From the off...it really has to be said...there are some very dodgy performances, notably one [or two]! A few storylines that - quite frankly - should have never made it to the final edit. As for the dancing - especially the voguing...in desperate need of better dancers and/or better choreographers! And, it's all just a little bit too clean, too hygienic...1980s New York [circa Christopher Street] was not a sanitary [nor a sane] place! Those piers were terrifying!
Those are the negatives...but, despite these 'solvable' [early days] problems, Pose has a great big generous heart at its core. And, if ever a TV series was set-up for a series of monumental heart-breaks...then, this is it!
Set in the 80s...there's no getting away from the terminal misery of HIV/AIDS as it clings and claws at every backstory and defiantly remains ever-present in everyone's future - the infected, the affected just about covered everyone in our community - those were the 80s, tears, my dears...but, [albeit temporary] respite was at hand...in the bars, in the nightclubs, in the ballrooms...the category is...Style!
Pose is - rather than being an exercise in hardcore realism - stylised...which will, in itself, excuse some of those 'solvable' problems. Style is crucial to ballroom...and, sentimentality is critical to Pose, there are great big dollops of the stuff! Don't be put off by it...in the face of adversity, sentimentality is the shining light of humanity!
Mj Rodriguez as Blanca [a new mother of a new house] keeps her house in order as well as putting her house in order...there's gonna be a flood of tears. It's a beautifully nuanced performance. You feel her.
Indya Moore as Angel [a new inductee to the new house]...possibly, the best written character...with a [commanding] performance that gives the writing due credit. The camera loves this lady. Everyone will love this lady.
Pray Tell - does a performance get any better than this? You can almost smell the awards a-coming! Billy Porter's MC, friend, confidante, designer, near-broken man...is a staggering display of light & shade...ripe, so ripe, for a torrent of tears.
Three - truly - impressive performances...setting the bar high...every performance needs to reach this level.
Think of Pose [Season 1] as a [rather splendid-with-faults] work-in-progress. Season 2 needs to concentrate on [and develop] the obvious strengths and [mercilessly] discard the weaknesses and periphery [both stories & actors].
Then...Pose will have all the ingredients to knock it out of the ballroom! Keep it stylised, keep it real, vogue-and-cry.