Spoilers for Pose season 2 ahead.
There's never been a more urgent time to have Pose in our lives. Amid social unrest and a global pandemic, the fabulous world of New York's ballroom scene in the '80s and '90s is sorely missed. But while season 2 of the FX drama premiered to critical success and pop cultural dominance in June 2019, a third season is currently in flux. Ahead, everything we know about when MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Billy Porter, and others will be voguing once more.
Season 3 is happening…eventually.
Shortly after Pose season 2 debuted, Deadline reported that the show would receive a third season. “Pose has elevated our culture and the TV landscape like few shows before it, and we are honored to partner with co-creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals on a third season,” John Landgraf, the chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions, said in a statement to the outlet.
But Variety confirmed that filming on the new season of Pose has halted in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The pause reportedly occurred just eight days into production on season 3. "When production paused, I wasn't shocked—I knew it would happen—but it was a bittersweet moment for me," Moore, who plays Angel on the series, told Variety. "On the one hand, if anyone had gotten sick, it surely would have spread fast. On the other hand, most folks working on a production are living paycheck to paycheck. So I was worried about how they are going to survive."
"It's been a very bumpy, bumpy ride," Rodriguez, who plays Blanca, told the L.A. Times' podcast Can't Stop Watching. "There are certain things I try to do to distract myself from it. I'm writing as much as I can...But even when I'm doing that, my mind escapes, and I go right back to what has happened." She continued, "I'm still happy, I still keep myself uplifted...If I was by myself, I'd probably be a complete wreck."
The season's plot could be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
There's been no official update on when the Pose team can continue filming. But co-creator and showrunner Canals told Variety that viewers should expect changes in upcoming scripts. "Things like kissing—we will likely forgo those moments," he explained, adding, "The place on our show where the biggest impact will be felt will be the ball scenes: Those scenes have 125 to 150 background actors. That's tricky because that's such an important and critical part of our show and the narrative. We're just, only now, having conversations of, 'Is there a world where we forgo these things?'"
Although the show takes place in the '80s and '90s, Canals said season 3 won't shy away from addressing the heartache of 2020. "The politics of Pose have always been upfront and center, so in terms of the narrative of season 3 and the way we’re moving forward, I think it will inherently address what’s happening currently with COVID-19," he told Variety. "All of that was already baked into the DNA of the show."
Season 2 ended with an important time jump.
Most of the season explored how the release of Madonna's "Vogue" and its legendary music video impacted the New York ballroom scene. But the Janet Mock-directed finale, "In My Heels," jumps in time several months to 1991. The emotional episode depicts Blanca's ongoing struggle with her HIV diagnosis, which has progressed to AIDS by season's end.
Her beloved House of Evangelista is also crumbling as Lil Papi (Angel Bismark Curiel) and Angel (Moore) have flown the nest and embarked on a new chapter as an engaged couple. Similarly, Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain) has ventured out on his own to become a professional dancer and choreographer. Following a powerful heart-to-heart with ball host Pray Tell (Porter), Blanca gets a new lease on life with the arrival of two new children. Quincy (KJ Aikens) and Chilly (Gia Parr) have both been kicked out of their homes and are inspired by the ball culture Blanca has helped cultivate. She takes them in and finds renewed purpose in being a den mother once more.
During an August 2o19 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Canals confirmed that Aikens and Parr would return as series regulars in the third season. Likely to return alongside those actors are Rodrigeuz, Moore, Porter, Curiel, Swain, Dominique Jackson as Elektra, and Hailie Sahar as Lulu. Earlier in the second season, Angelica Ross's Candy tragically passed away. However, she could return in flashbacks.
Hollywood's Jeremy Pope joins the cast.
As for new faces joining the third season, co-creator Ryan Murphy confirmed at least one cast addition via The Hollywood Reporter. Jeremy Pope, who played aspiring screenwriter Archie in Murphy's Netflix limited series Hollywood, will join Pose season 3 in an unspecified role. Murphy revealed that Pope, an openly gay actor, will play a straight role in the new installment. "I'm really interested in him doing that one, two punch of Hollywood as a gay person and Pose as a straight one," Murphy said.
A new House of Evangelista could be on the way.
The third season of Pose will be filled with new cast members, content changes, and (possibly) a new House of Evangelista. Pose producer Janet Mock told Entertainment Weekly back in August, "I believe there will be a new House of Evangelista. I think that that's something that we could boldly say that Blanca will likely have new children in season 3. She continued, "It makes sense—her children are grown. They'll come and go. Family dinner may be bigger. I don't know if Angel and Papi will have kids of their own. I don't know what their home lives are going to look like. But I think that they're also be [sic] very tethered to one another even though they go out and brand out and there may be new houses and all that good stuff."
Blanca may find love.
In addition to branching out as a house mother, Blanca could pursue romance in the new season. "Something that I would really love for us to explore in season 3 would be Blanca in a relationship and how that affects the relationships she has with her kids," Canals told The Hollywood Reporter. "For example, Lil Papi is so protective of Blanca. How is he going to interact with Blanca having a lover? And if this lover moves into her home and, presumably, if there is a House of Evangelista 2.0—whatever that looks like, whatever shape that takes—how are they now interacting with Blanca having this live-in lover?"
Billy Porter is directing an episode.
Once the new season is permitted to film, a slate of exciting directors are on the way. Porter has confirmed he'll direct an episode in the upcoming installment, a first for the Emmy-winning lead. The first episode of the season is titled "On the Run," as revealed on Canals' Instagram, and will be helmed by Mock. Episode 2 will be directed by Canals himself.
I couldn't be more excited to be back on set with my @poseonfx family today to start shooting season 3 of this show that I'm so proud to be a part of. I can't wait for y'all to see what we have in store for you this season - it's going to be epic hennies!
A post shared by Billy Porter (@theebillyporter) on Mar 4, 2020 at 9:53am PST
Other major historical events for the LGBTQ+ community will be featured in future seasons.
While production on Pose's third season remains a question mark, plans for future installments are under way. Murphy has previously said the show will end in 1996, which Canals essentially confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. Some of the developments the series could cover, according to the showrunner, include the hanging of the AIDS Quilt on the National Mall in D.C. and the HIV/AIDS medication cocktail to emerge around '96. "When I was pitching Pose, I always envisioned that it would be a five-season show," Canals told THR. "With that said, could it be a four-season? Could it be a six-season? Sure. It could be more or less. What's really important for all of us—and maybe more specifically for Ryan, Brad and I—is that we felt we told the story that we intended to tell. Once we've hit that point, we'll know that it's time to end it."
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