Thursday, January 10, 2019

House of Flowers (A Review)

Binge-watching is kind of my thing. It’s easier to watch a series when you know all the episodes are already available, so you don’t have to wait another week for what happens next. I was looking for a new show to binge on when I discovered the Mexican comedy/drama called The House of Flowers (Las Casa de las Flores) on Netflix.

The story tackles the struggles of the De la Mora family that owns the flower shop, The House of Flowers. It all starts with the death of the mistress of the head of the family. She commits suicide in the flower shop and this triggers the series of events that forces each family member to face their own personal issues during the first season: Paulina, the eldest daughter, struggles with the need to be there for every member of the family to the point that her personal life is sacrificed. Elena, the second daughter, is torn between the life she has built for herself in the US and decided to stay home in Mexico for good. Juan is the only son who happens to be bisexual and has a secret relationship with the family financial manager, Diego. He finds it difficult to come out and when he does, for some reason he just can’t – for lack of a better term – keep it in his pants. Most important of all is the lead character Virginia, the matriarch of the family who is obsessed with the people’s perception of their family reputation.

I found the show highly entertaining. There was never a dull moment with the series. From the drag show/cabaret named after the flower shop, Paulina’s transgender husband to the nosy neighbor who falls in love with a stripper, there is always something happening with the family and the people around them that you can count on either for laughs or for some scandalous moments. I found myself watching the show with the original audio on – I felt that I could feel the emotions of the actors more from listening to the way they speak instead of being satisfied with the dubbed version. 

One thing that troubled me a bit was how the La Chiquis, particularly Ana, was portrayed. The character was blind and that was used as comic relief for her scenes in the show. While the intention to be funny was something I got, I felt that some people would not be too happy to see a blind person portrayed that way.

Every character in the series was interesting to watch. They all had their quirks that made me laugh and made me interested in what happened to them. Everyone was a bit crazy – I think it was only Bruno, Paulina’s son, who was the closest to normal in that show, not that I mind. All the quirks made it all so entertaining to follow.

I thought that it was very brave of the show to tackle LGBTQ topics such as Juan’s being bisexual to the fact that Paulina’s husband, now known as Maria Jose, is a transgender woman. Let’s not forget all those drag queens in the cabaret version of The House of Flowers. I love how they were presented not to be funny or controversial, but to show that these people are represented. The lives of gays, bisexuals, transgenders are all part of our lives in this day and age and I am happy that they are shown as a part of normal life.

I heard that there will be a second (and third) season of the show on Netflix. I hope that they can duplicate the magic that they had with this first season considering that they pretty much closed the book on the story of the family with the first one. 


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