'Pose' season 2: Madonna's presence looms large in the upcoming season of Ryan Murphy's FX show
Ryan Murphy had said in 2018 that season 2 will witness a time jump and conclude in March 1990, the month Madonna’s hit single 'Vogue' was released
Season 2 of Ryan Murphy's critically acclaimed drama 'Pose' is all set to premiere this summer. Though much of the details about the upcoming season have been kept under wraps, what's certain is that Madonna is going to help shape the course of the new season.
Murphy disclosed in 2018 Television Critics Association summer press tour that season 2 will witness a time jump and conclude in March 1990, the month Madonna’s hit single 'Vogue' was released. "That song took something that was unknown in the culture and made it mainstream," Murphy said, explaining that the new season will explore characters' reaction to the historic moment when voguing went mainstream.
Voguing is a highly stylized dance form which imitates the characteristic poses struck by models on a catwalk or in magazines. Born in the 1960s before making its way to 1980s ballroom scenes, voguing is an essential part of the FX show. The show revolves around the underground ballroom culture of the 1980s.
Season 1 of the drama wrapped up its finale in 1988 where Blanca (MJ Rodriguez) bagged the title of the 'Mother of the Year.' A year's gap would mean a lot of unseen changes for Blanca's 'House of Evangelista' and Elektra's (Dominique Jackson) 'House of Abundance.' It is clear that Madonna's looming presence would definitely take the show in a new direction.
Madonna released her groundbreaking single 'Vogue' on March 27, 1990, and it featured voguers including José Gutierez Xtravaganza and Luis Camacho Xtravaganza, who also choreographed the video. Arguably one of the best music videos of all times, this brought voguing prominently into the mainstream culture and the drag ballroom culture was no longer "underground".
The reaction to the song was mixed. The 'Queen of Pop' was accused of cultural appropriation for the track, since all the celebrities mentioned were white, which was a blow to voguing's original creation by the queer people of color. Furthermore, some believed how the culture was misused since the singer was minting money while the voguing community continued to struggle. The ballroom culture, however, did not dig the flaws and were happy to see the culture take a turn of recognition.
Now, the questions remains if Madonna will make a cameo on the show. "I think the thing about this show thus far is the casting that we’ve done. We haven’t tried to do too much of my typical stunt casting and I don’t think we will. I don’t think that’s what the show is about," Murphy said at the same press tour. "But I always love to talk to Madonna. I don’t know how she’d feel about playing 1990 Madonna… I would say let’s talk to [writer, producer and director] Janet Mock about that," he added.
The possibility of the 'Virgin' singer making a cameo in the historic show, which features the largest number of trans actors in regular roles of any scripted TV series, is quite low. However, even if the pop icon does not appear, her presence will heavily influence the season.
At the end of the first season, we saw the heartbreaking plight of fan-favorite characters battling HIV/AIDS in the Reagan era where the LGBTQ+ community were not only subjected to discrimination but was also made to suffer a great deal. The contrast is placed in the show juxtaposing their misery with the period’s luxury business world and the growing empire of Donald Trump.
The theme of the second season will still be "Live! Work! Pose!" just as Pray Tell (Billy Porter) enthusiastically announced.