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Pose: Season 1

Spoiler-free review

By Christiana

Pose: Season 1 (Spoiler-free): Welcome

In order to celebrate Pride Month and right in time for the second season premiere of the beloved series, I decided to talk about the first season of “Pose”. From the dynamic duo Murphy-Falchuk and the acclaimed screenwriter Steven Canals comes a warm-toned work of art that manages to combine the glamorous culture and lifestyle of 1987 New York with empowering messages that need to be heard. “Pose” illustrates the struggling life of Blanca Evangelista, an HIV-positive transgender woman and mother (creator) of the House of Evangelista- portrayed by MJ Rodriguez, and how she influenced society and the people around her by welcoming them into the fabulous house-ballroom community. Elektra- played by Dominique Jackson- is the founder of the House of Abundance and Blanca`s former mother. The two women take turns competing in various prestigious categories so as to maintain their notoriety or to become new legendary mothers.


In particular, I would praise the wonderful directing achievements of Ryan Murphy, Nelson Cragg, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, Silas Howard, Janet Mock and Tina Mabry, because they gave a unique vibe to the story, helping you fall in love with the characters and empathise with the heart-warming message of the series. The casting was phenomenal in every way possible, from Billy Porter’s flawless singing and empowering speech, to Ryan Jamaal Swain’s elegant dancing skills and all the way to MJ Rodriguez and Dominique Jackson’s feuding moments.  I could not have asked for anything more sophisticated, fierce, yet delicate and high-class at the same time, as “Pose” does it all.


I am so proud of Ryan Murphy’s latest TV series because they consist of great, encouraging ideas that every person should respect and deeply support, such as the LGBTQ+ community that “Pose” focuses on. When it comes to the technical aspects, the show is filled with stunning cinematography and has an astonishing, vibrant colour palette combining vivid tones of green, pink and blue, which give an exquisite touch to the series. The sound department had a great choice of music, featuring late 80`s classics in almost every ballroom scene.


Furthermore, one of my favourite moments from the first season was watching Damon, played by Ryan Jamaal Swain, dance to the renowned crowd-pleaser “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by the late Whitney Houston. Damon’s ballet training shown throughout the series is yet another reason proving that “Pose” is constantly pushing boundaries in order to confirm its grace and style. But if reading about the songs and dances presented in the show has not intrigued you enough, then it is time to tell you about the incredible and wild costumes created for the balls, that the actors managed to wear so effortlessly. The looks seemed to be taken out of a fantasy as they created the atmosphere of the New York ballroom runways.


Concerning a much more sensitive topic, as Billy Porter’s character, Pray Tell would say “The category is” …acceptance. I believe that the title of the sixth episode, called “Love Is the Message” mainly speaks for itself when it comes to the great manner in which it represented the LGBTQ+ community and the struggles of living in New York at a time when the HIV affected many people. The series had a massive impact because it was created to make the viewers feel welcome into a big, supportive family that is ready to give up everything to make you feel loved and appreciated, as Blanca did throughout the show for her children.


Once again, serving not only looks, but also a very important lesson that has to be heard, “Pose” is a true masterpiece. I highly recommend the series if you feel like watching something classy, fun and inspiring at the same time. I am looking forward to seeing the second season and finding out more about the future of the House of Evangelista.

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