Friday, June 19, 2020

Emmy Catch-Up: Pose (Season Premiere)

Every year, I watch the six submitted episodes of every series I don’t regularly watch that’s up for one of the Emmy series prizes. This year, I’m getting a jump start to check out the entire season of some of most high-profile shows I didn’t watch when they originally aired.

Pose: Season 2, Episode 1 “Acting Up” (A-)

Unlike the other three shows that I’m watching as part of this Emmy catch-up and trying to convince myself to like, this one really impressed me in season one when I revisited some of the episodes after finding the pilot decent but not particularly relevant for me. Now, I recognize the importance of encountering topics that don’t feel familiar to me, and I’m glad the season two became available on Netflix so that I can follow the entire storyline. This episode felt so appropriate to watch in the current moment, most notably because its cast is actually representative of the people and community they portray, and it excelled both in terms of what its plot meant and its specific character development. The die-in on the church floor was exceptionally powerful, and this was a formidable hour for Billy Porter as Pray went from not being interested in joining Judy at the activist group meeting to publicly calling out Elektra for not showing up to the protest. The other MVP of this hour was Indya Moore, as we saw Angel get a shot at modeling in a public forum that didn’t define her as trans and forced to endure a photographer taking advantage of her inability to pay and her vulnerability. I’m glad that this season is moving away from Stan and Matt’s storyline and instead focusing exclusively on the characters who are facing the increasingly deadly AIDS epidemic, like Blanca, and the excitement that comes from Madonna’s voguing potentially helping some elements of this underground culture to go mainstream.

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