The Category Is...POSE!
POSE is an award-winning U.S TV show with a third season in the pipeline. Yet the series barely gets a mention in workplaces and dinner parties (is the silence just in the UK?). It's not enough that my partner and a few queer friends and acquaintances have watched POSE. This is a must for everybody to learn about an often ignored part of LGBTQ+ history and culture that's not whitewashed. It's also packed with great performances. So I'm going to keep promoting the hell out of POSE.
Created by Ryan Murphy, POSE is a drama centred around the New York ballroom culture in the 1980s and early 90s. Marginalised black, latin, gay and trans competitors dance and walk for trophies in multiple categories. This is an underground scene that influenced Madonna (which season 2 touches on) and is frequently referenced in Rupaul's Drag Race.
The pilot bursts open with a thrilling break-in. Ran by the glamorous and domineering Elektra (Dominique Jackson), the House of Abundance will do whatever it takes to win a Royalty category at the upcoming ball even if it means stealing priceless robes from a museum.
Like any exciting drama there is ambition, rivalry, family bonds and romance. There are also cruel realities, such as the AIDS crisis and transphobia, that each character has to survive on a daily basis. It makes every success achieved, such as getting a place at a dance school or landing a modelling contract, all the more uplifting and hopeful without distracting from reminders of a brutally unequal society.
POSE made television history by hiring the largest ongoing cast of transgender actors in a scripted series which includes Jackson, MJ Rodriguez and Indya Moore. Stars of the show now appear on international fashion magazine covers. Billy Porter was the first openly gay black male to win an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actor for his role as MC Pray Tell. POSE is one of the most groundbreaking TV shows in a very long time.
POSE Season 1 is currently on Netflix UK. Both seasons are on BBC iPlayer. For more enthusiastic viewers such as myself, both seasons are available to purchase through Google Play, Amazon Prime, etc.
Just watch POSE already!