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FX Pose | Jeffrey Neira

4 Turning Points In 'Pose' As A Colorful Heartwarming Christmas Takes Place

Blanca's family is here to stay and slay. 

It’s now Christmas time for the Pose gang. Blanca, who was freed from prison in the last episode, is now on a mission to give her children a holiday filled with love and pensive presents. In addition to the poignant gifts, the episode deviates into other sub-narratives of the show that perhaps give us more leeway as to what lies ahead - both scandalous and filled with highly thought-provoking remnants of the past.

Here are four pivotal turning points that took place in Sunday night's (June 17) "Giving And Receiving" episode.

Elektra Abundance's Decision To Complete Her Physical Transition: Sporting a brown ensemble, the always fashionable Elektra pays a visit to a doctor where the two discuss a gender reassignment surgery. As the scene unfolds, Elektra flips through a medical pamphlet, which explains with images how the castration process happens when physically transitioning from female to male. One thing that was eye-opening is how much progress the transgender community has made in regards to medical coverage, and the terminology used to describe or accurately label transgender people.

In the 80s, gender re-assignment surgery was called “Transsexual Surgery.” Hospitals, like the one Elektra visited, were apparently treating transgender people in the dark because it was taboo. Now, Medicare covers re-assignment surgery and hormonal therapy. In locations like New York, there are present-day LGBT health clinics that have divisions that specialize in medical and psychological transgender care like Callen Lorde Community Center and The Center. The dichotomy between the two time periods is nothing short of startling, but seeing the progress is fascinating.

Stan’s Love Affair With Angel Escalates: The first two episodes of Pose present a relationship between a middle class married white man (Stan) and a poor transgender woman (Angel). As promised in the second episode, Stan gifted Angel a fully furnished apartment. The two get caught in a passionate kiss, and he promises that he will stop by for at least some eggnog on Christmas Day. He didn’t but instead walks in on his boss at Trump Towers (Matt Bromley played by James Van Der Beek) with his wife Patty (Kate Mara) and kids at their home in New Jersey. Matt was there to drop off holiday gifts for the family but Stan doesn't buy it.

Before Stan gets there, Matt and Patty share a kiss on the couch. She’s suspecting Stan is cheating, and she’s right. The morning after, Stan reassures her that he’s always been faithful and gifts her with expensive jewelry. Angel is, of course, left heart-broken because he never showed up. As this storyline unfolds, it'll be very interesting to see what happens next.    

The HIV/AIDS Crisis Heightens: Damon’s dance teacher Helena (Charlayne Woodard) pays a visit to one of her students that is dying of AIDS. The heartbreaking scene depicts a nearly lifeless being. In the 80s, that scene was a common reality; people were dropping like flies and the programs available to help those in need were scarce at the time.

“Nearly 200 people die of AIDS every month in New York and thousands more are dying. Yet, fewer than 100 spaces exist in programs offering the combination of succor and science needed to ease life's end when it cannot be prolonged," Jane Gross wrote for The New York Times in 1987. "Local health planners agree that a lack of hospices and other terminal-care institutions is one of the most urgent problems of the AIDS epidemic."

This episode makes the viewer wonder what will Blanca, a fierce and loving matriarch's future be considering she is HIV-positive.

Christmas Gifts: At the tail end of the episode, Blanca and her gang of kids (including a heartbroken Angel) all go to a Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner. There, she commemorates the heartwarming reunion with presents. The kids all save to give Blanca something as well. The teary-eyed moment proves that one’s chosen family can be more important than your biological pedigree. It's safe to say Blanca’s family is going strong.

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Photos by Brad Barket/Getty Images for STARZ and Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

50 Cent And Kenya Barris Developing TV Series Based On 'The 50th Law'

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is teaming up with actor and director Kenya Barris to create a television series based on Jackson's New York Times bestseller, The 50th Law, co-written by author Robert Greene. The Power executive producer and black-ish creator will join forces to create an original show that will stream on Netflix. No word on its premiere date or who has been cast for the series.

In true, 50 Cent fashion, Jackson took to his official Instagram to celebrate and share the news. "Netflix now you know this is a problem, Kenya Barris is no joke," reads his post's caption. "And if me and you ain’t cool, you ain’t gonna make it. 😆Let’s work! 💣Boom🔥 🚦GreenLight Gang #bransoncognac #lecheminduroi #bottlerover"

Jackson will serve as co-producer by way of his G-Unit Film & Television company which has a hand in Starz's Power Book II: Ghost and ABC's For Life. Barris will work alongside his #blackAF co-executive producer Hale Rothstein for the pilot and show's script under his production company, Khalabo Ink Society.

Speaking of Khalabo Ink Society, Barris' and his company will have a hand in a couple of upcoming projects: Kid Cudi's upcoming adult animated music series, Entergalactic and MGM's upcoming biopic on the career and life of comedy legend, Richard Pryor.

Fif's G-Unit Film & Television imprint, more original programming is on the way: Power Book III: Raising Kanan premieres this summer and Black Mafia Family has begun shooting its series debut. His current shows —Power Book II; and For Life—have been renewed for another season on Starz and ABC, respectively.

