HBO is getting ready to feed the children with its new show Legendary, which will see top talents from the worlds of vogue and ballroom competing against each other.
Announced by HBO Max a few months ago, the show is based on the ballroom community – as seen previously on screen in Pose, Paris is Burning and, to an extent, RuPaul’s Drag Race – and pits eight houses against each other in voguing battles as well as other categories.
"The goal," says a voiceover in the newly-dropped trailer, "is to be legendary, honey."
Legendary will premiere on 27 May, the day HBO Max – HBO’s new streaming service – launches.
It will be the first TV show by a major network to focus on the ballroom community – which dates back to the mid-20th century and gained popularity in the 1980s, perhaps most notably in New York City.
The ballroom scene has long been associated with queer black and brown people, as well as trans people.
Legendary will be emceed by DaShaun Wesley and DJed by DJ MikeQ, with judges including Jameela Jamil, Megan Thee Stallion, Law Roach and Leiomy Maldonado.
Wesley, Maldonado and DJ MIkeQ all have close links with the ballroom and voguing worlds.
As a voiceover in the trailer below says, "ballroom tells a story in many different ways".
"It's more than dance; it's performance, art and fashion."
Initially, Jamil was incorrectly revealed to be an emcee and judge of the show (she is only a judge), and HBO faced a backlash as people accused it and Jamil of “appropriating ballroom culture” and taking a spot that should’ve gone to someone more closely associated with it.
Transparent actor and house mother Trace Lysette said she had auditioned for the show, and Pose star Indya Moore said they had spoken to Jamil to clarify her role within the show.
Lol.. I interviewed for this gig. As the mother of a house for nearly a decade it’s kind of kind blowing when ppl with no connection to our culture gets the gig. This is not shade towards Jameela, I love all that she stands for. If anything I question the decision makers https://t.co/kJleDihn02— Trace Lysette (@tracelysette) February 4, 2020
Part of the backlash Jamil faced was also focused on her assumed heterosexuality – prompting her to come out as queer, which again was criticised due to its timing.