Pose: Pilot
June 5, 2018 10:16 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

In 1987 New York, Blanca Rodriguez pursues her dream of being a house mother and competing in the House Ballroom scene after a devastating medical diagnosis. Meanwhile, Damon Richards moves to New York with aspirations of joining a dance company.

Set in the 1980s, Pose is a dance musical that explores the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the ball culture world, the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe and the downtown social and literary scene.

Making television history, Pose features the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles, as well as the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ actors ever for a scripted series. The transgender cast includes Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross, who co-star alongside Evan Peters, Kate Mara, James Van Der Beek, Tony Award® winner Billy Porter, Charlayne Woodard, and newcomers Ryan Jamaal Swain, Dyllón Burnside and Angel Bismark Curiel.

Pose was co-created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals, with Murphy directing the first two episodes.
posted by roger ackroyd (9 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Series trailer. First episode currently free on iTunes.

My take: not quite 10s across the board, but I'm interested in seeing where this goes. So far, it has neither the grit nor the transcendence of Paris is Burning. Much of the pilot feels like Fame— not a bad place to be. Ryan Murphy is usually more interested in scandal and spectacle than character nuance, but this cast is truly phenomenal, with emotionally-grounded performances from leads Mj Rodriguez and Indya Moore. Plus: that last dance number! I was living.
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:39 AM on June 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've been seeing all the ads while watching reruns of Archer, so I'm interested in seeing Fanfare take! I'm not super into palace intrigue plots, so I'll mostly be watching for the balls and costume design.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 11:34 AM on June 5, 2018

I tried to watch this last night, but the opening sequences really ticked me off. Robbing a museum?? Does this show expect me to like these people after that? If they'd robbed Bloomingdale's I'd have been thinking, ok fine, stick it to the capitalist system that oppresses minorities. Stealing historic clothes from a museum, though, gets me seriously mad. (Never mind the massive absurdity of the whole caper - I'm pretty sure even in the 80s museums had proximity alarms that kept people from touching things. Not to mention motion sensors for people walking around after closing, and guards making rounds... )

In short, that first 5-10 minutes had me so angry I decided to stop and try again another day. Maybe what comes after that is better.
posted by dnash at 11:44 AM on June 5, 2018 [5 favorites]

I liked it. I do agree the museum robbery was absurd to the point of "let's ignore this happened and move on".
posted by lmfsilva at 12:22 PM on June 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

OK! I watched the rest of the episode with a clearer head, and happy to report that the rest is MUCH better. In fact I'll eat my words a tad, because where I had feared the opening section was supposed to be an introduction of the heroes of the show, in fact it seems the House of Abundance are more like the villains, as Blanca is trying to get out and away from them.
posted by dnash at 5:35 AM on June 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Jumping in because I'm just getting to watch this and have so much to say about it. So if anyone is jumping in...

The first few scenes put me off, because it felt very much like it was going to be a screwball comedy of "trans women and gay men behaving badly." I half wonder if it was written that way to hook people coming into it from any of the drag queen reality competitions.

But that's not the overall arc of the series. It's a series that uses tropes like the opening riff on "Cinderella," Damon's dance school arc, and Angel's "Pretty Woman" arc to introduce characters, and then it moves on to develop them in interesting ways. So yeah, it does reward sticking past the first 20 minutes or so.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 1:16 PM on September 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Agreed - the intro teaser felt ugly and isn't a good intro into what the show is about. I too almost gave up because of it.

But it does cast a villain of an oppressed group, so maybe the tuning might be off - I suspect people familiar with the scene would immediately recognize them as villains, but for outsiders this can be/ is super really confusing.

Just finished the pilot and I started tearing up when the dance school teacher recognizes how much hurt Ricky feels, then started really gushing when he announces that he got into the school and the response from his new family.

Damn, but I think this is going to be good, if depressing - only because I anticipate a lot of genuine joy, if transient, to supercharge the sadness.
posted by porpoise at 9:53 PM on August 28, 2019

(sorry, I meant Ricky Damon)
posted by porpoise at 10:29 PM on August 28, 2019

IMO some of the acting is kinda terrible, but much of it is heartbreakingly wonderful. I fast-forward a lot but I'm really enjoying the enjoyable parts.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 11:35 AM on October 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

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