FX confirmed that Pose, Ryan Murphy’s critically-acclaimed 1980s ballroom musical drama, had been picked up for Season 2 back in July.
The renewal of the series was widely expected given the favorable reviews and warm audience response. Everyone’s been taking about Pose since it premiered on 21st Century-owned FX on June 3, 2018. And since FX announced that Pose will be back for Season 2, fans have been impatiently awaiting word from the network about when the series will premiere.
While announcing the renewal of Pose for Season 2, FX Network CEO John Landgraf praised Murphy for his “revolutionary” and “groundbreaking” TV series.
“Ryan Murphy has once again revolutionized television with Pose, an incredibly engaging story of creativity, courage, compassion, love, and family at a pivotal time in our culture,” Landgraf said.
“As television critics have universally acknowledged, there is simply nothing like Pose on TV, so effortlessly excelling on every creative level and earning a place in television history for its infectiously inclusive spirit.”
Ahead of the return of Pose for Season 2, here is everything we know so far about the upcoming season, including the expected release date, trailers, latest casting news, latest plot news, and more.
Pose Season 2 release date
FX has confirmed that Pose Season 2 will premiere in 2019, but fans are still awaiting word from the network on the exact date when the series will premiere.
Fans have also been speculating about when the upcoming season will premiere.
Pose Season 1 premiered on June 3 and the season finale aired on July 22. However, it is not possible to use the Season 1 released date to make an informed guess about when Pose Season 2 will premiere because while the release date schedule for some FX shows have followed a predictable pattern, others have followed no clearly discernible pattern.
But fans remain optimistic that Pose Season 2 will debut by the summer of 2019.
Pose Season 2 details
FX confirmed on July 12 that Pose was set to return for Season 2. The confirmation came ahead of Season 1’s penultimate episode which aired on July 15.
Pose is co-created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals. Murphy directed the first two episodes of Pose Season 1 which ran eight episodes.
Pose Season 1 executive producers included Murphy, Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall, and Sherry Marsh, with Janet Mock, Our Lady J, Lou Eyrich, and Erica Kay, serving as producers.
Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions produced the series in collaboration with Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision and Ryan Murphy Television.
FX has confirmed that Murphy, Falchuk, Canals, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall, and Sherry Marsh, will return as executive producers for Season 2. FX has also confirmed that the main cast of the show will return.
“We are honored to partner with our producers Ryan, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall and Sherry Marsh, and the incredible cast and crew to continue this groundbreaking journey that is ‘Pose.'” Landgraf said, after announcing that the series had been renewed for Season 2.
Although FX confirmed that Murphy, Falchuk and Canals will return as executive producers for Pose Season 2, Murphy’s future involvement in the series beyond Season 2 is in question. The Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody Award-winning producer moved to Netflix in July after sealing a $300 million mega deal — reputedly the biggest deal in TV history –with the streaming giant back in January.
Pose is a dance musical that explores the ball culture in 1980s NYC. The show debuted to critical acclaim in 2018 and was praised for having assembled the largest ever cast of transgender series regulars portraying transgender characters in primetime TV history.
The show’s cast of transgender actors include Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross.
Pose Season 1 also had the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ characters ever for a scripted TV series. The show capped the impressive list of if firsts by having Janet Mock as the first trans black woman to write and direct a primetime TV drama.
Episode 6 of Pose Season 1, titled “Love is the Message,” which aired on July 8, was directed by Mock.
Mock confirmed in a recent interview with Billboard that she will be back in the director’s chair for Pose Season 2.
Pose also employed trans and LGBTQ crew members and consultants, including Our Lady J. Murphy reportedly said he would donate profits from Pose to LGBTQ charities.
Pose’s list of firsts creates a precedent that could prove influential in subsequent TV history.
FX revealed at the 2018 TCA summer press tour last August that the writers’ room will convene for Pose Season 2 in September. The network also shared that Pose Season 2, which is slated to premiere in 2019, will start its story in 1989 — a year after Pose Season 1 — and end it in March 1990, when Madonna’s hit song Vogue was released.
