Entertainment Weekly Writers Anticipate the Legacy of ‘Pose’ As Its Bittersweet Conclusion Nears

EW Digital News Writer, Nick Romano, discusses 'Pose''s legacy, why co-creator Steven Canals knew season three was the right time to end the hit series, where the new season picks up, and more!

Video Transcript

GERRAD HALL: The category is bittersweet ending, because the final season of "Pose" is here. The first two episodes of the third season aired this past week. And we are just not ready to say goodbye to the House of Evangelista.

The series was groundbreaking on so many fronts, showcasing ball culture, HIV, and AIDS activism, representation for African-Americans, Latinos, trans, and gender nonconforming folks. But ultimately, the show is about love, family, and acceptance.

Nick, it's kind of crazy to think that all of this took place in the '80s and early '90s and that culture is still neglected by so many people today. So let me pose a question to you. What do you make of the show's legacy in 2021 and the decision to end after three seasons?

NICK ROMANO: I mean, I think the legacy can be defined by the number of reads that Elektra gives people to fill. And I'm going to miss that [LAUGHS] more than anything. But you're absolutely right. You said bittersweet. And it is such a bittersweet moment.

I mean, for most of the cast members, like this show, was their first major roles in the industry. I mean-- and it was created by a largely LGBTQ group of creatives, which alone just kind of created a unique environment for these performers to really thrive and flourish as performers.

So it is really sad to see that this is ending. But at the same time, you know, Steven Canals, who is the creator of "Pose," he was very adamant that this was the show he set out to make. He looked back on when he was first pitching the concept of "Pose" to Ryan Murphy and FX.

You know, he had a specific ending in mind, which was to go back to the beginning, examine what all the character's hopes and dreams were, and then really explore what it means for them to finally get that. And as the writers' room assembled, he found himself getting closer and closer to that ending. And so it just made sense for them to end with Season Three as opposed to kind of stretching it out any further.

GERRAD HALL: Yeah, yeah. Well, for Season Three, catch everyone up on where this season puts us in terms of timeline.

NICK ROMANO: Yeah, so in Season Two, we are in the '80s. Now, we're in the '90s-- 1994 specifically. And it's really at the height of the AIDS HIV epidemic in New York City, which really affects all of the characters.

I mean, it's also groundbreaking to think that m three of the characters are portraying individuals who have HIV, which is kind of insane. And no other show right now is sort of trying to match that or even the number of tran's serious regular roles that we have here. But it affects all of them in different ways.

You know, Blanca, who's played by EW's pride issue cover star-- MJ Rodriguez-- [LAUGHS] she is now becoming more of an activist. She's going to rallies. And I think there's definitely, I think, a level of response and severity that all of these characters sort of feel as they're crying out for this government to help them. And as history tells us, the government doesn't. So they're going to have to take it into their own hands.

GERRAD HALL: You mentioned all of these stars, the folks on the show who-- they weren't getting these kinds of opportunities prior to this show. So how do you think "Pose" has or potentially will continue to change the TV landscape for these stars to continue to have big success in their careers?

NICK ROMANO: You know, it's really difficult to think if it has made-- like, culturally for sure, "Pose" had sort of an immediate impact. But in terms of systemic change within the industry, it's really difficult to kind of pinpoint that. Usually when the show is as successful as "Pose" is, there are about a million different knockoff, spinoffs on everything. And that hasn't really happened in this case. So I still feel like progress is sort of two steps forward, five steps back kind of situation.