True Life: I’m Obsessed With ‘La Casa de Las Flores’ (And The Music, Too)
I don’t really do television, generally speaking. I’m usually too busy taking selfies at the gym or sorting my Britney CDs in reverse chronological order to get too heavily involved in a series, despite this being The Golden Age of Television or whatever…but I can safely say that I am obsessed with La casa de Las Flores. Like, beyond.
Per the recommendation of several friends, I finally gave in two weeks ago and watched the first episode on a Saturday night. By Sunday afternoon, I’d binge-watched the entire series.
Now, I’m mad that it isn’t already 12 seasons long.
The Manolo Caro-created Mexican dark dramedy about an upper-class family that owns a flower shop (and then some), which is available to watch in English dub or in Spanish with English captions (no te preocupes), is rightfully gaining plenty of acclaim ever since it debuted earlier in August on Netflix.
I love it for a variety of reasons: the telenovela style dramatics, the gallows humor, the Legendary Miss Pa u li na de la Mo ra, the copious amounts of male nudity, gay sex, drag queens and trans identity exploration, Lord Dámelo Todo, the lies, the deception, the lies to cover up the lies, and, of course, the musica.
I, a Connecticut-born white Jewish gay, didn’t know a God damn thing about Mexico-bred pop stars beyond Thalia, Paulina Rubio and, later, Belinda growing up. (To my credit, however, I did study Spanish for eight years.)
But even though my whole journey of doing music journalism for the past decade has led me to discover tons of new artists from tons of different countries, I’m still learning about so many acts that I would have never encountered in my own suburban bubble. I’m always trying to pull myself out of that bubble in every way I can, because I think there’s nothing more boring than limiting oneself to their own language and culture.
Casa de las Flores has already opened my eyes to many legendary stars I should have probably known about ages ago, including the HBIC herself: Verónica Castro, described to me by friends as the Cher of Mexico. She’s quite a boss, if her Kris Jenner momager ‘do didn’t make it abundantly apparent from the get-go.
Veronica, as I also learned, is not just a prolific actress, but a Reina del Pop as well. I have much to learn.
Without giving away too much of the plot of Casa de Las Flores, there are constant queer moments throughout the show soundtracked by Latinx LGBT classics which I’m only just now learning about, including, maybe most importantly, “¿A quien le importa?” – both the original, punk-y ’80s version by Alaska y Dinarama featured in the show and, years later, Thalia’s cover.
Now that I got a sneak peek at the drag scene in Mexico – or, at least, the cabaret version – my homework is to do a full deep-dive into all things Gloria Trevi. Also, a Queen should do a Gloria impersonation during the next Snatch Game on Drag Race, too.
And even further back, there’s Yuri‘s “Maldita Primavera” from the early ’80s, covered by many artists over the years (and, in fact, a cover itself of an Italian song.)
There are also brand new songs featured on the soundtrack. So new, in fact, that I had to track down the artists on Facebook and inquire about their availability. They’re not even out yet!
For instance, REYKO‘s “Hierba Mala,” featured in Episode 6 as Paulina and María Jose are in a taxi together. (Thanks, TuneFind!) The song was finally released on YouTube as of Wednesday (August 29), and will be available on the duo’s upcoming EP, Bittersweet, due out on streaming “soon.”
While there isn’t an official soundtrack available yet, someone’s did the important duty of putting together a ton of the tracks featured throughout the show – and also tracks vaguely related to the show. (There’s also some Becky G and Maluma thrown in, which makes me wonder if I put this together in my sleep one night and just forgot.)
As has been relayed to me from some friends who would actually know, the show isn’t just good and funny and full of fun musical finds: it’s also a fairly accurate representation of the varying attitudes regarding the LGBTQ community in Mexico, featuring gay/bi/trans characters more complex than the caricatures they’ve been portrayed as in the past. And did I mention all the gay sex?
Anyway, watch the show and listen to the makeshift soundtrack above while I continue to educate myself about all these Latinx legends – feel free to recommend more in the comments! – and reenact the below scene over and over in my bedroom.