"When the second season of Pose debuted earlier this summer with a three-year jump, the FX series raised the stakes for its characters quietly but considerably," says Inkoo Kang. "Even its older, more jaded characters found, in 1990, new hopes for the decade to come. Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) anticipated, mostly wrongly, that Madonna’s 'Vogue' topping the charts would herald acceptance for the inventors of the dance in the ballroom scene. Pray Tell (Billy Porter) decided to exchange his despair about the AIDS epidemic for activism, joining ACT UP at the dogged behest of his friend, HIV ward nurse Judy (new series regular Sandra Bernhard). But Pose, which gave Blanca an HIV diagnosis in one of its very first scenes, has never let viewers forget that time is its characters’ most formidable foe. Even if one of the show’s lead creatives, Janet Mock—who wrote, co-wrote, or directed six of this season’s 10 episodes—has promised that Pose would be nothing like the ending of Paris Is Burning (which was forced to bear witness to the devastation of the ’80s ballroom community via homicide and AIDS), time bore down on Blanca, Pray Tell, and company this year in ways both bracingly fresh and distressingly familiar. Combined with substantial character development, especially for Blanca, Pray Tell, and Elektra (Dominique Jackson), this renewed sense of the ticking clock made for a sophomore season that elevated Pose from a comforting but cautious security blanket (with one notably superb performance) into one of TV’s smartest, funniest, and most urgent dramas."
TOPICS: Pose, FX, Billy Porter, Janet Mock, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Ryan Murphy, Steven Canals, LGBTQ