Though they are still in the throes of pushing season one — it’s currently airing in the UK and they recently submitted it for Emmy consideration — FX, Ryan Murphy and Pose are already putting together the groundbreaking series’ second season. And though it seems production of the NAACP Image Award-snubbed show only got started this week, here we’ve cobbled together everything we know from the episodes to come.
*HIV/AIDS activism and the beginning of Act Up will play a part.
While season one included HIV-postive characters, season two will go further, exploring the epidemic "leading to Act Up, which wasomniprescent in New York in the 90s," Steven Canals told Deadline. "We will be addressing HIV/AIDS activism and access to medical care."
Patti Lupone will join the recurring cast.
According to Murphy, the legendary Tony winner will make multiple appearances on the show. She will have “many, many, many” scenes with Mj Rodriguez and Billy Porter, leading us to believe that maybe she’s doing something with the hospital as both Rodriguez and Porter’s characters have seroconverted on the show. Plus, maybe we’ll get another musical number! Sandra Bernhard will also return as a recurring character.
The first episode starts with Madonna’s “Vogue” debut.
Though the earlier episodes were in the late 70s and early 80s, the new season will be squarely in the 1990s, starting after Madonna’s “Vogue” was released. For context, this means after even Paris is Burning debuted. That would have been a happening time, seeing ballroom introduced to the mainstream in a ways that were unprecedented before, with stars of the scene appearing on television and in a variety of other projects. That should certainly pump some additional life into the story lines.
Billy Porter, Steven Canals, and Our Lady J will all make directorial debuts.
While helping put ballroom stories on screen has been one component of Pose, the series has also done tremendous work behind the scenes in giving black and brown trans and queer people opportunities for résumé experience. That will continue with season two. While Janet Mock made her directorial debut last season (she is expected to direct more in the upcoming season and Murphy has also brought her on to direct an episode for his upcoming Netflix show The Politician) Billy Porter, Our Lady J, and show creator Steven Canals will all also direct.
Also, according to Murphy’s New Yorker profile from 2018, Paris is Burning director Jennie Livingston has the “option to direct” an episode as well. Livingston has a touchy relationship with the ballroom community given her handling of Paris is Burning which some saw as using the community.
All of our favorites are confirmed to return.
Recently, various members of the Pose season 1 cast uploaded photos from rehearsals. They included on-screen talent like Dominique Jackson, Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Angelica Ross, Jeremy McClain, Angel Curiel, Jason Rodriguez, Dyllon Burnside and Ryan Jamaal Swain. Twiggy Garçon and Leiomy Maldonado, who both made cameo appearances on the show but also served as consultants, also were pictured.
The show will debut in June.
During WorldPride and to queue us up for the 50 year anniversary of Stonewall? With the new season premiering on June 9, what better timing?!
*Update (4/08/2019): This piece has been updated to reflect newly announced details, including the official premiere date and more about the plot.