Friday, May 21, 2021

What I’m Watching: Pose

Pose: Season 3, Episode 4 “Take Me to Church” (B+)

It’s hard to imagine a better Emmy submission for Billy Porter than the one that won him the prize in season one, but this may be it. This episode was a remarkable journey into Pray’s life, a chance for him to go home and greet the ghosts of his past while being his authentic self. It’s a notion that I think is representative of the experiences that so many had or would have liked to have, and while he didn’t gain the acceptance he needed from everyone, he did have some breakthrough moments with a good number of people from his childhood who were formative in his life. There’s no denying the power of that musical performance in church, and I found myself getting even more emotional in the next scene where he got a degree of security in the knowledge that his Aunt Jada, played by Jackée Harry from “Sister, Sister” and “227,” was going to be looking out for his true wishes as he faced certain death in the near future. This star-studded episode cast also included Anna Maria Horsford, from “Amen” and “The Wayans Bros.,” and Janet Hubert, the original Aunt Viv from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” I couldn’t quite place another strong performer from the episode, Michelle Hurd from “Star Trek: Picard” as Vernon’s wife Ebony, who knew her husband was gay and wanted advice from Pray on how to please him. This show has such a distinct, dated feel to it that works especially well for deeply involved hours like this one.

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