Media Appearances

The House of Flowers Is Proof That Telenovelas Are Changing—and So Is the Way We Watch Them”

TIME Magazine (June 23, 2021)

“The House of Flowers should be recognized for normalizing formerly taboo topics surrounding gender and sexuality,” Juan Llamas-Rodriguez, assistant professor of critical media studies at the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas tells TIME via email. While it’s not the first Mexican telenovela to include gay and transgender characters, “the fact that The House of Flowers’ LGBTQ characters have been allowed to have stories beyond their gender or sexual identities goes a long way towards moving such stories away from salacious content or ‘very special episodes,’” he says.
A still from 'La Casa de las Flores: La Pelicula' NETFLIX—© 2021
Yet Llamas-Rodriguez also points to the series’ limitations: the cast of characters is largely white and affluent, giving a limited representation of LGBTQ experiences in Mexico. And the casting of cisgender male actor Paco León as María José, a transgender woman, has also received criticism. Such casting decisions are not unprecedented, as seen through the history of transgender representation on screen in U.S. entertainment that have included hurtful depictions of trans stories and experiences. For Llamas-Rodriguez, these trends are “emblematic of the media industries’ more conservative tendencies. In that sense, I think The House of Flowers is a lot more traditional than its promotion makes it out to be.” He also points to major legacy broadcasters like Telemundo, who too have been adapting the format and narratives of their shows in recent years to attract new audiences.

In this TIME article, I was interviewed by Suyin Haynes about the changes to the genre of the telenovela, in particular the presence of more LGBTQ+ stories in series such as Netflix’s La Casa de las Flores. Full article available here.

“Merger set to create world’s largest Spanish-language media company”

Marketplace [American Public Radio] (April 14, 2021)

In this segment for Marketplace, I was interviewed by Andy Uhler about the announcement of the Televisa-Univision merger and what that may mean for the future of Spanish-language streaming media. Full radio segmentnt available here.

“Cutting the Cord”

Good Morning Texas [WFAA 8] (January 10, 2020)

In this segment for Good Morning Texas, WFAA’s morning variety show, I talked with Alanna Sarabia about the multiplication of streaming services, how these fare against cable subscriptions, and how to understand different kinds of audiences based on platform, content type, and their consumption relationship to television. Full video recording of TV appearance available here.