One of the best things on television right now is Pose, Ryan Murphy’s final series from FX. It’s a historic achievement, featuring the largest cast of transgender actors ever seen in scripted TV, and several transgender writers, directors, and producers working behind the scenes. But it’s also a towering artistic achievement, open-hearted and sincere with a sense of love so strong undiminished by the cruelties its characters encounter. As Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya’s wrote in one of her indispensable reviews for The A.V. Club, “Even amid the darkness, a sense of family, love, and community shines through and carries these characters forward. Love is the message, indeed.”
In short, it’s very good, one of those shows that gets in your bones and makes you want to devour everything you can find that sings its praises. At least, that’s the effect it’s had on me, and that’s how I stumbled across this terrific piece from Eater’s Bani Amor. In it, the writer examines how the show uses food as a signifier of caregiving, reinforcing its themes of choosing and creating family through love. In that, it reminded me of a piece from the New York Times last month, “Building a Table for All: The Ascent of Queer Food Culture.”
But then Amor’s piece goes to a moving and unexpected place, engaging with life outside the television set:
Watching these Black and brown queer and trans folks sitting around a table to enjoy dinner as a family chokes me up for so many reasons. As a queer Latinx kid from Brooklyn, I could never identify with the rich, white, cis characters on Will & Grace, Queer as Folk, or Ellen. Driven out of my home at 15 by a host of factors that reduced me to a statistic, I became estranged from much of my family, and by measure, my culture, our culinary traditions, and the person who held them all together, my grandmother. I’ve traveled to her native Ecuador too many times in the last decade to count, but with her long gone from this world, nothing will ever nourish me quite like her cooking did. This episode of Pose, and the show itself, reflected my story in a way I hadn’t expected.
When you come across a piece of criticism that enriches the way you experience something—especially something you already love—that’s worth celebrating. Cheers to Eater and Bani Amor for this lovely piece of writing, and I highly encourage you to give it one, or many, clicks.
Also worth celebrating: a season renewal. All in all, I give this week’s Pose news 10s, 10s, 10s across the board.