The magic of ballroom is coming to a TV near you with HBO Max’s new series, “Legendary.” The show features eight legendary ballroom houses, all competing to win the “legendary” title. They’ll compete in various categories, including voguing, fashion, and more.
The first trailer for the series just dropped on Tuesday.
“Ballroom tells a story in many different ways,” MC Dashaun Wesley says in the trailer. “It’s more than dance. It’s performance, art, and fashion.”
Ballroom culture has roots in the Black LGBTQ+ community; it rose to popularity in the 1980s in New York City and remains a major part of queer and trans Black and Latinx culture all over the country. Though ballroom culture has been featured in previous shows and films, including “Pose” and “Paris Is Burning,” HBO Max’s “Legendary” is the first TV show by a major network to spotlight this subculture.
“The goal is to be legendary, honey,” a voiceover says in the trailer.
Actress Jameela Jamil is on the judging panel, alongside rapper Megan Thee Stallion, stylist Law Roach, and dancer Leiomy Maldonado.
The show had a controversial start in February after Jamil was mistakenly announced as a judge and MC. HBO faced criticism for the casting decision, because Jamil had little experience with ballroom prior to filming the show. The actress took the opportunity to come out as queer. She has since expressed regret over the timing of her coming out, saying that it was “not well-handled.”
“If I could go back I would have done it at a different time,” Jamil told Variety Live. “I don’t know when it’s ever really appropriate, but that was not the best time.”
The actual MC of the show, Dashaun Wesley, has been MCing in the ballroom scene for 17 years and is a veritable voguing legend.
“Legendary” will be available on HBO Max when it launches on May 27.