Madonna’s song was inspired by the vogue dance trend that originated in Harlem ballrooms. Madonna’s 1990 hit single Vogue helped to popularize “voguing” in the 1990s.
According to Deadline, Murphy said he planned to feature Madonna’s song in Pose but that he had no plans to cast the real Madonna in the series because casting stars like Madonna wasn’t “what [Pose] is about.”
Murphy’s comment recalls the backlash that Scarlett Johansson suffered after news broke in July that she had accepted to play a trans character in an upcoming film. Transgender activists and their supporters insisted that transgender movie roles should be reserved for transgender people.
Although Johansson initially tried to defend her decision to take the role, she later relinquished it after the backlash mounted.
“In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project,” she said in a statement explaining her decision to relinquish the role.
“Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive.”
According to Mock, Pose Season 1 has already shown that trans people can successfully play trans characters on screen without the involvement of cisgender “stars.”
The Hollywood Reporter reported in October that The Trevor Project, the world biggest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization that focuses on helping LGBTQ people, honored Murphy and the cast of Pose at the TrevorLive Los Angeles gala for featuring the largest ever transgender and LGBTQ cast for a scripted series.
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At a time when our community is fighting erasure, we want to take a moment to celebrate the amazing strides forward in representation this year by honoring @mrrpmurphy and the cast of @poseonfx at this year's #TrevorLIVE Gala! 🌟🌟🌟 Get your tickets to attend TrevorLIVE at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Dec 2nd here: trevorlive.org/la 💫
Pose Season 2 trailer
FX has not yet released a trailer for Pose Season 2. We will update fans when the network drops its official trailer for the upcoming season.
— PoseFX (@PoseOnFX) May 3, 2018
Meanwhile, enjoy the official trailer for Pose Season 1.
Pose Season 2 cast
The main transgender cast of Pose Season 1 is expected to return for Pose Season 2.
Pose Season 1’s transgender cast included Mj Rodriguez as Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista, an HIV positive trans woman. She was formerly of the House of Abundance, but later became the founder and mother of the House of Evangelista.
Dominique Jackson played Elektra Abundance, mother of the House of Abundance.
Indya Moore portrayed trans woman and streetwalker Angel Evangelista, member of the House of Evangelista. She left the House of Abundance with Blanca to start the House of Evangelista. Angel became Stan Bowes’ mistress after they met at the piers.
Hailie Sahar played Lulu Abundance, Elektra’s second-in-command, who left with Candy to start the House of Ferocity.
Angelica Ross portrayed Candy Abundance, who also started the house of Ferocity with Lulu.
Pose’s transgender cast co-starred with others, including Kate Mara who portrayed Patty Bowes, while Evan Peters portrayed Patty’s husband Stan Bowes.
Stan became involved in New York’s 1980s ball scene, and the streetwalker Angel became his mistress.
James Van Der Beek played Stan’s boss Matt Bromley, while Billy Porter played Pray Tell, NYC balls emcee.
Charlayne Woodard played dance instructor Helena St. Rogers.
Dyllón Burnside portrayed Ricky Evangelista, Damon’s boyfriend and member of the House of Evangelista.
Ryan Jamaal Swain played Damon Richards-Evangelista, a homeless dancer, and first member of the House of Evangelista.
Angel Bismark Curiel played Martinez ‘Lil Papi’ Evangelista, a member of the House of Evangelista. Martinez left the House of Evangelista for the House of Ferocity, but later returned to the House of Evangelista.
Deadline has confirmed that Sandra Bernhard will return as a series regular for Pose Season 2. She made a guest appearance in Season 1 as Nurse Judy Katz, who worked with HIV/AIDs patients.
Pose Season 2 plot
Pose is set in the 1980s and portrays the underground ball culture scene of the LGBTQ community in 1980s New York City. The show chronicles the rise of the ball culture in the 1980s.
It portrays gay and transgender “houses” competing for trophies and prizes at the events called balls. Participants are judged on various skills, including dance, costumes and attitude.
