How did a series launched in Colombia, with zero publicity, become one of Netflix’s most-watched soap operas worldwide?
In the age of Karol G and J Balvin, “La Reina del Flow’s” take on the reggaeton industry is what soap watchers of all ages were apparently craving. Give them betrayal, revenge, and a good reggaeton soundtrack, and you’ve got a modern-day telenovela’s success.
Though many of us thought that “Betty La Fea” might have been the last great telenovela made in Colombia, the Netflix series “La Reina del Flow” has become millennials’ most-watched streaming Spanish-language musical soap in decades. It even won an Emmy in 2019 for best international soap opera. Typical of any classic soap format, the first season alone includes 82 episodes, 45 minutes each, for viewers to get hooked on.
Thanks to its old-fashioned word-of-mouth publicity, and like its vintage soap format, “La Reina del Flow” has also achieved worldwide success. It has become Netflix’s number one non-English TV series in the last week of December 2021. It continues to top the charts in countries like Spain, France, and Italy in 2022.
According to data from FlixPatrol, “La Reina del Flow” has been a Top 10 show on Netflix for 170 days, a performance as strong as that other top-ranking Spanish-language Netflix series of all times set in Colombia, “Narcos.”
The series’ leading actress, Carolina Ramirez, plays Yeimy Montoya, a young Colombian songwriter incarcerated in a New York prison for a crime she did not commit in the early 2000s.
Who committed the crime, you ask?
Charly. The man Yeimy loves.
It turns out he also vilely cheated on her, stole her songs, and became a reggeton star thanks to her creative talent. When Yeimy is released from prison, seventeen years later, hell hath no fury as a woman scorned. She adopts another identity and gets her revenge on Charly and all those who’ve ruined both her and her family’s lives.
For those who watched Spanish-language soaps during the summers with their grandmothers back in the day, “La Reina del Flow” is pure flashback thrills. Just peruse comments in chatrooms about this series, and you’ll spot the word “addictive” over and over again.
Carolina Ramirez, who seems to channel Karol G and JLo, shines in this complicated plot set in the sleazy reggaeton record industry.
This multigenerational series is designed to recruit to the telenovela rabbit hole the children who didn’t spend their afternoons of the eighties and nineties glued to the TV watching “Agujetas de color de rosa, “Pasión de Gavilanes” or “Betty La Fea.”
Yep, the telenovela with a scorned woman who can do a mean perreo is here, and with it comes a reggaeton hit playlist that’s also blowing up on digital music services. In this new era of soaps, it’s not just a storyline hook; it’s an I-need-to-hear-that-song-again addiction as well. And “La Reina del Flow” has got a good part of the world twerking to her tune.