"LIVE, WORK, POSE!"
The shade and sass on FX's newest drama were way too real this summer. Created by "American Horror Story's" Ryan Murphy, this show takes a look into the underground ballroom and drag culture of the '80s in New York City. In the midst of the AIDS crisis, the show tackles racism, prejudice, adultery and self-identity in the span of only eight episodes.
"Pose" tackled the dichotomy between a queer, minority-run neighborhood and a Trump-driven yuppie upper Manhattan and used transgender and LGBTQ actors regularly throughout the show. The show's exterior is boastful and extra and all around amazing but underneath the surface, "Pose" confronts family issues, bigotry, homophobia and transphobia throughout the show with its amazing cast.
The show opens with the beginning of a ballroom rivalry between Elektra Abundance (Dominque Jackson) and Blanca Evangelista (MJ Rodriguez), two very different house mothers with different 'parenting' styles. Within the ballroom scene, there are 'houses' one can join. Houses are the different groups who compete within the ballroom community and each is led by a mother or a father, like a real parent that person cares for their "children" and makes sure they are thriving in and outside the ballroom.
Elektra and Blanca are two very different house mothers with different goals and ways of achieving them. Elektra rules with a cold fist and does not care about the well-being of her children and only worries about herself while Blanca, uses what she has learned in life to help those around her leave her mark. After receiving an HIV positive diagnosis, Blanca sets off to make a name for herself and leave her imprint on the world one way or the other.
Blanca gathers a seemingly rag-tag group of lost souls to be her children including Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain) a student dancer, optimistic and hopeless romantic Angel (Indya Moore). She does this all while having the support of the messy, loving, quote-worthy master of ceremonies Pray Tell (Billy Porter). "Pose" is progressive and radical in casting and the subjects but it stuck to more realistic and human themes within the show. Throughout the show, the characters crave love, belonging, stability, and parental figures who love them for who they are.
The show varies on the emotional scale, as some episodes vary from heart-wrenching like the Christmas episode to very technical and sterile like the episode featuring all the children in Blanca's house being tested for HIV. Unlike other parents, Blanca and Elektra do have talks about safe-sex, monogamy, polyamory and more.
Ryan Murphy's "Pose" stole the show this summer and put the spotlight onto LGBTQ actors who deserved it. "Pose" has been renewed for a second season and continues to gain traction as writers begin to convene and rumors of awards are buzzing. Rumors are the series will jump ahead a year after the release of Madonna's "Vogue" but production is staying tight-lipped about what may happen to our beloved Blanca, Pray Tell, Damon and more. "Pose" is available to buy and stream on the FX Network app and Amazon Prime.