I may be a bit late to this but I finally finished Season 1 of the Netflix Original series, La Casa de las Flores [House of Flowers].
The show adds to the list of Spanish-speaking Netflix originals and I knew I had to dive in the moment my friends told me about it. La Casa de las Flores centers around the upper-class yet dysfunctional, Mora family. The dark comedy feels familiar in all of the perfect ways; from the family secrets, to the bickering siblings the show felt very real by the third episode.
There’s a lot of things that made me feel like this was a great show: the comedy was perfectly interwoven throughout the dramatic moments, the family bickering felt genuine, they had LGBTQ+ representation throughout the entire show and allowed important conversations to breathe within the running storyline. If I accept the show as they presented it to us, then I loved it; but if I allow my mind to wonder about what could have been, then I’m asking Netflix and Mexican writers/directors to do better.
I’m sure the creators and writers of the show felt as if they covered all of their basis in terms of representation (since they hit the major factors: strong female characters and LGBTQ+ representation), but they were missing something essential: brown people.
Yes, Aislinn Derbez’s character does have a black boyfriend that she brings home from New York but aside from him and the maid, the brown people seem nowhere to be found. You would think that a show from Mexican creators and based in Mexico wouldn’t have this problem. Yet La Casa de las Flores reinforces what I grew up thinking: brown people aren’t necessary unless they’re the maid or the “nana”.
My observation isn’t to take anything away from the cast because they did a great job at telling a wonderful story but this isn’t representation to me. Unfortunately six-year-old Julie isn’t surprised, she remembers the countless Novelas she watched, she remembers the way she carefully looked at every scene trying to find someone who looked like her. If Netflix is truly looking to represent all people, then it is necessary to create a show with beautiful LATINX brown people. Unfortunately this isn’t the first time this has happened, it happened with other Netflix Originals like, Club de Cuervos.
(I have yet to watch Elite but I believe they may have a bit more diverse-looking cast, don’t quote me on that though.)
Brown people deserve to be at the fore-front of television shows and movies. Brown people have complicated and enthralling stories that matter and they deserve to be told. Talented brown people are everywhere and it’s time you make room on the table for us. Truth is, I truly did enjoy La Casa de las Flores but I would’ve liked a more diverse-looking cast telling the story.
While fully aware that this is not a Netflix only problem, being that they are the leading streaming service on original content, it feels necessary that they make a major impact on who is being represented.
Really Netflix, hit me up I have tons of show ideas and they all have strong brown people leading the charge.