Pose season 1, episode 1 recap: ‘Pilot’


Pose premiered Sunday on FX pulling us into the glitz and glamour of NYC ballroom life–and we enjoyed every minute!

Pose captures you from the moment it starts in the 90-minute series premiere and encapsulates the essence and feel of NYC circa 1980’s. But it isn’t just the time period that stands out in this daring new series, but the focus of Pose that reels you in–the ballroom scene.

So what exactly is Pose about? Well, when the series premiere begins we enter a world unlike any other with a crowd like any other. And it’s not exactly the type of ball you’d imagine. The gathering is lit, literally as the LGBT community gathers to show off the fashionistas in them all.

But what’s special about this community is that they are the outcasts, shunned from society, thrown into poverty, and are each a part of “houses” that they represent.

The first house we learn about is the House of Abundance that is run by head honcho Elektra. She and her house decide to break into a museum and steal clothes from the royal exhibit to wear at the ball. Of course, they flaunt their fierceness at the ball, but the cops aren’t too far behind. Elektra has a specific aura of sophistication about her as she walks over to be handcuffed–holding her head up high.

Credit: FX

The ballroom scene is such an over-the-top fantastical atmosphere and as the audience, you are completely enamored with the glory of it all. And as the episode begins, we are given three different stories about three different characters–Blanca/Damon, Angel, and Stan.

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Blanca lives at the House of Abundance but she is over dealing with the over-bearing Elektra, the house-mother, and wants to change her circumstances. When she learns that she is HIV-positive, Blanca decides she needs to leave something behind that people will remember her by.

In this spirit, she decides to leave the House of Abundance to start her own house and starts to seek out members to join her. Because she was kicked out of her house as a teen for dressing up as a girl, she wants to create a safe, artistic space for those that are going through what she did. Enter, Damon.

Credit: FX

Damon is a 17-year old aspiring dancer who is kicked out of his home when his parents learn he is gay. Out on the streets, with nowhere to go, he finds a home on the park bench. And while performing one day, Blanca comes across him and is impressed with his impeccable moves.

Their serendipitous meeting makes for a beautiful story within the series premiere as Blanca takes him in as her own and pushes him to achieve his dreams. She accomplishes this when she pushes him to apply at the New School of Dance, and even though he misses the deadline initially, she bullies her way into getting him an audition–and he gets accepted!

He is introduced to the ballroom world through Blanca’s eyes, and with the help of Pray Tell, Damon learns what this world is all about. Of course, Blanca only has one goal in mind–to take down Elektra. She pushes Angel (one of her recruits from the House of Abundance) and Damon to compete at the ball, and while it results in an epic fail, they gain one more member for their house, Lil Papi.

Credit: FX

Angel is another story the series premiere explores. She is a trans woman who exchanges sex for money to make a living. It is how she meets the series’ other pivotal character, Stan. Stan is a working husband with two kids and his beautiful wife at home, but he seeks more out of life–something a bit more dangerous than his mundane life offers him.

Next: Pose season 1, episode 2 recap: ‘Access’

On his first night out with Angel, he doesn’t engage in sex but just lies on the bed with her listening to music. He seems to have a dream that seems unobtainable, which is the case for many of Pose’s characters, and perhaps, the underlying foundation of the series.

Pose is a story about dreams through and through, and it inspires the audience particularly because it is set in a time and within a community that was and is still misunderstood. To see this perspective is very intriguing and suffice to say, Ryan Murphy has pulled it off again. I cannot wait to see more of where this story will go–and what adventures it will take us on.

Pose airs every Sunday on FX at 9 PM EST!