After three seasons, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals' Pose will be hitting the stage and making a scene one last time when the impactful series ends its run this Sunday night. Premiering in 2018, Pose would go on to earn critical and viewer praise and awards but was also know for a number of firsts for television. Executive producer, writer, and director Janet Mock would be the first trans woman of color hired as a writer on a TV series, as well as the first transgender woman of color to write and direct a TV episode.
Series star Billy Porter would go on to become the first openly gay man to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. With a spotlight on New York's underground ball culture beginning in the 1980s, the series offered an authentic look at trans people of color and the AIDS epidemic of the era and featured the largest cast of trans actors in series regular roles: MJ Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, and Angelica Ross– who starred alongside Porter, Dyllón Burnside, Angel Bismark Curiel, Sandra Bernhard, and Jason A. Rodriguez. And now, Murphy has taken to social media to honor the series with a look back at the filming of the pilot along with what the series means to him and so many others over the past three years.
"The series finale of POSE airs tonight on FX. Along with my children, this show is one of the things in my life I am the most proud of. Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, and I created the show and then spent six months with casting director Alexa Fogel literally searching the world for our amazing cast. Every single one of them brought so much love, personal pain and joy, and untapped TALENT to the screen. The photos you see above were taken by my better half David Miller when I was directing the POSE pilot over four years ago; the story we were telling felt so fresh, so necessary, and we were all so excited and praying it would get on the air. How lucky we all are that the dream became a reality," Murphy writes in the caption to his Instagram post.
"POSE super-fan Elton John, made a surprise visit last night to our POSE For Your Consideration event. I was lucky to be sharing the stage with Steven, Billy Porter, and MJ Rodriguez, and we all cried and felt so SEEN when Elton said POSE changed the game and will go down as one of the most important and revolutionary shows in television history," Murphy continued. "Tonight's finale was written by myself, Steven, Brad, and Our Lady J and Janet Mock. I hope you feel how much we loved our characters, rooted for them, and celebrated their triumphs. And in my opinion, it's one of the best series finales ever made, and that is because of Steven Canals, and his extraordinary direction."
Murphy concluded by adding, "It took close to 25 days to make, and you can feel all the blood sweat, and tears Steven and the cast and crew brought every day to this episode. Thanks to Sherry Marsh for believing in this story and bringing Steven into my life; producer Alexis Martin Woodall for killing herself every week with her magical post-production work on this show; producers Brad Simpson, Nina Jacobson, Tanase Popa, and Kip Myers for their support and guidance. And thank you to John Landgraf and Dana Walden for believing in me when I came to them four years ago and asked them to please please please greenlight our show. I have always believed that POSE, with the largest LGBTQ cast in TV history, is more than a show. It's a movement. Although tonight we bid a tearful farewell to characters we love, the movement and the legacy of POSE continues."
Now here's a look back at the official trailer for the ground-breaking and influential series, ending after three seasons the same way they started- as a family; followed by a look behind the scenes of the series finale:
In this final season, it's now 1994 and ballroom feels like a distant memory for Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) who struggles to balance being a mother with being a present partner to her new love, and her latest role as a nurse's aide. Meanwhile, as AIDS becomes the leading cause of death for Americans ages 25 to 44, Pray Tell (Billy Porter) contends with unexpected health burdens. Elsewhere, the emergence of a vicious new upstart house forces the House of Evangelista members to contend with their legacy.
"My life has been forever changed because of Pose, a drama series that centered around trans and queer people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and Black and Latinx people – without trepidation or apology," said Mock. "Though I am heartbroken to say goodbye to our beloved characters, I know the work my fellow writers and producers, our crew, and the trailblazing cast did on Pose will live forever as a glittering, heart-filled, bright beacon of love, acceptance, family, and community."
"I, along with my incredible collaborators, never intended on changing the TV landscape," said Canals, who saw the void of Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ characters on television. "I simply wanted to tell an honest story about family, resilience, and love. How fortunate am I to have done that for three seasons. I'm filled with gratitude to our intrepid writers, cast, crew, and producers who worked tirelessly to make Pose come to life, humbled by our loyal audience, thankful to the ballroom community who trusted us to tell their story, overwhelmed by the critics who warmly embraced us, and forever indebted to Ryan Murphy, FX, and 20th Television for changing my life."
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