Pose is a new show from FX that just debuted Sunday, June 3. The episode concluded with Damon, an aspiring dancer, attempting to improvise some choreography to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Sombody” and providing one of the most energizing three minutes of television in 2018. The series is set within the New York City of 1987 and focuses on the LGBT “ball” subculture of the area. These balls involve men and women dressing up in elaborate costumes and performing to music for glory, adoration and prize money.
The show begins by introducing the audience to the “House of Abundance.” Like any other ball house, it is a place where youths can find a secondhand source of comfort and family; especially in cases where a person’s blood family might be hostile to that person’s sexuality. The House of Abundance is a respected place with the creative-minded mother Elektra holding an event where the participants dress like royalty, using clothes stolen from a neighboring museum. Things take a turn for the wild once the police arrive at the house.
The show jumps to Blanca, a transgender woman and former devotee of the House of Abundance who discovers her HIV positive status and flees the house. Blanca clutches to her positive emotions and decides to found a house of her own. It is Blanca who discovers Damon and offers to take him in after his family disowned him for being gay. The rest of the series follows Damon as Blanca shows him the ins and outs of ball culture and fosters his interest in dancing. Damon decides to follow her advice in a dance-off between The House of Abundance and Blanca’s House of “Evangelists.” As this is only the series premiere, it makes sense that Damon loses, damaging his confidence and the reputation of Blanca’s House.
Blanca continues to help Damon out by getting him enrolled into “The New School for Dance,” but his lacking confidence and anxiety costs him the window to apply. Refusing to see new, young talent become discouraged, Blanca marches into the institution with Damon in tow and has a long talk with the school’s dean about how much talent the boy has within him. The dean decides to let audition on the spot, leading to Damon’s remarkable improvised performance of one of Whitney Houston’s classics from the ’80s.
Pose airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on FX.