Watch out for ‘Pose’ ensemble at SAG Awards

In the summer of 2018, between the releases of anthology programs “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” and “American Horror Story: Apocalypse,” fans of Ryan Murphy’s work were treated to the first season of “Pose,” a drama series that was traditional in format only. From its opening scene in which five trans women of color discuss their involvement in house-ballroom culture, the show established itself as a revolutionary piece of entertainment which also proved to be relatable in its characterizations. The monumentally diverse cast put in the work of bringing a full range of LGBTQ characters to life for three seasons, and they are now hoping to have their efforts recognized by their peers in the Screen Actors Guild.

Originally set in the late 1980s at the height of the American AIDS crisis, FX’s “Pose” offered modern viewers an honest look at the struggles LGBTQ people had to overcome then in order for the community to achieve the level of respect it has now. Throughout its decade-long timeline, the series focused heavily on specific subsets of the community, including its Black members, trans members, those living with HIV, and many who fit into all three categories. The fact that nearly all of the actors in the cast belonged to one or more of these groups  in real life made the show’s impact even greater. 

In our SAG TV Drama Ensemble race, the “Pose” actors are running in fourth place between two casts whose shows also contended for the 2021 Best Drama Series Emmy: “The Handmaid’s Tale” (second place) and “This Is Us”(sixth place). The actors from the most recent winner of both prizes, “The Crown,” are ineligible for SAG nominations this time, as are those from the shows that made up the rest of the last lineup (“Better Call Saul,” “Bridgerton,” “Lovecraft Country,” and “Ozark”). 

In first place is the cast of 2020 Best Drama Series Emmy recipient “Succession,” followed by “The Morning Show” ensemble in third. Rounding out the top eight are new shows “Squid Game” and “Loki” and continuation series “Dexter: New Blood.” The only cast in this group to have won before are the “This Is Us” bunch, who scored back-to-back victories in 2018 and 2019.

There is a strong chance that some of the “Pose” actors will earn individual bids, which would also be a first for the series. According to our odds, Mj Rodriguez ranks fourth in the Best TV Drama Actress contest, while Billy Porter is in fifth place for the corresponding male award. Those races are currently led by Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”) and Jeremy Strong (“Succession”), respectively. If either “Pose” performer triumphs, they will be included among a handful of people who have won for final seasons of drama series. If the entire ensemble is honored for their swan song, they will follow in the footsteps of the casts of “The Sopranos” (2008), “Breaking Bad” (2014), and “Downton Abbey” (2016).

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