Friday 22 March 2019

Pick of the week: Pose

Thursday, BBC2, 9pm

Strictly ballroom

High drama: Billy Porter stars as Pray Tell in Pose
High drama: Billy Porter stars as Pray Tell in Pose
All Ireland club finals day at Croke Park. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Paul Whitington

Paul Whitington

Ryan Murphy is one of biggest talents in American television, and his CV makes intimidating reading. Glee, American Horror Story, American Crime Story and Feud have all been very successful and innovative in their way, but Pose might just be Murphy's most ambitious project yet. For this eight-episode drama uses the largest ever transgender cast seen on television to tell the story of the ballroom craze that swept through New York's gay and trans community in the late 1980s.

During that decade, a ballroom culture crystalised among the city's LGBT community, who formed 'houses' or extended families which offered shelter from a hostile society which had further ostracised the sub-culture following the advent of Aids. These houses had 'mothers' and 'fathers' who'd offer support and advice to younger members, and this familial bond was sealed in dancing and vogueing contests between rival houses. Mj Rodriguez stars as Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista, a black transgender woman who works in a nail salon by day and is a member of the legendary House of Abundance at night.

Blanca's life then is a busy one, but is devastated when she receives the medical news everyone dreaded in the 1980s. Instead of buckling under this bleak diagnosis, Blanca decides to seize the day, and open her own house. That won't be easy in that intensely competitive sub-culture, but Blanca's first act is to recruit a very talented 17-year-old dancer called Damon.

All of this would be drama enough for most shows, but Ryan Murphy and his co-writers have spiced Pose up and broadened its range by including a sub-plot that captures the heady greed of wider Manhattan society in the 1980s. Evan Peters plays Stan Bowles, a white executive who works in Trump Tower and is married with kids, but finds out how the other half live when he forms an intense attachment to a transgender sex worker called Angel (Indya Moore).

 

Movie picks

Drama

Behind the Candelabra

Tonight, BBC2, 10.45pm

Liberace’s loves

Matt Damon plays a young dog groomer who becomes the live-in lover of legendary entertainer Liberace.

Drama

The Blind Side

Monday, RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Hidden talent

Touching drama based on the true story of a businesswoman who took in a homeless black teenager and nurtured his athletic talent.

Action

Deadpool 2

Wednesday, Sky Premiere, 8pm

Bad X-Man

When his girlfriend is killed by an assassin, Deadpool joins the X-Men in order to get revenge, but proves an unreliable recruit. Ryan Reynolds stars.

 

Sports picks

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All Ireland club finals day at Croke Park. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
 

Six Nations Rugby Union

Today, Virgin Media One, noon

Joe Molloy and guests present what should be an enthralling afternoon's rugby, beginning in Paris where the beleaguered Italians take on France. After that we're off to Cardiff, where the home side are going for a potential Grand Slam but will not be quite so cocky following Ireland's imperious demolition of the French last weekend. Last up are England, who play Scotland at Twickenham.

Saturday GAA Live

Tonight, RTÉ2, 6.30pm

Kerry have been very impressive in the Allianz League this year, sitting unbeaten at the top of Division 1 and with Dublin, Galway, Monaghan and Tyrone among their scalps. Mayo have been less consistent, and may be up against it tonight as they face Kerry in Tralee. Pat Spillane, Denise Masterson and Kevin McStay join Joanne Cantwell for coverage, with commentary from Darragh Maloney.

Formula 1

Sunday, Sky Sports Main Event, 8am

The 2019 Formula 1 season gets underway this morning in Melbourne, and the race around the beautiful Albert Park street circuit will give teams, drivers and fans a first glimpse of how this year's contest might go. Defending champion Lewis Hamilton will start as favourite, but Sebastian Vettel will be hoping to pull off a shock win as he did here last year.

GAA Beo

Sunday, TG4, 1.30pm

It's club finals day at Croke Park (above), and the action kicks off with the AIB Hurling Final between Galway club St Thomas and Kilkenny thoroughbreds Ballyhale Shamrocks. That game throws in at 2pm, and will be followed at 3.45pm by Corofin versus Dr Crokes in the AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Football Final. Micheál Ó Domhnaill presents.

 

TV picks

Entertainment

St Patrick’s Parade

Sunday, RTÉ One, 12.15pm

The Storytellers

Des Cahill and co are live in central Dublin for the 2019 Paddy’s Day parade, which this year celebrates the Irish storytelling tradition.

Drama

Cheat

Monday, Virgin Media One, 10pm

Foul play

When university lecturer Dr Leah Dale confronts a student called Rose whose essay seems suspiciously good, she reacts badly and things turn nasty.

Drama

Billions

Wednesday, Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Cat and mouse

As season four begins, Wendy and Chuck’s marriage is in trouble, and Chuck is finalising his plans to catch the oily Axe. Damien Lewis stars.

Weekend Magazine

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