'Pose' season 2 gets grief and glamor right as it serves another round of amazing television
As they say gold has to go through fire before it eventually shines the brightest. By 1990, the colored queer community had gone through enough to finally rise and "pose." The silver lining to the community dying of HIV AIDS came in the form of Madonna's chart-topping hit 'Vogue,' as the underground ballroom culture was suddenly made mainstream by the Queen of Pop.
Ten minutes in, you hear Madonna's song on the radio and Blanca (MJ Rodriguez) is all smiles as amidst the grim and the glooms of back-to-back funerals, a slice of pop culture has revolutionized their world.
In other words, there's a spark of hope, which may soon burn down the walls of homophobia and the AIDS epidemic. Season 1 of Ryan Murphy's show hit the ground running when it first premiered last June, and a year later, season 2 is back - bigger, better, and so damn bold.
The season opens with Blanca and Pray Tell (Billy Porter) on a ship, dressed to the nines for a winter in New York, only for the camera to pan out and show them headed to Hart Island, where the homeless are buried.
Yet another funeral, yet another tragedy, but what is more heart wrenching is that your name means nothing when you die in Hart Island. The number on top of a wooden coffin is how acquaintances identify the dead person.
As Pray Tell attends the 210th funeral of his life, the tragedy manifests into fury and he soon joins an advocacy group -- AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, (ACT UP) -- which garners global attention for its acts of non-violent, civil disobedience to bring an end to and awareness about the disease.
Blanca, who was diagnosed HIV positive in the very first episode of 'Pose,' isn't getting any better as her healthy lifestyle is doing very little to keep her T-cell levels up, and she now has AIDS. But that does not deter her spirit. Why should it?
AIDS is just another disease and she just needs to be alive till they find a cure. Hence, we see Blanca gleaming even more, as her purpose is now certain - her children. She wants a better life for them all.
"Everything in this life is set up to work against them," she says and moves forward to change that. Making the ACT UP protest at a local church an utmost priority, she tells all her children to come no matter the cost. She herself loses her job.
But an exception from the House of Evangelista is Elektra Abundance (Dominique Jackson), whose diva-like attitude takes an even evil turn as she quits Evangelista to join Lulu's and Candy's 'House of Ferocity.'
The major awe-inspiring moment happens when Angel (Indya Moore) gets a shot at modeling, and god! it's magnificent. She is abused on her way to her destination, but there's nothing to worry as Lil Papi and Blanca take care of the abuser by beating him to a pulp and encouraging Angel to dream a dream she hadn't dared dream before.
The rest is all up for you to see on the TV series that is more than just another series. But do brace yourself for the iconic performance by Jose Xtravaganza, choreographer for Madonna's 'Vogue' music video, as he makes a surprise cameo, ending episode one of season 2 as a celebratory milestone. Because it is!