telenovela millennial? (Ep. 26) | Weekly Update [La Casa de las Flores, A millennial telenovela? (Ep. 26) | Weekly Update] (in Spanish). Cultura Colectiva. Event occurs at 1:33–2:54. Retrieved December 12, 2019 – via YouTube.
  • Popcorn News (October 23, 2019). 17 Curiosidades La Casa de las Flores Temporada 2 [17 Facts [about] La Casa de las Flores Season 2] (in Spanish). Retrieved January 6, 2020 – via YouTube.
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  1. ^ a b c d  This article incorporates text by Teresa Piñeiro Otero available under the CC BY 4.0 license. This text was originally in Spanish.

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