TV TODAY

Pose Season 2 Stomps Its Way Into the '90s

ALSO: Press Your Luck, Ice on Fire, Women's World Cup, The Bold Type, and more
  • Billy Porter as Pray Tell in Pose
    Billy Porter as Pray Tell in Pose
    Primetimer's editors break down what's new and noteworthy on television today.

    As it was premiering last summer, many fingers were crossed for Pose. The Ryan Murphy-produced series from creator Steven Canals was going to be about drag and ballroom culture in the late '80s, in the parts of New York City that the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning made famous. Of course, terms like "famous" are relative. To minority populations like LGBTQ people and queer people of color, Paris Is Burning is gospel. FX was making a gamble that, in the last 20 years, drag culture had mainstreamed itself enough through shows like RuPaul's Drag Race that Pose could intrigue with the combination of drag's cachet and Murphy's.

    The gamble paid off in a big way, and Pose has become one of the crown jewels of FX's current lineup. Its first season was revelatory —  its commitment to casting trans actors in trans roles puts it at the front of the line when it comes to representation on screen —  and as the season went on, its depiction of the chosen-family nature of the House of Evangelista was some of TV's most affecting drama.

    SEASON PREMIERE: The new season of Pose opens at a very pivotal moment. For a series whose two lead characters — Mj Rodriguez's Blanca and Billy Porter's Pray Tell — are HIV-positive, 1990 was a period of high activism in the gay community. 1990 also happened to be the year Madonna released "Vogue," her all-time classic dance track (and music video) that was heavily influenced by the house balls and which took drag/house culture to the masses (many of whom assumed Madonna invented it). The conflict between being seen and being mined for your culture looms large as the season begins, and you should check out our interview with Dominique Jackson (Elektra Evangelista) for her thoughts on Madonna and "Vogue." 10:00 PM ET on FX

    SEASON PREMIERE: ABC's commitment to a summer slate of old-timey game shows is steel-plated, and tonight it exppands with the return of Press Your Luck, this time with host Elizabeth Banks. The Pitch Perfect 2 director will have to appreciate the acapella snickering of the Whammies as contestants try to avoid disaster and win money. 10:00 PM ET on ABC

    LIVE SPORTS: Sports fans will want to try to find some afternoon TV time to watch the United States national team square off against Thailand in their opening match of the FIFA Women's World Cup. With matches taking place in France, the United States will try to defend their title from 2015. Last time, Thailand only won one match and failed to advance to the knockout round. 3:00 PM ET on FOX

    DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE:  There are a LOT of climate-change documentaries, many of them quite good, and most of them wildly depressing if you're into things like living in a coastal city or having grandchildren, but the Leonardo DiCaprio-produced  Ice on Fire manages to be aspirational by focusing on some of the more creative and ambitious solutions that people are coming up with to possibly save the planet. 8:00 PM on HBO

    ALSO TONIGHT

    • The Bold Type wraps up its third season with Jane and Jacqueline riding high after their exposé. 8:00 PM on Freeform
    • Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party celebrates Father's Day with a special episode featuring guests Rev Run and Regina Hall. 9:00 PM ET on VH1
    • Cheerleader Generation is a new reality series following a mother and daughter pair of cheerleading coaches as they fight for success and respect. 10:00 PM ET on Lifetime

    Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, The Herald Sun, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: Pose, FX, Ice on Fire, Press Your Luck, soccer