The Pose “Reading Is Fundamental” Library is open. This week: “Life’s a Beach”
Girls trip! Girls trip! Girls trip!
We had a really fun episode of Pose this week because we’ve earned it. There’s been a lot of death and sickness and sadness in Season 2, and sometimes the girls just need to get away and have some funz. While, of course, slaying lewks.
Blanca (Mj Rodriguez), especially, has been going through it. Her kids left, she’s still living with HIV, and, to make matters worse, her salon burned down under some seriously mysterious circumstances. And right on time, enter Frederica “Maybe I’ll Sing a Song or Two” Norman (Patti LuPone), looking like she’s ready to yell at a mischievous monkey.
Incurious Georgina over here feigns ignorance, but both we and Blanca know she was behind the fire. After all that, Blanca needs a break, henny. Leave it to Mother Elektra (Dominique Jackson), who takes her girls out to Long Island for a bit of a working vacation.
One of her clients conveniently has a gorgeous house he’s not using and, even more conveniently, he loves being left gagged and sensory-deprived in a cage all weekend because, hey, it’s New York. The gals pack up their Hertz Rent-A-Car, which Elektra can barely drive, and lip-synch their way out of town looking like the remake of To Wong Foo we actually need.
Being four trans women of color, Blanca, Elektra, Angel (Indya Moore), and Lulu (Hailie Sahar) carry with them the burden of their identities, which isn’t so much a burden for them as for other people, as we will later see. But for a few brief, glimmering moments, they are able to be as free as the wind blowing on that beach.
Meanwhile, spinster Blanca has a fateful encounter with… just… Jesus.
Blanca can barely swim, but she can’t help herself being at the beach and all, and so she and Angel, who can’t swim at all, go for a dip. And then Blanca almost drowns. Luckily, Lifeguard Adrian (Austin Scott) is around to save the day and steal our collective hearts.
Turns out, he’s basically perfect. He’s studying to be a doctor, he regularly calls his grandmother to reassure her that he’s wearing sunblock, and he’s tall, dark, and handsome.
And, most importantly, he is fully aware of who Blanca is and genuinely likes her.
So much so that when he says he’ll call her… he actually calls her, leaving what we now call a voicemail on an ancient device known as an answering machine.
Blanca gets a happy ending, at least for now, and mother deserves it. And it’s also great to see a schmaltzy rom-com featuring trans women of color with a happy ending. That’s one of Pose’s true delights: We get to witness marginalized people living and loving and working and posing in stories historically reserved for cis, mostly white actors.
Of course, no matter how much Pose relishes in its fantasy (a tall, gorgeous, sweet, woke med student-lifeguard is basically a unicorn), it’s 1990 on Long Island, so there’s got to be some problematic white people around the corner.
When a Becky with the Meh Hair tries to come for our girls, well… it doesn’t end well for her. It’s like a gazelle with a limp strolling up to a lion like it’s the real king of the jungle. A salivating Elektra wastes no time in ripping.
With an intermission to boot.
This read is deserving of more than our traditional Reading Is Fundamental Excellence in Shade Award. No, this is nothing short of a literary masterpiece. Like, suck another dick, Marcel Proust. This deserves the Reading Is Fundamental Lifetime Achievement Award in Shading These Heifers.
Thank you for your service.
If you’re not entering every establishment—brick-and-mortar, patio, and/or lanai—like this, then why are you here?
Though, real talk, this is how every gaggle of gays enters a vacation house, myself included.
Honestly, Elektra’s gimp is surprisingly charming and endearing.
And with all due respect and undying devotion to Lil Papi (Angel Bismark Curiel), this week was all about Adrian.
A. Fucking. Drian.
A view so nice, you gotta take it in twice.
Gurl, he actually called her! That’s how you know this is fiction. Now close the damn library.