‘Pose’ Showrunner Explains the Significant Time Jump in Season 3

FX show Pose returned for its third and final season in May 2021. The ballroom drama first aired in 2018 and captured the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s. Additionally, the show highlights several Black and brown characters who are a part of the LGBTQ community

For its final curtain call, Pose jumps ahead from 1990 to 1994. Showrunner Steve Canals recently explained why the time leap had to happen. 

'Pose' showrunner Steven Canals with Dominique Jackson, Billy Porter, Our Lady J, Indya Moore, Janet Mock, and MJ Rodriguez at the Critics Choice Award.
(Back L-R) Dominique Jackson, Steven Canals, Billy Porter, Our Lady J (Front L-R) Indya Moore, Janet Mock and Mj Rodriguez | Rich Fury, Getty Images

Is ‘Pose’ Season 3 based on a true story? 

Canals, Brad Falchuk, and Ryan Murphy co-created Pose. Writer Janet Mock also produces the show. When the series debuted on FX in June 2018, the show introduced many viewers to the illustrious ballroom dance scene. In the ball scene, contestants flaunt their stunning outfits and stage presence and get judged by a panel. Throughout the years, several documentaries, including the 1990 film Paris Is Burning, highlighted the activities. However, Pose is the first televised platform that features LGBTQ actors as central characters. Some of its prominent cast members include MJ Rodriguez, who plays Blanca, a house mother, and Indya Moore as Angel. 

RELATED: Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade Asked the Cast of ‘Pose’ For Advice on Raising Their Daughter Zaya

Although Pose isn’t a true story, several cast members were a part of the ballroom scene in real life. Hailie Sahar, who plays Lulu on the show, told Time Out in 2019 that she danced in ballroom clubs for multiple years as a teenager. Rodriguez also shared with Showbiz Cheat Sheet that her “house father” had the actor dancing at the balls when she was 14. 

“When I was in high school, 14-years-old, my house father scouted me out,” Rodriguez said. “He already had kids. At the time, he scouted me out; we were doing fashion shows at my high school. Then when I got to a certain point, when he was like ‘that’s my daughter,’ we started going over to New York City and doing rehearsals for balls to go to balls.”

‘Pose’ Season 3 showrunner Steven Canals says the time jump was ‘exciting’ to film

After a year-long hiatus, Pose aired its two-episode season premiere on May 2, 2021. For its final season, the show will capture what New York was like in the early 1990s. Born and raised in NYC, Canals said the city was “ground zero” for the HIV/AIDS epidemic. 

The writer also said that showing his characters’ lives four years later gives the audience a more “exciting” view of their journeys. 

“This season, we spend a lot of time focused on the HIV AIDS epidemic and the way that it’s impacting the greater community,” Canals said to Digital Spy. “1994 was the height of the HIV epidemic, especially in New York, which was really ground zero for it. So it was really important for us to contextualize and ground the story in that time period.”

Why is the FX drama ending after three seasons?

In the same Digital Spy interview, Canals also said that Pose Season 3 would focus on Blanca’s growth. The house mother decides to prioritize her health and career in the new season. While working at the HIV ward at her neighborhood hospital, Canals teased that Blanca will have a romantic interest as well. 

“We wanted to evolve Blanca’s story of being the caretaker, of being the nurturer, of being the mum,” he explained. “So we thought a lot about: ‘What’s the evolution of that? How do we take all of that to the next level with her?’”

After two groundbreaking seasons, Canals announced on Twitter in March 2021 that Pose will end following season 3. The writer stated that he felt it was the best time to move onto new projects. 

“Hey, Pose fam!” Canals tweeted. “We made the decision to end @PoseOnFX after three seasons because we reached the intended ending of our story,” he wrote. “This experience has been life-changing. THANK YOU is too small a word. And yet, it’s what is in my heart.”