Get ready to once again,”bring it to the runway “Pose is returning for it’s much anticipated second season, according to Deadline.com . FX announced yesterday that the new season of the New York City downtown/ballroom drama will return on Sunday, June 9th. The cast assembled on Twiggy Garcon’s Instagram on March 26th, showing that all of our favorite children of various houses were present and accounted for, ready to hit the ballroom floor once more.
The show delves into several segments of society, all while having the glittering and gritty underground ball culture serving as a backdrop that ties the stories together. From the rise of 80’s billionaire (and future President) excess, along with the famed downtown social and literary scene that went on to become a true “moment” for New York City. Season 2 takes a full time jump into the following decade, kicking off on the day that the Shep Pettibone penned Madonna single “Vogue” was released in 1990.
“We talk about ‘Vogue’ and Madonna and how that shined a spotlight on the ballroom community and what were some of the exciting parts that came out of it but also some of the challenges as well,” Canals has said.
As the ballroom community was taking its own place in the pop culture landscape and making a name for itself, the House of Evangelista needs to “re-evaluate its goals”. Meanwhile, “the AIDS crisis worsens and the reaction from a group of activists reaches a fever pitch”. Canals has previously said that the series will continue to explore the HIV epidemic “leading to Act Up, which was omnipresent in New York in the ’90s,” Canals added. “We will be addressing HIV/AIDS activism and access to medical care.”
This year, Sandra Bernhard, who played Nurse Judy in a recurring role last year is updated to a series regular, while Broadway icon and Tony winner Patti LuPone joins the cast. According to Murphy, LuPone will be appearing on the show “multiple” times, with “many many” of her scenes with MJ Rodriguez and Billy Porter specifically. With HIV/AIDS rising to become an even more prominent storyline this year, could LuPone be in a leadership role at the hospital perhaps?
Pose is a landmark moment for the community for a myriad of reasons, but one of the most prominent is that it features the largest number of trans actors in series-regular roles ever for a scripted series on network television. Its cast includes Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, Angelica Ross, Billy Porter, Charlayne Woodard, Ryan Jamaal Swain, Dyllón Burnside and Angel Bismark Curiel.
An added treat for true ballroom aficionados could very well be homage paid to Paris Is Burning with director Jennie Livingston being given the “option to direct” according to a polarizing and provocative New Yorker profile on Murphy, anointing him “the-most-powerful-man-in-tv”.
Co-created by Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals, the series is executive produced by Ryan Murphy, who also directed the first two episodes.Canals and Silas Howard serve as co-executive producers, and trans trailblazers Janet Mock, Our Lady J and Erica Kay also serve as producers, giving the show a true to life perspective. The eight-episode first season has been produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions.
On how the show is tackling the HIV/AIDS storylines, Lady J –who has been living with HIV for over a decade — said previously to Deadline: “One thing that I feel like we successful did, that I haven’t seen before, is to bring HIV-positive stories to the screen, where they don’t drop dead at the end of the episode. It’s what is it like to live with HIV. What is it like to be stigmatized by the disease? What is the human aspect of that? Through these characters, we were able to do that. … It’s not just about the struggle, it’s about the choice to live.”
All photos courtesy of FX