I think I was very vocal about the fourth episode of ‘Pose’ on this second season, but I thought episode five was very lackluster, where the show focused on friends auditioning for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour. So the less I say about probably the better (they end up on a reboot of ‘Solid Gold.’)
Episode Six is a little more interesting. Pray Tell, played by Billy Porter, has started taking AZT for hi HIV and ends up in the hospital (it was a very toxic drug) and sure that’s fine. But I bet this will be the episode that will be in his submission tape for the Emmys – because he does *EVERYTHING* here to be noticed. He screams, he hollers, he does the most hysterical acting there is – and he even sings ‘The Man That Got Away’ by the end of the episode. For me, it was a but too much, and I felt like I was watching someone begging for an award – no shades or subtlety in his performance here. I hope it works, but it left me really turned off. At least we also get Patti Lupone singing ‘I’m Still Here’ though the set up is really very out of context. But this Ryan Murphy’s Pose.
I was going to write about episode three of this season’s Pose, but then I started watching the fourth episode, ‘Never Knew Love Like This Before’ and I was blown away by it. This is by far the best episode this season, and it took saying goodbye to Candy (Angelica Ross) one of the characters. Yes, it’s tears-baiting but they did it so well here. Inevitably, death will have to come to one of the characters, and it came for Candy. But first, it did not beg for your tears – it showed Candy as a complex character, even at times unsympathetic, but that doesn’t mean her life should have been in vain. She was turning tricks to make ends meet, and ended up being slaughtered by her john. This send a ripple through the family, and showed how this was dealt upon during the times. For example, it showed the all-too-familiar scenario then of LGBTQ people not having their wishes honored – they had to beg the city health employees to claim the body so they can have a proper burial. And the service is bittersweet – with the ‘ghost’ of candy talking to all the mourner, including her parents who decided to show up. It ends in a bang, a musical treat wherein Candy performs for the last time for the balls. By that point, I was an emotional wreck and there wasn’t a dry seat in *my* house.
Isn’t this a great picture of Candy? She slayed it as the Mother of the House of Wintour, when she debuted The House if Wintour. I have to remember – was Anna Wintour as high profile and revered in 1992? I keep on thinking that came later, but I am not really certain. But anyway, it made for good drama. Candy crushed.
Int his episode, we also see Patti Lupone’s character get introduced. She is Ms. Frederica Norman, who I see as kind of a Leona Helmsley type of character, real estate mogulesse, but maybe Frederica is just a tad shadier. She rents Bianca the storefront where she could could operate her own salon, and then we get a trans problem. Frederica doesn’t clock it at first, but her son does, and she tries to rescind the deal, but Bianca starts fighting back. My favorite scene is a tender one between Bianca and Angel where the latter tries to give Bianca fashion and make up tips so she looks more ‘convincing.’
The rest we get some drama, and realizations on how to deal with the AIDS crisis, which would have been in full boil at that time.