FQ Columnist Paul Julian Smith reports from Mexico on Netflix's redo of the traditional telenovela with its new series, La casa de las flores (House of Flowers). Smith argues that the series is not as innovative or trangressive as it claims to be and in fact, was preceded in many aspects by the cult Mexican independent series Mirada de mujer (A Woman's Look) in the late 1990s. Both series feature a grumpy patriarch, a dissatisfied mother and wife who embarks on an affair (with a much younger man, in the case of Mirada de mujer), and three confused grown children, and both explore taboo topics such as AIDS, abortion, and interracial romance. Smith questions whether the U.S. newcomer, with its glossy production values, will prove to be as enduring as its homegrown predecessor.

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