The up and coming legends of the vogue runway are ready to burn up the screen. HBO Max has released the first trailer for “Legendary,” a new competition reality show in which house teams from the real underground ballroom community compete to achieve “legendary” status. The unscripted series arrives with just nine episodes, which from the looks of this trailer will be jam-packed with characters, looks, and amazing dance moves, and has already garnered buzz for tapping chart-topping rapper Megan Thee Stallion as a judge. “The Good Place” star Jameela Jamil will also serve on the judges’ panel, along with Law Roach and Leiomy Maldonado. Dashaun Wesley and DJ MikeQ will MC and DJ.
Here’s how HBO Max described the show: “In this series highlighting modern day ball culture, divas battle on teams called ‘Houses’ in fashion and dance challenges including voguing for the chance to snatch the legendary trophy and win a cash prize. Voguing is a competitive style of modern dance featuring high fashion and choreography based on poses struck by models. ‘Legendary’ features eight voguing houses, each comprised of five performers and a leader—the house ‘parent.’ The teams rotate in a round-robin format that documents a themed ball every episode from start to finish giving full access to the behind the scenes action.”
Voguing is a style of dance that originated in the 1980s, having grown out of the 1960s Harlem drag ball or ballroom scene, a black LGBT tradition that dates back as early as the 1920s. The scene received mainstream recognition following the release of Madonna’s song “Vogue” in 1990, which was shortly followed by Jennie Livingston’s seminal 1990 documentary, “Paris Is Burning.” More recently, Ryan Murphy’s Emmy-winning FX series “Pose” has prompted renewed interest in the ballroom scene, which is still thriving to this day. “Legendary” will be the first mainstream show to introduce the contemporary scene to a wider audience.
The series received some pushback when Jamil’s involvement was announced, with critics pointing out the British former model is not exactly from the ballroom scene. In an effort to ameliorate questions about her involvement, Jamil publicly came out as queer, a move that backfired for being seen as a PR strategy. HBO Max has since altered its marketing language so as to not highlight Jamil over the other judges.
HBO Max will premiere “Legendary” on Wednesday, May 27. Check out the fabulous new trailer below: