Lately, certain TV scenes stay with you thanks to their abject, unquestionable horror. Like, say, one especially terrifying Amma Crellin (Eliza Scanlen) scene coming up in this Sunday’s Sharp Objects, or the final, foreboding image of June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) sauntering off into the night in the last moments of Handmaid’s Tale season 2. But, one TV scene has brought me unrelenting joy for a full week ever since I watched the third episode of Netflix’s delightful new dark comedy-by-way-of-a-telenovela, La Casa De Las Flores.
During the “Lily” moment in question, lovable do-nothing son Julián de La Mora (Dario Yazbek Bernal, little brother to Gael Garcia Bernal) prepares to announce his bisexuality during a family dinner. The meal is already fraught as de la Mora patriarch Ernesto’s (Arturo Ríos) infidelity, secret family, and secret business were all revealed mere hours earlier. Yet, Julián soldiers on to share his truth, beginning to sing Thalía’s “A Quien Le Importa.” The scene quickly turns into a fantasy sequence complete with purple lighting, strobing colors, and cuts to Ernesto’s formerly secret cabaret, where a glitter-drenched drag queen belts out the same song. Julián writhes around on the dinner table, kicking his feet and eventually tearing his shirt off. Julián’s family, in the fantasy, loves it.
Every single person deserves to see this moment. That’s why, if you’re in the market for a new Netflix binge, the very sexy La Casa De Las Flores should be at the top of your queue. Somehow it'll fill both the Succession and Jane The Virgin-sized holes in your heart.
The series, which was produced in Mexico and is therefore in Spanish (subtitles are your friend, people! Down with dubbing!), follows the aforementioned supposedly upstanding de la Mora family. They own one of Mexico’s leading flower shops, La Casa De Las Flores, or, The House Of Flowers. Although, “the flower palace” may be a more fitting description for the luxurious family business. Everything seems fine and dandy for the wealthy clan until Ernesto’s longtime secret mistress, Roberta (Claudette Maillé), dies by suicide in the floreria; on Ernesto’s birthday no less, as his sprawling party is in full swing. The de la Moras might be the only family messier than HBO's media mogul Roys in Succession.
Roberta’s death kicks off a series of de la Mora-ruining events, including the reveal that Ernesto owned another, secretive, La Casa De Las Flores with Roberta. That casa is a cabaret specializing in glitzy, glamorous drag queen performances. It’s fantastic. Obviously, the second Casa was a place truly filled with love and community. Ernesto’s wife Virginia (telenovela icon Verónica Castro) hates it. From here, there is only more backstabbing, scheming, sex tape leaking, relationship ruining, and unexpected paternity learning, along with every other telenovela standard fans have come to expect. Yes, including all the steamy sex scenes the genre usually boasts, if not more.
But, what makes La Casa special is how it manages to turn the soapy mechanisms of yore modern, in much the same way Jane Villenueva (Gina Rodriguez) & Co. have managed to do on the CW. Prodigal daughter Elena (Aislinn Derbez) panics about bringing her Black, American, English-speaking boyfriend (Sawandi Wilson) home to her family. Her concerns, let’s just say, are founded. Julián goes on a long and twisty road to self discovery after revealing a queer relationship he’s hidden for five years. There’s even an important, touching piece of trans representation through a love story no one should have spoiled for them.
While the series rarely keeps anything quite that PC — “Whatever you are, bisexual, trisexual, gay, drag, whatever it is — you don’t have to say it,” an obviously in-the-wrong Virginia cautions her queer son at one point — it’s clear La Casa De Las Flores’ heart is always in the right place. It’s not like anyone agrees with Virginia.
So, it's time to press play on Casa De Las Flores. Rogelio de la Vega (Jaime Camil) would be proud (and Casa is so good, Logan Roy might not tell you to fuck off for spending time watching it).
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