Category is: gritty queer ’80s eleganza realness. Be ready to learn all about that kind of ball vernacular because FX’s Pose is looking to be the show of summer 2018. Chronicling the vibrant world of voguing balls in New York City in the tumultuous 1980s, this Ryan Murphy-produced series is looking to bridge the gap between Paris is Burning and RuPaul’s Drag Race, and give us a fictional take on the kinds of vogue scenes we’ve seen in docs like Kiki and Strike a Pose. From the looks of it, the show is gonna give us a firsthand look at what it was like to be part of one of those legendary Houses up in Harlem where queer youth cast off by their families sought one another and found strength in dancing, vogueing, and living their truth.
The first trailer of the show suggests we’re getting a mockumentary-like take on the material. Gritty black and white VHS-quality video interviews with the likes of Angel and Blanca (Indya Moore and Mj Rodriguez, both of whom starred in the similarly-focused musical drama Saturday Church) spell out what the ballroom scene is all about. “I am encouraged to be all the things that the outside world would think of as freak,” Blanca explains. And as they talk about why they’re so nourished by the community they’ve created together, we get brief glimpses of the glitter and glamor (in full HD color!) of the ballroom scenes. Scored by Marshall Jefferson’s “Move Your Body,” the fabulousness on display in the trailer proves that the ball scenes will be the show’s main selling point. Furthermore, the show will feature the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles and the largest recurring LGBTQ cast ever for a scripted television series.
The show may carry the imprint of the Glee and American Horror Story creator but a look at who’s working on the project suggests the diversity on display in front of the camera is well-matched behind it. Originally conceived and now co-written by Latino scribe Stephen Canals, Pose also boasts the talent of Puerto Rican choreographers Danielle Polanco and Leoimy Maldonado, as well the consulting prowess of Hector Xtravaganza, of the legendary House of Xtravaganza. Wisely, perhaps, the trailer focuses on the young people of color that will carry the show, though Murphy regulars Evan Peters and Kate Mara, as well as Dawson himself, James van der Beek, round out the cast.
Check out the trailer in all its fabulous beauty below.
Pose premieres June 3, 2018 on FX.