New Pose Trailer Is Basically Paris Is Burning: The Show, But Is That the Show We’re Actually Getting?
The trailer for the upcoming Ryan Murphy show, Pose, basically makes the show look like Paris is Burning: The TV Show. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s refreshing to see so many queer and trans people in the trailer for one show, and the ballroom scene of the 1980s is a fascinating setting for a series. I just hope the show being advertised here is the show we’ll actually get.
The trailer is shot documentary style, hence the Paris is Burning comparison, with what looks like archival footage intercut with talking-head interviews. It seems to focus on gay and trans people of color as they attempt to express the importance of vogueing and ballroom culture.
The show itself boasts the largest cast of transgender actors in television history—MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar, and Angelica Ross—which is hugely appropriate, considering that trans women were largely responsible for the creation and evolution of vogue.
We can also look forward to seeing Tony winner Billy Porter, James Van Der Beek, Ryan Jamaal Swain, and Dyllon Burnside on the show.
However, I became a bit concerned after reading a bit about the rest of the cast. According to the Advocate, “The series costars American Horror Story favorite Evan Peters and Kate Mara as a New Jersey couple who are drawn into the world of the drag houses of the ‘80s.” So, are these the people we’re following through this world? Is this straight, white couple here to let us know that the ballroom scene is okay?
The second I read that, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and think of Roland Emmerich and Stonewall. How he took this major event that had trans women of color in New York leading the charge and made it about a young, white gay man. Now, there isn’t much out there about the actual plot of Pose, so I don’t want to jump to too many conclusions. I just hope that this “New Jersey couple” is either no more or less important than the rest of the ensemble, or I hope they’re side characters.
Honestly, I don’t understand why these two gay directors, who might have plenty of experience in these scenes themselves, would continue to feel the need to have “mainstream POV characters” for the audience to latch onto.
Isn’t the entire point of shows being more inclusive and diverse in their representation being able to demonstrate that these communities that are usually marginalized deserve to be the protagonists and/or the “way in” for audiences? That they are simply human beings with a story to share, and that should be plenty relateable to any audience?
Again, I don’t know that Peters and Mara are the protagonists, only that they are costarring on this ensemble show. My hope is that the people in this trailer are the people with whom we’re supposed to empathize.
Pose premieres on June 3 on FX.
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—