Jackson and Greene's The 50th Law is a semi-autobiographical book that tackles lessons around fearlessness and strategy while including inspiring stories from 50 Cent's life and tales from notable historical figures. It went on to be a New York Times Bestseller in 2009.

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Photos by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images and Gilles Petard/Redferns

Questlove Is Directing A Sly Stone Documentary

The Roots' own Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson will be directing a documentary about the life of Sly Stone, founding member of legendary funk band, Sly and the Family Stone.

The untitled feature film "follows the story of the influential artist, king of funk, and fashion icon Sly Stone, a musician who was breaking all the rules at a time when doing so was extremely challenging, even dangerous. The pressure of explosive mainstream pop success and the responsibility of representing Black America forced him to walk the fine line of impossible expectations."

“It goes beyond saying that Sly’s creative legacy is in my DNA," said Questlove in a press release. "....it’s a black musician’s blueprint....to be given the honor to explore his history and legacy is beyond a dream for me.”

“Sly’s influence on popular music and culture as a whole is immeasurable, and what his career represents is a parable that transcends time and place,” expressed Amit Dey, Head of MRC Non-Fiction. “Questlove’s vision, sensitivity and reverence brings the urgency that Sly’s story and music deserve, and we’re excited to be working with him to bring Sly’s story to life.”

The project will mark the four-time Grammy Award-winning artist's second directorial project (see his Sundance award-winning Summer of Soul) by way of his Two One Five Entertainment production company. Award-winning actor and rapper Common will serve as an executive producer via his Star Child Productions along with Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone via ID8 Multimedia. Derik Murray and Brian Gersh of Network Entertainment will serve as producers with Zarah Zohlman and Shawn Gee as producing partners.

The film's official title and release date has not been announced.

Earlier today in partnership with BET Digital and Sony Music's “This Is Black” Black History Month campaign, an animated music video for the group's 1968 hit single, "Everyday People." Revisit the classic song down below.

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FX's 'Hip-Hop Uncovered' Shows How Big U, Deb Antney, Haitian Jack, Bimmy & Trick Trick Hustled The Game With Street Savvy

Rarely do the strong survive long enough to tell their story in their own words, so bear witness to some of the most notorious deal makers and street shakers in FX's new docu-series Hip-Hop Uncovered. Hailing from hardcore locations all over the map, California's Eugene "Big U" Henley, Queens, New York siblings James "Bimmy" Antney and Deb Antney, Detroit's Trick Trick and Brooklyn's infamous Haitian Jack, represent the mind and the muscle of the rap world's background boss section, where the real money and moves are made.

After last week's two-episode debut (Feb. 12th) of a six-episode season, we have the cast member's thoughts on what it was like taping the show and why they participated in the series. Remember, these storied behind the scenes executives are normally in the background, but are now telling their important stories that weave their importance in the industry that shapes the world...hip-hop.“A true dime is steel-heavier than a dollar.” Watch Hip-Hop Uncovered Fridays at 10 pm ET on FX.

Deb Antney: "By doing the show, it was very therapeutic. I’ve opened up and let you get a glance of what is in my Pandora’s box. I’ve shed pounds, even inches. I’m truly grateful I’m here to tell any part of my story. Now get ready for my book Unmanageable Me.

The show allowed me to showcase my truth the way it needed to be told. The Debra Antney way!

Being Debra Antney was not always glitter or gold. Like most, I went through some things. I was defiantly a product of my environment, it made me who I am today! I always knew how to get myself to the top and that’s exactly what I did. Thank you for being a part of my journey."

 

 

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Big U: "I loved filming this show. It brought up so many memories going back to the house I grew up in, remembering those special moments with family. It was fun to sort of relive my past, but the best part was really seeing my evolution. I’m such a different man today than I was back then. I feel good that the world will get to see the person I’ve become. I did it because for the first time, I knew I could be in full control of my own story, especially since I’m an Executive Producer on the series."

 

 

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Trick Trick: "[Taping the series was] weird as f---!! Because, I’m not used to that type of attention. I’m very private, but oddly enough, it was somewhat... refreshing!

[I did the show] because Big U called.”

Bimmy:

"Well, I choose to do the series because I was told who was involved from the cast to an all-Black production. Taping was like me living my past all over again and we show[ed] the world how we really lived and the things we went through."

Haitian Jack: "Taping the series, to me, was definitely a great experience.  Everybody that was on there, [producers] Oby, Rashidi and everyone else were very polite to everyone and we got everything we asked for.  When you have a crew like that, it makes it really easy for you to work with it.

[I did the show because] I like when they started to say, 'Let’s dig back into the past,' because that’s what my life is all about, the past.  The fact that Big U came up with it and hit me up with it is another reason because I respect what he is doing out there with the kids and his foundation. So I didn’t mind teaming up with him and everybody else, Deb and Trick Trick, Bimmy. I think we have a great cast and I’m proud to be a part of it.  I think we did it because we all knew where hip-hop came from because we lived it.  We wasn’t just some people who just popped up out of nowhere and started blogging about it. We were there.  We watched the deaths, we watched the lifetime prison sentences.  We lost a lot of friends to death and prison. We all lived it.  They are going to get a good account of what went on in the 70s and 80s."

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