The series also focuses on other issues that affected the LGBTQ community in the 1980s, including the HIV/AIDS crisis which emerged during the period.
According to the official synopsis, Pose also follows the rise of the “luxury Trump-era universe and the downtown social and literary scene.”
“It was a very emotional writers’ room,” Murphy said. “Always a lot of laughs and a lot of tears and a lot of that made it into the show. … That tone of facing hardship and persevering is the theme of the show.”
Pose follows Blanca (Mj Rodriguez), the founder and mother of the House of Evangelista. She founded the house to provide support for LGBTQ youth ostracized by their families due to their sexual orientation.
Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain) is a dancer who joins Blanca’s House of Evangelista and together they participate in ball competitions with House of Abundance.
He explained that Pose Season 2 will take a “one-year time jump” from 1988 to 1989 in the vogue era and end in March 1990 when pop star Madonna released her smash hit single Vogue, which paid tribute to the underground ball culture that is the subject of the FX series.
“We’re gonna do a one-year time leap,” Murphy said, meaning that Pose Season 2 will begin in 1989 and “end in March of 1990, when Madonna’s Vogue was released.”
Madonna’s Vogue, which became an international hit, popularized the voguing trend in the LGBTQ and ball community.
According to Murphy, Madonna’s Vogue “took something that was unknown in the culture and made it mainstream. And [Pose Season 2] will be about the reaction of our characters to that moment, where their community… is suddenly put on display.”
Responding to inquiries whether Madonna will appear in Pose, Murphy said he was not planning to get Madonna to make a cameo, and that instead of seeking to cast stars like Madonna, Pose was focusing on emerging talents, especially within the trans community.
“We haven’t tried to do too much of my typical stunt casting, and I don’t think we will… that’s not what the show is about,” he said.
Murphy added that Pose Season 2’s time setting suggests possible themes to explore.
“Around that period is when we saw Larry Kramer (playwright and LGBT rights activist) emerge, and ACT UP (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power),” he said.
Murphy had previously done an adaptation of Larry Kramer’s play, The Normal Heart, in 2014. The Normal Heart (1985) is about the rise of the HIV/AIDS crisis and the activism it inspired in the 1980s.
Murphy also added that Pose Season 2 will likely delve deeper into the HIV/AIDS experience of some of the Pose characters, such as Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) and Pray Tell (Billy Porter). It will also explore the HIV/AIDS activism of the period.
According to Murphy, Pose Season 2 will “very much involve Blanca and Pray Tell’s HIV experience… We want to be truthful about it, because it was a very dark, troubling time.”
Fans will recall that Stan abandoned Angel earlier in the penultimate episode Pink Slip. He kicked her out of the apartment he provided.
Stan’s action left Angel devastated and she was forced to return to streetwalking and stripping. But Stan returned in the season finale — Mother of the Year — saying he wanted to take her back. He promised to leave his wife Patty (Kate Mara) for good, but Angel rejected his offer.
“What I want has changed,” she explained. “I got a family. They already take care of me. I want to do right by them. I want to look after them. They need me.”
Angel’s goals changed after Blanca revealed her HIV positive status to her. Blanca told Angel that she wanted her to prepare to become the mother of the House of Evangelista.
“I need you to take care of this house. It’s not tomorrow, but it’s sooner than you think,” Blanca said. “You are going to be a mother to all these children and many more. And no white boy from the suburbs is going to rescue you.”
Angel’s response to Stan showed that she was no longer dreaming of being saved by a “white boy from the suburbs.”
So fans can expect Pose Season 2 to follow Blanca’s HIV experience, and explore Angel’s transformation as she prepares for the responsibility of leading the House of Evangelista after Blanca.
Fans are currently speculating that Evan Peters’ character Stan Bowes, who played the lead role in Pose Season 1, might not return for Pose Season 2 after Angel rejected him. Otherwise, he might play an increasingly minor role as Angel leaves her short-lived affair with him behind.