Have you ever had that moment where a friend of yours tells you about a show and they say, “Just get through the first episode. I promise you’ll love it?” I don’t think I know anyone who started watching this show that didn’t enjoy the first episode. They robbed a museum in the first episode to win a ball! I’m still wondering if someone was actually able to do that, and if not, who had the imagination to think of that? In just three short seasons, I’ve learned so much about ballroom, HIV, transgender life in the 80’s and 90’s and myself.
Alright, bare with me. I have watched RuPaul’s Drag Race since season one and it never occurred to me that the reason Ru had categories was to pay homage to the ballroom scene of the 80’s and 90’s where Ru became a LEGEND. Now, I’m sure she said this somewhere within the show but I missed that part and always wondered about it until I watched Paris is Burning. Pose is the fictional version of Paris is Burning, if you ask me.
Although we are sad to see the show only make it to three seasons and end without two, technically three, of its stars, this was the perfect time to end the series. There really was no story left to tell. The series was about how ballroom transformed the lives of the people who lived and thrived there. We saw Angel go from working down at the piers, finding who she thought was the love of her life, realizing that man was not ready to commit to a woman like her and ending with the man of her dreams, who had been staring her in the face the entire time, and a child. Electra went from a ruthless house mother in need of a man to sustain her lifestyle to a fairy godmother who created her own company so she could buy her own finery AND spoil those who support and love her. Ricky went from the playboy of the piers to a house dad. I never saw that coming but it was refreshing to see him be so tough on his new babies, much like Blanca had to be on him when he became an Evangelista…and then a Wintour….and then back to Evangelista. Pray Tell lived his life exactly the way he wanted to. Any mistake he made, he owned and worked to fix, so when he passed, it wasn’t a shock. Did I like it? No, because I expected Blanca since she had been at the center of the show and was the first diagnosed but no one asked me. I did miss Lulu’s transformation. She got clean and let a guy go who was no good for her, but other than that, we didn’t do much to focusing on Lulu. I wish they would have done more with her, especially after Candy died. She kind of went away for a bit when that happened.
Blanca Evangelista has been the heart and soul of not only the show but for all of us who watch the show. Electra often refers to her as “her heart” and she is absolutely correct. Blanca was never really concerned about herself. She was always concerned about what could be. How she could be, who her kids could be, what ballroom could be, etc. In watching her move throughout the seasons, I started to ask myself, “What are you doing? What could you be doing? What will your legacy be?” I don’t have answers to these questions but neither did Blanca. It came as she progressed as a person.
If Blanca has been the heart and soul, then Pray Tell has been the voice and pace of the show. From his legendary hosting of the balls to his epic reads (almost better than Electra’s), he has been captivating. Any time he’s on the screen, you just feel compelled to soak up, listen and take in everything he says. It takes a special actor to make you hang on every word and Billy Porter did that for us and so much more.
I will miss the lessons of the show, but that last scene of the episode summed up the show so well. It really was that full circle moment that shows always want to achieve but never really execute that well, in my opinion. It always just feels forced and like the writers couldn’t figure out exactly how they wanted to end the show but I digress. From a group of misfits trying to navigate a world that was never quite ready to see them, to a legendary house of mothers, grandmothers and a new crop of kids with a newfound purpose in like and with newfound wisdom from a myriad of lessons learned. We’ve said it a million times before–Pose was a groundbreaking show that reintroduced the world to a community of hope, resilience and pride and it will forever have a place among the greatest TV shows in history as well as within the fabric of the world as a whole. Thank you all for this.