‘Pose’: Here’s Why They Decided to End the Show With Season 3

“We certainly could have done a fourth or fifth season if we really wanted to,” co-creator Steven Canals tells Digital Spy

Pose FX
Michael Parmelee/FX

Fans were pretty saddened by the news that the third season of “Pose,” which kicked off Sunday, would be the show’s last. And in an interview with Digital Spy, co-creator Steven Canals said he shares that sentiment, calling the decision “heartbreaking.”

But, Canals told Digital Spy last week, he and co-showrunner Ryan Murphy wanted to “go out on top,” and they had in mind from the beginning how the show’s finale would play out.

“Ryan and I, we were very thoughtful about it. We certainly could have done a fourth or fifth season if we really wanted to. But the thing is that the audience will suss out filler, right?” Canals said. “They’re going to know if there’s intention behind narrative. I think that the previous two seasons had such a clear arc and such a clear thread.”

Canals said he would have loved for the show to go on, but felt it was time to end things. “It was heartbreaking to make that decision, to say, ‘Fine, I think we’re done,’” Canals said. “I know that the audience probably won’t agree with this, but it really was done thinking about the audience. Let’s go when we’re still on top. Let’s go when people are still excited about us and love us.”

“I think my fear was if we created more narrative, we might lose viewers in that season about who knows what. And then this story that is really important just gets overlooked,” Canals added.

We won’t spoil anything in the finale, but the show’s arc until the final episode definitely ramps up the drama. Yes, there’s still the lightness of a ball each episode, and Blanca still remains an infinite well of hope, even as she begins working as a technician in the HIV/AIDS ward of a New York hospital — but the cast continues to battle the disease and watch loved ones die from it.

Still, Canals said that the show’s current form is much lighter than his original drafts. “The core narrative of the first season was much darker than what the show became,” Canals said.

Canals added that a note from Murphy early on changed how he approached the entire series. “I got a note from Ryan that changed everything. He just said, ‘You have a real joy about being a queer person of color. I want to feel that joy. That happiness, that love that you have for your identity and your community… It needs to be on the page.’”

Canals also told Digital Spy that he hopes the show’s full story helps people become more tolerant of people from other walks of life. “I would hope that anyone who watches the show would feel moved to be more supportive – more actively and vocally supportive – of queer and trans people,” Canals said. “We’re still living in a world where there’s a lot of homophobia. There’s still a lot of transphobia. People don’t understand or have a lot of misinformation around what it means to be bisexual. Folks completely ignore someone who is gender non-binary or gender non-conforming. The reality is that we all are deserving of love and respect. We all deserve to occupy space unapologetically.”

“Pose” Season 3 is now streaming on FX. Seasons 1 and 2 of the show are also available on Netflix.

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